NBA Coach Dean Cooper on Scaling Goals
[00:00:00] NBA travel and all that you go through is so chaotic for seven to eight months, little long if you’re fortunate enough to coaching the playoffs, I’ve always stayed pretty healthy, but in all transparency, I’m married to a holistic nutritionist who also works out about two hours a day. Yeah. You know, and I’m not good at it.
[00:00:18] Being around professional athletes is we don’t do a great job of self maintenance. And you should never wait till the oil light comes on in your car. By the time the oil light comes on, it’s a problem. How we treat our bodies now is going to affect us at some point. So not wait till the oil light comes on because by that time, the problems already occurred.
[00:00:40] Game on Sports, fitness and Health. Hands for another episode of The Sporting Good Posture Podcast. You’re up for Coach Margie’s advice from the sidelines as he helps you crush your game no matter what health or fitness game you play. Hey, I’m Coach Margie. I’m sporting good posture. What are you sporting?
[00:00:56] The coach’s door is always open. Let’s join him now. Hey [00:01:00] coach, what do you got for us today? Welcome back to another episode of Sporting Good Posture. This is Coach Frank, and today’s episode is with Dean Cooper. It’s exciting to bring him on today because he’s been in the N B A as a coach in the front office for many years.
[00:01:17] He’s worked with such players as Yam and Steve Francis over the years has gotten a lot of experience with the players and the coaches, so I think that you’re gonna really enjoy what he has to say today, and we’re going to get into that more here in a minute. Right after this, where do you carry your stress?
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[00:02:24] See where the sources of the stress you carry, lie and find out what you yourself can do about them. Call Ideal Health and Wellness Center at 6 1 5 5 6 7 6 6 8 3 Now. He’s been an assistant b a coach for several teams for many years now since the nineties. He’s coached for the Bulls, the trailed blazers, and also the Houston Rockets.
[00:02:44] He’s also a patient at my office. I’ve gotten to know him over the last few months and we’ve had some great conversations. I thought it would be cool to bring him on today and and talk a little bit about his experience in coaching and also some of the things he does to stay healthy. I wanna welcome Dean [00:03:00] Cooper.
[00:03:00] Thank you for being on today. Hey. Hey, Dr. Frank. Thanks. Thanks for having me. I, I appreciate it and looking forward to our, uh, time together this afternoon and our discussion. Absolutely. Well, you, you’ve told me a number of stories and, uh, about the NBA and some things, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
[00:03:19] Um, one of the things that we’ve talked about recently was, The book that you’re reading called Tiny Habits and also some of just the health things that you’ve done over the last year during the Pandemic, and I wanted you to share that with some of our listeners just to kind of see somebody like you that, you know, has had a lot of stress and, and had a busy life traveling and coaching and everything, and how you’ve, you’ve managed to stay healthy and, and kind of build on your, your, uh, knowledge through the pandemic.
[00:03:46] First of all, I, I’ll say I, I wish I had read this book. Years before, you know, unfortunately, this season, as you know, I’ve been home for the first time in 33 years. Yes. So it’s allowed me to [00:04:00] concentrate on my really, my overall health more. The book itself is, it’s written by a gentleman named BJ Fogg, but quite honestly from a, the N B A travel aspect and all that you go through and, and that it, it is so chaotic for seven to eight months, you know, little longer hope, you know, if you’re fortunate enough to.
[00:04:23] Coaching the playoffs and things like that. But part of my thing is I’ve always stayed pretty healthy. But, um, in all transparency, I’m married to a holistic nutritionist who also works out about two hours a. Uh, part of it is, is he’s a great influence too. Yeah. There’s internal and external infliction is a, probably a good way to put it, but I just really took on my health in general from getting back to reading more to, um, I’ve always ate well, so that’s not been as big of an issue, but certainly more time to work out [00:05:00] and all that.
[00:05:00] But to the tiny habit saying, Where I think it really applies is, and I’ve adopted some of the things in my routine already. He talks in, in terms of if you wanna run a marathon, but you have this, all of a sudden you set this goal. Yeah. Um, if you’re not a runner, You’re not gonna start training eight, nine miles a day.
