Hi I am Coach Oderah! Working at UPBasketball has been nothing but a joy these past few months. Before I started working as a trainer here I was working out with the UPBasketball as a player. I met Packie Summer of 2017, right when I graduated from Duke University and finished playing in the WNBA for the Atlanta Dream. I was preparing to go overseas for my first season in Europe when I heard about an up and coming new trainer in the Bay Area. As an Oakland native, I was excited to work with someone as elite as Packie is within my own backyard. Over the years I have been working out with UPBasketball and watched it grow in innovation. I am happy to be a part of such an elite program.
Before the shutdown, I was playing basketball professionally in Belarus on a competitive EuroCup team. As my teammates and I were preparing to enter the playoffs mid-March, we were checking the news all around Europe. We stood by and watched as other European countries started postponing seasons. The Belarus Basketball Federation ensured us that we would continue playing with a few modifications for our safety; there would be no fans in the stands and the federation developed plans to modify the playoff schedule from a 5 game series to a 3 game series. We continued to practice with little to no information on what was to happen in the near future. Eventually the federation cancelled the season and we were all sent home shortly after.
After I quarantined for 2 weeks in the Bay Area, I started working at UPBasketball. Sharing my love of the game and learning a different point of view has been a very insightful experience. I see the game in a new light. As a player, I react on what is given to me. I make split decisions based off of quick reads without doing much thinking. As a trainer, I am more focused on the why and explaining how to see you certain reads. I like to create scenarios on how to approach the game. It has been a fun learning curve from playing the game to teaching the game. At UPBasketball, I love learning from Ruta and Packie on their teaching styles and the language they use to motivate and guide players.
One of my favorite parts of this transition is that I am able to develop my own learning style. I can take all of my favorite past experiences and tools that helped me along the way and use it to create my own distinctive style. We all know what we like and didn’t like from different coaches, trainers and experiences along the way. I try and use all those experiences to create a program that helped me. At the end of the day my goal for my clients is to help them find joy in the game appreciate the process of working hard at something until you get it.
There’s one particular exercise Clair Steele will never forget from UPB. And that’s Packie’s famous five-minute plank that would be thrown in at the end of workouts. Clair Steele used to dread those planks.