'SLANG MAGAZINE - Issue 1 - Feature Interview: Coach Ron Guillaume, Jr. "Turning Up the Intensity"
With a new season comes a new way to enjoy BOOMSLANG basketball!
Along with professional play-by-play broadcasts of various winter match-ups on 'The Boom Mic' and our game photo feature capturing the season's most thrilling moments titled 'Nice Shot!', we're introducing another fun way to enjoy the exciting action all season long in a new media feature we're calling 'SLANG Magazine. The new feature will provide more in-depth coverage of BOOMSLANG basketball and we're excited to get started with 'SLANG Magazine - Issue 1' including this exclusive interview with Head Coach Ron Guillaume, Jr. and more! As we begin our Winter League season, enjoy getting to know Coach Ron beyond the X's & O's in a fun Q & A kicking off the debut issue of:
Turning Up The Intensity - An Interview with Coach Ron Guillaume, Jr.
SOME of the most memorable moments over the course of a BOOMSLANG season take place on the sidelines in the heat of competition where only the players and coaches are within earshot. Whether it's a player getting called to the sideline for in-game instruction, coaches lobbying referees for a call, or a funny observation shared by a player in the team huddle - these moments make for a very entertaining season and keep Coach Ron having fun while keeping the team focused on their goal at hand. No matter the circumstance, Coach Ron makes sure the team is moving in the right direction with strategy adjustments, words of encouragement, life lessons and plenty of motivation along the way. Coach Ron recently sat down with'SLANG Magazine to share his thoughts on the upcoming season:
Coach Ron on the BOOMSLANG sideline in the program's debut season.
'SLANG: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for our debut issue of 'SLANG Magazine, Coach Ron. Let's start with what it was that drew you to the game of basketball. How old were you when you started playing and can you tell us a bit about your playing career?
Coach Ron: I was first introduced to basketball through my older cousin. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time and my aunt thought it was something I would enjoy. It all started from there. I played in a city league at that time. From there I ended up playing for a different Stamford youth team. I also played at the Stamford YMCA everyday after school for hours. From age 10-15, I played on travel teams with players of high skill levels and traveled to surrounding cities. Every summer was consumed with basketball whether I was practicing at home or finding open gyms with friends. In high school, I started out on the freshman team and eventually earned a spot on the varsity team as a sophomore. That summer I played on an AAU basketball team where I traveled around the tri-state area and played in Nationals in Florida. After high school, I went on to play a few years at the college level where I increased my knowledge of the game.
'SLANG: What was your experience like playing AAU basketball, as your team is now doing with BOOMSLANG?
Coach Ron: I was a lot older when I started playing AAU basketball. AAU basketball was some of the best times and experiences in my life. Getting to travel with my teammates was a lot of fun and I am still good friends with a lot of them.
'SLANG: Were you the type of player that would set goals ahead of the season and if so, what sort of goals did you set for yourself?
Coach Ron: My goals were always to work on the skills that could help me get to the next level. I would pinpoint skills that needed work and focus on them. For example: Playing lock-down defense. I always wanted to defend the best player. I also focused on grabbing rebounds, jumping higher, improving left-handed layups and being crafty with the basketball.
'SLANG: Prior to BOOMSLANG, which other programs did you coach for along the way? What type of success did you have before BOOMSLANG was lucky enough to have you running the show?
Coach Ron: I taught a lot of fundamental classes at the Stamford Jewish Community Center and coached Stamford Peace City League and Stamford Peace AAU teams of all ages and grades. My most recent success [prior to Boomslang] was with a Stamford Peace 5th grade boys team. We went undefeated and took home the championship.
Coach Ron goes over second-half strategies with his team leading at halftime.
'SLANG: What is it about coaching that you enjoy the most?
Coach Ron: Watching the players grow and learn. I love being able to help a young player grow confidence in the game.
'SLANG: What was it like coaching BOOMSLANG last spring, the program's debut season?
Coach Ron: It was fun! Even with the losses I knew that the experience would help them be successful. A lot of the girls were just getting into basketball, so we focused on fundamentals and really tried to teach them the importance of teamwork.
'SLANG: In the fall season, your team won seven more games than they did in spring, including the team's first tournament championship! Was there anything about the preparation or practices that helped make such a difference?
Coach Ron: Each game we were able to pinpoint the skills that needed some refining and worked on them at practice. The more they played together, the more the girls trusted each other and really began working together as a team.
'SLANG: What was it like for you on the sideline when the team won the Zero Gravity Connecticut Showdown championship game?
Coach Ron: Honestly? Nerve-wracking. But I was proud of the girls for their hard work and for not giving up.