[00:05:22] Right? Like, that’s just not gonna happen. Um, so, or even if you are, say you’re a casual runner and the most you’ve ever run is like a five or 10 K race, like Right. But then going to 26 miles, a whole different animal. Yeah. So how do we get there without it looking? Just massive. Right? And which for most people, uh, it sounds really great at the beginning, but sustaining it is very, very difficult.
[00:05:51] So how can we break these things up into little task? And I’ll just give you an example. He used, he literally started out by [00:06:00] wanting to floss his teeth. And I told you a story. Like he literally, um, said, okay, I hate flossing. I’m gonna floss one tooth a day. And he’s, you know, the other thing you do in this is you what other podcasters and book writers call stacking, you want to do it on top of habits that you already, their daily habits that you already have.
[00:06:27] So for instance, when he goes to the restroom, the author, he does two pushups. So been doing it for years. And so prompts that are, he calls ’em prompts are. They’re, they’re behaviors that are already in your day. You don’t have to create a habit or a behavior for that. You take something and do, whether it’s step out of bed.
[00:06:49] So for me, um, what I’ve done is when I get up now, I’ve been stretching for five minutes, and a tiny habit I put in was I’m gonna [00:07:00] have my coffee every day. As soon as I pour my cup of coffee, I come down to where I’m gonna then read and I do 25 pushups. I already have, I know I’m gonna pour a cup of coffee every day.
[00:07:12] So the activity’s already there. Yeah. Now I just, I’m gonna stack on something on top of it. And it can be physical, it can be, uh, mental, which we all know as part of our health too. Like, so I adopted as going to the restroom one, and I don’t do anything physical. I literally out loud. Um, I say something that I have gratitude for because we know that gra I like that.
[00:07:40] I, I I impacts our neuroplasticity, right? So, absolutely. Um, you’re gonna go to the restroom every day, you know, so that’s sort of the basis for it. It’s really been interesting. There’s a whole process to write down, and as I told you, we have a lot more prompts in the morning [00:08:00] cuz we’re gonna get out of bed, we’re gonna go to the restroom, we’re gonna.
[00:08:04] Brush our teeth, we’re gonna, um, do those things. And as your day goes on, your sort of your anchor habits or your prompts get a little bit more distorted and they’re a little less reliable just because of the nature of what happens throughout your day. Except for at the end of the day, maybe you have certain things, Hey, I put my sweats on to go to bed, or my pajamas, or, you know, whatever.
[00:08:29] So, It’s, it’s been really interesting, so it’s really helped me. Um, but I look back and think, gosh, you know, when I get back, you know, next year coaching again, like with the crazy N B A travel and all that, having these little tiny habits that I can accomplish every day rather than, man, I gotta find out a way to get on the treadmill for an hour that’s not always as accessible.
[00:08:55] Well, that makes sense. And we were talking about that the other day and it’s, it’s funny, [00:09:00] you know, like I, I had to put a ring alarm system in and I put it by my door of the bedroom, so I had to walk past it. Every day and every time I sort of reminded me, okay, I have, that’s something I have to do. Um, and we talked about like I set an alarm in my phone.
[00:09:15] There’s certain things that I’ll just put it on repeat. And until I complete that task every single day it goes off reminding me to do that. We’ve talked about this a little bit before, on a past episode about making a list for the day, like a to-do list, you’re more likely to succeed. Then fail. And then also when you do complete the list, you’re more likely to make another list and complete it again.
[00:09:37] So you get in that habit of doing that, you know, going into the nba, like, I don’t know. As a coach, if you did those kind of things with the players and tried to implement certain things, were these some things like before you read the book that you were kind of helping them with too? You generally get a group of guys that you work with, typically like three to four, and you work with them for the whole year.
[00:09:59] [00:10:00] They’re, they’re your guys. So now knowing more about Tiny Habits, I, um, on some things where maybe I can shrink down some of the things, but we always, our goal setting, which is, is part of Tiny Habits too, but what he talks about is his, People fall into the trap of moving their goal further and further out, which is, uh, admirable in a lot of ways, but not always a great idea.
