Twin Cities basketball skills coach re-shapes training during gym closures

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As the founder and head skills coach of Catalyst Training, Reid Ouse is accustomed to spending countless hours in the gym with hopeful college or professional basketball players.

But once the pandemic hit, the gyms that are Ouse’s second home were closed and off-limits.

To fill the gap, he pushed his typical training regimens to an app.

"It gives (players) a roadmap to be able to to go out and not have to make something up or look at a PDF but really like, ‘Hey it’s state-of-the-art, it’s cutting edge, right on your phone I can look at it and go get my work in’," Ouse explains.

Click the video box on this page to see KSTP Sports story about Reid Ouse’s adapting his business during the pandemic, and Chris Long’s full interview with Ouse where he explains the genesis of the idea and how it’s been working

The demos Ouse put on the app include a handful of players any local prep hoops fan would recognize.

"We have a post program with Jared Berggren (Princeton HS) who played at University of Wisconsin," Ouse says. "Courtney Douglas – used to be Boylan – was 2008 Miss Basketball (Chaska HS). She has a foundational program.

"Nate Wolters (St Cloud Tech & three NBA seasons), who’s one of the most efficient finishers in NCAA history has a finishing program."

Online and app-based training programs have take off during the health crisis. Ouse thinks they suit his sport the best.

"Basketball is unique because it’s one of the only sports I can just go play by myself. I can just go shoot," he explains. "With baseball you need a partner to play catch with, football you need a partner, soccer – yeah you can go kick it into the net but – you’ve got to go chase it down.

"You can sell this to the kid that doesn’t have anybody to play with that was stuck in his house during quarantine."

As basketball culture – especially among elite high school players – leans toward playing games year round, Ouse believes getting back to basics these last few months might pay off in the long run.

"I think you’re gonna see a surprise because kids are stuck at home and they’re not able to just go play games ," he explains. "We just play games and we think that’s really working on our game… Now you have kids – like how I had to, growing up on a farm, it’s like – ‘Dad, move the tractors out of the shed I gotta put my work in.’

"There’s so many kids that are spending two, three hours working on their ball handling or they’re doing form shooting because they’re bored and they don’t have anything to do.

"They’re going to be better ball handlers, better shooters and I think basketball is even going to be… it’s going to be more dynamic in the state of Minnesota next year."