- National Teams
For Episode 99 of the Hoopsfix Podcast, we sit down with British coaching legend John Collins.
Collins, awarded an MBE in 2009 for his services to basketball, has been coaching for over six decades and done it at every level.
He was at the helm of Sutton for the first ever National League game, and again when they became the first ever English team to win a game in Europe, coached both the England and Great Britain Senior Women, where he qualified England for the European Championships, was at the helm of the legendary Avon Cosmetics women’s programme who dominated the national league for a number of years, and has been instrumental for the development of basketball in Northamptonshire, founding the early stages of Northants Basketball Club in 2000 along with Moulton College basketball academy in 2005.
Having also helped set up the Basketball Coaches Association (BCA) with Mark Dunning, Collins has dedicated his life to the sport and been a long-term advocate for the development of the British game.
In this 90 minute episode, we look back at John’s journey.
Note: We had some technical issues, so the episode does end rather abruptly and not in the usual fashion – expect a part 2 at some point!
02:59 Interview start
03:15 How John was first introduced to basketball
04:35 Whether he fell in love with the game right away
05:38 How far he took his own playing before coaching
07:34 Royal Albert Hall as a basketball venue
09:14 The evolution of the skill level
12:48 Where basketball sat within English culture in the ’60s
14:54 Where the hotbeds of basketball were in the ’60s and ’70s
18:10 How John’s early coaching career progressed
20:33 Working out what to teach and how to learn
23:30 The role the governing body had to help coaches develop
25:44 How the move to Sutton & Crystal Palace happened
29:58 Coaching in the first ever National League game and its formation
32:42 How basketball had been able to develop from the 60s to 70s
35:09 Whether the national league was being administered by the NGB or the clubs in the early years
35:55 Not learning from our mistakes in the past
36:44 The important of getting British basketball history accessible and documented
39:12 Under-appreciated success stories in British basketball history
40:56 British Performance Basketball initially wiping history in the sport’s narrative
44:11 What can be done to make the basketball history more accessible
46:03 Losing his job with Sutton & Crystal Palace
48:00 How important it was to be the first English team to get a win in Europe
49:46 How important it is for British clubs to be competing in Europe
51:47 Getting involved with Central YMCA
53:38 His first exposure to women’s basketball and whether it changed his approach
55:02 The progression of his coaching development journey
59:34 Why English coaches were so closed in their sharing of tactics
1:01:55 Whether English coaches mentality is more open now
1:03:17 The founding of the BCA UK
1:06:02 His proudest achievements with the BCA
1:08:50 The Avon Cosmetics women’s programme
1:12:44 The level of dominance the Avon Cosmetics team were having
1:14:23 The barriers to development of the women’s game over the years
1:17:32 The founding of Northants Thunder