[00:10:28] Um, and to progress forward, you have to have greater achievement, but. The other part of it is, is the dopamine thing of success. When you have success, like it’s important to have goals where you’re gonna hit that goal. He’s gonna do push two pushups every time that he goes to the restroom, right? Like that’s, that’s pretty achievable.
[00:10:50] And I do do a lot of mini goal settings, but I certainly think it’s something that’s in, uh, important. And he talks about like removing obstacles, [00:11:00] like. Like an eating habit. Let’s say you have the habit of you get up in the morning and, and you have your coffee and you, your natural thing is to grab a blueberry muffin out of the refrigerator.
[00:11:14] But instead of doing that, maybe you boil, you know, a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week and every night you set two eggs right next to the coffee maker. Yeah. And you have two hard boiled eggs rather than. You know, grab a cold piece of pizza or you know, something like that. Which some of it is not just creating a habit, but you gotta remove the obstacle or make it easier for yourself.
[00:11:40] That’s sort of what you did in the doorbell example. You set it there and honestly, once I started doing it, it really wasn’t that hard. And I think a lot of it is more the mental aspect of something new. You know, people are always kind of scared of something new. And I think if you just make it easy, like you said, you, you remove some of the obstacles and, and you make it at the top of your [00:12:00] mind, and once you finally do it, it really wasn’t that bad.
[00:12:04] Yeah. Well, I’ll give you an example of, of part of the program that you have me on. So I have the, the neck thing, right. So yeah, we’re fortunate. We have a, we have a gym in our house. But upstairs where we kind of sit and watch tv, we keep a foam roller and a lacrosse ball where it’s just easy to pick it up.
[00:12:23] So right from the start, I got that after I started this book. So I take it and I set it right by where we sort of settle in to watch TV every day. Yes. So it’s staring me in the face. So, I won’t forget because it’s not, you know, in the habit now. I could probably leave it down here at this point. Yeah. Um, down at, by the gym.
[00:12:50] But I don’t, I still, I still take it up there even though I don’t use it there. Yeah. Just cause I, I don’t think I’m far enough along in the habit yet to do [00:13:00] it. It’s, it’s staring me in the face. Um, so, That, that’s just another example of, you know, it is a tiny habit. It’s 15 minutes of working on my posture and I, I sort of get to double dip cause I do meditation music during that time.
[00:13:19] And then you, the other thing I do is, um, like this morning is my walk day. I pick out the podcast, I’m gonna listen to the night before. I don’t want that to be a distraction. I do my to-do list the night before. That’s smart. So I, and that’s sort of how I’m wired anyway, so I’m, I’m kind of fortunate in that too, like, I like to do things on the front end, but there are some things in my life where that becomes an obstacle.
[00:13:48] You remove the obstacles, you make it easier. Um, one of the things like with a lot of my patients, that’s actually good advice. I’m gonna tell them to put that dental in a place where it’s a constant reminder that it needs to be done. [00:14:00] Because in the long run, it is gonna benefit you, but you gotta get in the habit probably of a couple months of doing it before it becomes a permanent habit.
[00:14:07] For those of you out there that don’t know what a denter is, a denter is something that I give a lot of my patients in the office that need help with their posture and their neck, and it’s basically a foam, uh, thing that you lay on the floor and it makes your neck. Curve backwards cuz most people’s necks go forward.
[00:14:24] So most people were trying to get their neck to curve backwards because there’s, there’s misalignments in there and it, when a posture’s forward, it’s more likely to cause degeneration in the neck and pain. If your neck is more upright and backwards, there’s less chance of it degenerating and having pain in there.
[00:14:40] Um, for a lot of my weight loss patients, I found a place close by the office called Nutri Shop, and they make a lot of small meals. A lot of people that are, are having problems losing weights because they don’t meal prep or they don’t know how to meal prep and they’re not prepared for the week. So they may do well and then all of a sudden they didn’t make dinner that night and they [00:15:00] come home from work and there’s nothing there, and they just eat whatever, or they order a pizza and you’ve come right off of those habits.
[00:15:06] Um, me and, and a lot of the patients I do with the weight loss, we buy these little meals, they’re like six bucks. They’re healthy. And they just heat ’em in the microwave for a minute, and now that’s your, your meal. So just say you forgot to make dinner. Now you just go in the fridge and eat that. So again, it removes the obstacles of making it difficult.
