OMYBA Spotlight - Coach Jack Lutzeier
For this month’s OMYBA Spotlight we speak with Coach Jack Lutzeier. Jack oversees the instruction of our Orlando Magic youth basketball camps and The National Basketball Academy’s Jr. Magic League.
Coach Jack, how have you and your family stayed healthy and active during self-quarantine?
We are an active family to start, so trying to quarantine with a two and four year old, as well as two active adults, has been a task. We have found multiple projects around our home (sodding our yard) that have taken some physical fitness. We also turned our garage into a workout area and venture on daily walks, runs and bike rides.
How do you plan to adapt your coaching strategies to regulations in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
There is only so much change that can be made. We have always made sure campers used good hygiene techniques and have made sure campers and staff attending weren't sick/had symptoms before attending a program. Additionally, we always clean our camp equipment daily. Going forward we will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and increase our equipment cleaning frequency.
What skills can parents expect their children to learn during an Orlando Magic youth basketball camp?
We teach a lot of basketball at the camp: skills stations, concepts, footwork, defense, passing, shooting, etc. However, some of the things we pride ourselves with at our camps are building future leaders, teaching players to think proactively, work as a unit, and get the most out of themselves and the situations they are presented with. Another fun aspect of our camps is how we are teaching our athletes to prepare better for sports through time management, nutrition, etc. We also have aspects of our camps that help with reaction time and critical thinking. In all, our camps aren't just basketball camps, they are leadership factories.
We are excited to announce our first ever virtual camps this summer! What can participants expect from a virtual platform, and what excites you most about this new opportunity?
Participants can expect a way to continue to improve their skills and their game while practicing the safest standard of social distancing. Although some aspects can't be covered such as five vs. five games, campers can look forward to improving their individual skills to take back to the court when facilities open back up. After coaching camps across the globe for 13 years, this is a new realm for everyone. I am excited to hit this new frontier optimistically and to learn different ways we can really connect with players all over.
We are hopeful to return our traditional camps platform by the end of the summer. What excites you most about getting back in to the gym?
There is nothing our world needs more at this time than to have a sense of community. Virtual school, camp, etc. is a great alternative for the moment, however we need the connection to our community so that is what I most look forward to. Teaching the game is my passion and part of that is the high fives and the goofy nuances that happen at a camp that build lifelong relationships and memories. I look forward to the Wednesday struggle of sore muscles and the feeling of accomplishment on a Friday when we know as a staff that we have helped countless players get better at their craft and for those campers to have the sense of accomplishment for working hard and finishing a great week.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I enjoy the teaching and relationship building part of coaching the most. I have had campers who come back to coach in our program and campers who have gone on to play in the NBA/WNBA and are leaving their mark on the game. I have a sense of pride that I take on the court to teach players that when they leave they look back and say, "wow, I can't believe how much I have learned this week." I guess at the core, I'm simply a teacher of the game.
Did you participate in youth sports growing up? What sports did you enjoy playing most?
I played every sport growing up and was actually more into skiing (snow skiing) when I was younger. I loved teams sports, though, as I feel it adds a different element than other sports that can relate to the bigger picture of life.
Outside of coaching youth basketball, what is your favorite summer-time activity?
I don't have a summer activity; I am literally in the gym every day from 6a.m. - 9p.m. during the summer and have been that way for the last 13 years. However, outside of the game of basketball, I enjoy a multitude of things, such as traveling, reading, bike rides, etc. I am blessed to have an active family, so I love spending as much time with my wife and two boys as possible. My favorite thing to do outside of basketball is just be with my family.
Do you have any additional advice for young players who want to continue improving their games while at-home this summer?
Don't make an excuse! Although all excuses are valid and justifiable, no one will care in the long run. There will always be the player who finds a way to overcome and improve and there is no reason that player can't be you. Additionally, you don't have to make astronomical improvements every day, you simply need to continue growing and gaining those small improvements over time and allow them to become a big impact on your game.