'SLANG: Championships are always fun. Did any losses from these past two seasons stand out as particularly hard to get over?
Coach Ron: Every loss is difficult, but I believe in our girls and I see how hard they work in practice and in games. I am proud that they never let a loss discourage them and they always learn something from each game.
Coach Ron discusses strategy with Isla, Molly and Violet during a timeout.
'SLANG: Half of the spring team returned for fall and this winter, the team will be made up of roughly 70% returning players. How do you go about mixing new players with those who have experience playing together?
Coach Ron: Just making sure that the new girls feel welcomed and part of the team. I also like to get to know the new players and their skill set, so that I can put them in a position that will really help them flourish.
'SLANG: What new challenges do you have in store for winter seeing as more than half the team will be in their third season playing for you?
Coach Ron: Now that we're going into our third season, I plan on really stepping up the intensity. Working on defense, incorporating new plays including inbound plays, and improving our shooting, layups and passing. My biggest goal is to really push the girls to improve their overall confidence level and awareness on the court.
'SLANG: How is BOOMSLANG different from other programs you've coached?
Coach Ron: Honestly, I don’t have as much experience coaching girls as I do coaching boys. These girls are feisty and aggressive, which is a lot of fun! The majority of the girls are fairly new to the sport which is also a big change for me. It has forced me to alter my approach in some ways but ultimately, it has helped me become a better coach overall.
Coach Ron determines player substitutions out of a timeout in the final minutes of the game. (L-to-R: Olivia, Violet, Isla, Nellie, Coach Ron)
'SLANG: You've mentioned before you watch a lot of basketball. Do you prefer watching college basketball or professional basketball? Do you have a favorite team in either?
Coach Ron: I watch all levels of basketball, from high school to college to professional. I just love the game. Growing up, I loved Syracuse because of their full-court press and their passion on the court. Some of my favorite players include Charles Barkley, Baron Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Magic Johnson, O.J. Mayo and Lance Stephenson.
'SLANG: You've also mentioned you watch basketball with the TV muted. Why is that?
Coach Ron: To pay attention to how the players move on the court. Sometimes you view the game differently without the commentary.
Coach Ron covers crossover dribbling techniques with Zoe in the pregame warm-up.
'SLANG: What are your goals for this upcoming season of BOOMSLANG basketball?
Coach Ron: Increasing the intensity, creating long-lasting memories and building on the foundation of our team.
'SLANG: Any final thoughts to share with players, parents or fans reading this interview?
Coach Ron: Thanks for supporting our mission and trusting us to teach the girls the love of basketball.
'SLANG: Thank you, Coach Ron! Looking forward to seeing the team in action this winter! 'S
'Tis The Season
MARK your calendars - we're thrilled to announce the first part of BOOMSLANG's Zero Gravity Winter League game schedule! Note: The game time for Saturday, January 14 has been updated and the Sunday, December 4th match-up is being rescheduled.
Date Time Opponent Location
Rescheduling: Sunday, December 4 vs Riverside Hawks
Saturday, December 17 2:30pm vs Greenwich Stars @ The Leffell School, Hartsdale, NY
Sunday, December 18 8:00am vs Born Leaders @ House of Sports, Ardsley, NY
Sunday, December 18 10:00am vs Riverside Hawks @ The Leffell School, Hartsdale, NY*
*Scheduled broadcast to air on 'The Boom Mic'
Saturday, January 14 9:05am vs Grey Wolves @ The Leffell School, Hartsdale, NY*
*Scheduled broadcast to air on 'The Boom Mic'
The remainder of the Winter League schedule will be released around New Year's Eve. 'S
OUR ability to pass the ball and work the ball around well on offense will be a key component to having success this Winter League season. As the team focuses on further developing their passing skills at this Friday's practice, here are a few of the best images of our BOOMSLANG players dishing the ball to each other! Outside of team practices, if you find yourself shooting around to get some extra work in, don't forget to include some practice bounce passes and chest passes in between those layups and jump shots!
IT'S A GIFT!
LOOKING for those last few holiday gifts? Might we suggest our selected Featured Item of the Month? The BOOMSLANG Ugly Sweater! Perfect for sitting in the bleachers this winter league season, getting your boss' attention on those end of the year all-staff Zoom conference calls, and more - dress to impress or compete in an ugly holiday sweater contest and bring home the W! Treat yourself or finish off your holiday shopping list by clicking here! The team shop is full of fun BOOMSLANG items for everyone you know. (Seriously. Literally, everyone)
Thank you for reading'SLANG Magazine - Issue 1. More installments to come! Keep an eye out for information regarding the remainder of our Winter League schedule - save the dates and times of games confirmed and listed above and as always, let's go BOOMSLANG! 'S