[00:15:24] It also, you know, makes your choices to a healthier choice rather than opening up the cabinet or calling the pizza guy and eating something like that. Yeah, it’s, it’s all about tuning it ahead. You know, I think back, like our business, right? This, the business I’m in, like, if you didn’t. Practice and you weren’t, and you’re gonna play the Lakers tomorrow.
[00:15:46] Um, and you didn’t go over things or you didn’t go over things before the game, you would feel extremely unprepared and you would feel vulnerable, right? Yeah. Well, I think the same thing is the, is true of our health. [00:16:00] Like how can we best prepare ourselves to get into that situation? Literally as soon as I put my cup, my coffee, I walk to where I read every morning and before I read, I sit down and I do my 25 pushups.
[00:16:15] And then, um, while I’m reading, while you typically read for an hour. So every 15 minutes I set my alarm and I do 25 crunches. So from the time I poured my coffee, To the time I’ve read for an hour, I’ve done 25 pushups in a hundred app crunches. Yeah. Which at a time is not hard and it gets me outta the chair just long enough to move my body.
[00:16:42] And get back at it. So in the whole thing is an hour and five minute exercise. People refer to it as different things, but uh, I think it’s most common referred to as stacking. That really does make it easier when you put it in, in terms like that. And when. You can couple [00:17:00] those things and stack ’em together like that.
[00:17:02] Uh, I think that’s great advice. Anybody out there listening, you know, couple those things with other things you’re already doing and just make it easier. Make it something that’s attainable quick and easy that you can do. And then you’re right, it, the accumulation of those things adds up. You know that doing that is gonna really help posture, it’s gonna really help your back.
[00:17:20] Um, It’s good to set a timer. It’s hard to remember to get up. You know, so many people work eight hours a day in the computer. It’s hard to remember to get up. Sometimes you get so focused in there, but setting that alarm is a great idea for people to get up and, and move around for a few minutes. It will, it will save you back.
[00:17:37] It’ll save your posture. It’s not just creating a new habit. Oftentimes it’s the supplementation of something good versus something unhealthy. Yes. So is recognizing, okay, I. I have a sweet tooth. Well, here’s all these different times. Well, during the day that I do that, say you got eight of those opportunities [00:18:00] during the day, and you just tackle two of ’em at a time.
[00:18:03] Like I sort of tied it in with the grabbing a muffin versus two eggs in the morning. Right? Like, and my, my wife talks to her clients and, and people about that. To me, you know, I, I don’t really have that issue. Um, Let me just say this. I think if she would probably ha rather have me have substitute a couple bottles of water once in a while versus, um, an adult beverage.
[00:18:28] But you know that that’s a substitution issue, you know? Yeah. So if I wanted to completely quit that, that would be an opportunity, right? So don’t try to tackle the whole problem at once, like figure out a couple things. You can just eliminate. And then, and then it’ll start stacking on top of each other.
[00:18:49] Before we wrap up, I wanted to ask you, you’ve been in the NBA A, you’re gonna be back in the NBA a later this year, coaching. What’s a story that you have, one of your favorite stories [00:19:00] of being in the N B A? What’s the best story that you remember that you could tell our listeners today? Well, I, I think one that makes me laugh the hardest and, and I think it would resonate with a lot of the, Listeners just because they’re, they’re aware of, uh, him and how dominant he was and his personality cuz he is on the other, on a lot of our things.
[00:19:23] But Shaq. And I’m not gonna say the player’s name cuz I, I wanna protect the innocent that we had. But this, it, it’s a pretty funny story of Shaq’s, how dominant and scary he was. So we were playing like on a Tuesday. I don’t know. Say we were playing Charlotte. Yeah. That we didn’t play the Lakers until Sunday when, when Shaq was playing for Lakers.
[00:19:49] But I do know that we played Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. So we’ll call this player Joe. So Joe was one of my guys, said I, I [00:20:00] mentioned earlier. And they come out at a certain time on the clock every time so that you have the court and everybody’s organized and stuff like that. And Joe was a, was a big man, was a center, and he’s not coming out for his time.
