Kofi Edusei is the Founder and Head Skills Trainer at Product of the Process Basketball Training. As his playing days came to an end, he focused his attention to coaching, adopting the nickname, “Coach K.” He has coached various levels of competitive basketball from Middle school to High School and AAU for NYC’s historic, Riverside Hawks program. At Product of the Process, Coach K focuses on the need for individual, fundamental skill development.
You can read an overview of the interview with Kofi Edusei or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q: Tell us a little about what you're working on at the moment at Product of the Process?
A: Everything at Product of the Process is fundamentals base, effort based, and drive based. Everyone’s journey is different. So when people come into the gym, they come in with no expectations except to improve. So currently I’m working on the development of my current client base, to try to expand a little further out to different regions of the US .
Q: What is the vision and mission behind Product of the Process?
A: Well it started off as a basketball coach high school basketball coach. And that year I had pretty good players and I had some pretty average players as well. And I noticed that the very strong players were the driving force of the team and at any time something could happen whether it be injury, whether it be something happening at school, so I needed to rely on every player on my team. So what I realized was with that difference of level, that there was an opportunity to help develop those ones that were a little bit behind to help them feel more confident as well, so that's why Product of the Process started. It's not for the season veterans. It's not for the ones that are already strong and complete basketball players. It's for the other guys that want feel like they're part of the team too.
Q: Tell us a story about one of your proudest moments in your coaching career?
A: In my coaching career, I guess I would say my very first year of coaching basketball it's kind of hard to make that transition from player to coach. So I was getting pushed into the direction of coaching and I didn't really know whether I wanted to do it. That year I had a very strong basketball player on my team. Right now he's currently playing at the University of Minnesota, Isaiah Washington, and he made it really easy for me to transition into coaching because I didn't really have to focus on him. I knew he was a strong leader and I could kind of focus on the other guys. That year we were pretty successful. We went to the New York City championship for the Middle School league. Unfortunately we didn't close the deal, but that's when I knew that I was going to be able to impact the youth and that I was going to have my footprint on the game of basketball.
Q: Tell us a story about some of the challenges you faced in your coaching/athletic career and how you overcame them, or maybe you still are?
A: Just like the players, coaches also sometimes have a little bit of self doubt and they wonder if they are doing the right thing for the players. So like I tell my players basketball has a lot of peaks and valleys, and it's a marathon not a race. So when you have those low moments just being able to weather the storm whether it be a four-game losing streak, whether it be your best player getting suspended, whether it be parents on your back worried about their child's playing time or lack thereof or the production or direction of the team, those are some of the major pitfalls that I have been able to overcome so far.
Q: What do you think has been the key to your success that other coaches could learn from?
A: I think one of the keys is you have to stay in your own lane. You have to be realistic about what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. You have to assess what it is that you're setting out to do. If you're in this business to try to make money you already got one foot out the door. Is there money to be made? Absolutely. But it's not really about that. It's about the children and if you're genuine about what your expectations and your goals are, you'll be able to tailor-make any kind of plan to satisfy anybody that comes in through your door...
Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration in your coaching and sporting career?
A: ...Looking at coaching, I looked at a lot of local coaches in the city as well and they've been helpful to me... There's a number of them that have helped mold me and I appreciate all of them...
Q: How do you think technology is changing the way you work and coach?
A: Oh it's amazing. For example using the Upper Hand app that helps me a great deal because it's a great organizational tool. It helps me to legitimize my business. What it does for me is it acts as my own assistant. So I can create a database of our clients, I can create target markets, and inform them of camps or clinics... It helps me to receive payments and send out invoices...So it makes me instead of like one man, like 10,000.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring coaches who are just starting out and maybe thinking about starting a training business of their own?
A: Do your homework and stay true to yourself... You also have to assess what it is that you're good or great at, and you have to just push it. So if you're a great ball-handler, you teach all the ball handling. If you're a great shooter, you teach all the shooting. If you're just athletic as heck, you can go out there you can show them how to be the best athlete. You have to find what your niche is and be realistic in that and sit down and just figure out how you can teach that. Some things are going to come from yourself, most things are going to come from going out there and doing your research and doing your homework. So don't be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of people that have an abundance of wisdom and they're just waiting for somebody to come over there and ask them...