[00:20:15] He’s not coming out. So I asked one of our other assistants, Hey, have you seen him? And he said, yeah, he’s in the training room. He’s laying on the training table. Now mind you, this is on Tuesday. We don’t play. So we have that game and two more games before we play the Lakers. And so I go back in the training room and Joe is laying on the training table and I said, Hey man, are you okay?
[00:20:41] Are you sick? Is something wrong? You were fine. That shoot around today, and he’s laying there and he’s almost moaning, and I was like, what’s up? And he goes, man, oh cool. He said, coop, we, we gotta play the big guy on Sunday. It caught me off guard. I [00:21:00] said, what he said? He’s a big guy. You know, Shaq, we gotta put, I said, uh, Joe, we’ll keep protect innocent.
[00:21:09] We got three games between now and playing Shaq, so get your mind right. We’ll worry about Shaq five days from now. But it’s such a funny story to me because it, I’m sure he’s not the only person that ever felt like that that had, but that’s how, what a force of nature. Shaq was, I’m just trying to get through the game.
[00:21:35] Say Charlotte, in the next two games, say it was, you know, new Orleans and San Antonio. Like, let’s tackle the, and it’s very similar to Tiny Habits. Let’s take care of these small things and then we’ll take care of the big thing. It is called Shaquille O’Neill. That’s, it’s a great story. That’s an awesome story, man.
[00:21:57] The crazy thing is to put a bow on it. [00:22:00] When Sunday came, he actually, I’m not gonna say he stopped Shaq. Yeah. But he did as good a job as you could do.
[00:22:12] That’s so cool, man. It’s, um, we, we’ll have to have you on again sometime and, and talk more of these stories from the N B A cuz I, I grew up a Nick’s fan and I still am. And, and you know, through the nineties they were, they were a great team and they haven’t been as good now, but. You know, basketball is such a cool sport and there’s so many big names and household names, um, and you’ve been around a lot of ’em over the years with the teams you’ve been on.
[00:22:36] Um, so we’ll definitely have to have you on again and talk more about some of the stories from the nba. Well, I, I just say this and you’ve probably said that’s a million podcasts, but I’d feel remiss, you know, and I’m not good at it. Being around professional athletes is, you know, we don’t do a great job of always of self maintenance, and you should never wait till the oil light comes on in your car.[00:23:00]
[00:23:00] By the time the oil light comes on, it’s a problem. Right. You know, and I think that’s in general, and my wife talks about that all the time, like, You know, how we treat our bodies now is going to affect us at some point. So, you know not to wait till the oil light comes on because by that time, the, the problems already occurred.
[00:23:22] I really appreciate you being on today. We got some really good content for our listeners. I really appreciate you taking the time today and I’m excited to hear about where you’re gonna end up coaching this year and, uh, I look forward to seeing in the office more this week. Great. Thank you. Thanks so much.
[00:23:38] Thanks. I want to tell everybody out there, I appreciate you listening. If you have any content you want to hear, if there’s something going on, DM me at Sporting Good Posture on Instagram, contact me on Facebook at Ideal Health and Wellness Center. Tell me what’s going on, and I’ll tell you what I think.
[00:23:56] Remember, the coach’s door is always open. [00:24:00] This is Coach Frank. I’m sporting good posture. How about you? The Sporting Good Posture Podcast is a broadcast wellness production powered by Ideal Health Wellness Center, all content copyright 2020, all rights reserved. Executive producer Frank Ardella. Dr.
[00:24:15] Marella appears courtesy of Ideal Health Wellness Center in Franklin. For more information, visit sporting good posture.com and follow Coach on Instagram at Sporting Good Posture. Get on your skin today, Frank. Make some noise man. I have a 50. 15 minute window, then I’m gonna use that. Yeah. On the drums, I, I have to squeeze it in whenever I can.
[00:24:34] So, can’t compete with your guitar collection over there though. Do you have a flying v? I have 20 guitars. I don’t have a flying V, which is something I want. There’s a couple other ones I want, but I started playing the keyboard a few months ago. Yeah. Since I had this downtime, I think my wife was happy about that cuz the noise level has gone way down in the house.