SFIA Member Spotlight – I Train Fundamentals

From college to pro basketball, I Train Fundamentals highlight their Defensive Slide Bar product and how it improves a player’s defensive skills.
Spotlight On: I Train Fundamentals

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Coach Lionel Hollins, CEO and founder

What is I Train Fundamentals?

I Train Fundamentals LLC is a sports performance company that provides resources for athletes and coaches, through developmental tools, camps, and coaching clinics, to equip them with basic fundamentals for building a foundation that allows them to maximize the full potential of their abilities.

When were you founded? What inspired you to create such a product?

In August of 2015, as Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Lionel Hollins developed a prototype for a long-time idea he had for a training device that would help his NBA players improve their fundamentals for defense.

Now known as the Defensive Slide Bar, the Brooklyn Nets’ team used the training device during training camp and preseason practices at the start of the 2015-16 NBA season.   During the Nets’ training camp, Brooklyn spent part of the time practicing at Duke University in North Carolina.  After seeing the Nets’ players use the training device, Duke University’s Associate Director for Sports Performance, Will Stephens, purchased 15 Defensive Slide Bars to use with Duke’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The impact the bar had with both professional and college athletes, additional inquiries from other basketball coaches about the Defensive Slide Bar, and Lionel’s desire to help other coaches and athletes improve upon their fundamentals provided the motivation for the formation of I Train Fundamentals.

Since the fall of 2015, Lionel has been working with a team behind the scenes to do patent research, additional product testing and development, and setting up the framework for I Train Fundamentals LLC.

I Train Fundamentals LLC official public launch was on March 30, 2017, at the NABC Marketplace in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix, Arizona.   It was here that the Defensive Slide Bar was introduced.

The Company was officially formed on February 17, 2017 and is headed by Lionel Hollins and Angela Hollins as Principals.

What does the Defensive Slide Bar exactly do?

The Defensive Slide Bar is a portable device that helps train athletes to use the correct techniques for basketball defense, including defensive slides, stances and close outs.  The Defensive Slide Bar highlights correct footwork technique and encourages development of strength in your thighs and groin area, to improve quickness for defending the ball handler. With repetition, the Defensive Slide Bar promotes muscle memory, which may increase an athlete’s ability to react naturally and quickly to any offensive movement while on defense.

Who is your target market? / Are you looking to expand to other sports?

The Company’s target markets are as follows:

ITF’s primary target market is head basketball coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and basketball players in the United States ages 12 and up.

ITF’s secondary market consists of non-basketball coaches and athletes that utilize lateral and slide shuffle movements and want to increase footwork.  (i.e. volleyball, football, baseball)

How many teams/coaches are using this product today?

The number of teams, coaches and athletes that are using the bar increases daily.  We currently have teams at the Division I, Division II, NAIA, high school and AAU levels using the bar.

Can you explain how the slide bar helps improve your defensive stance?

The Defensive Slide Bar prevents the user from bringing their feet together when doing a defensive slide and therefore helps reduce vertical oscillation.

How is this product unique from other products on the market?

We do not know of any other product that exists on the market like the Defensive Slide Bar.  While there are plenty of options for resistance bands with ankle cuffs, the center tube in combination with the resistance band is the distinguishing feature of the product.

Do you have any other training products in the works?

We have one other product in the early stages of development.

Do you have any partnerships?

While we are working with a variety of folks behind the scenes, we have yet to announce any formal partnerships.  In the next few months we will be conducting a validation study and will announce that partnership once the findings are released.

Can you offer any client testimonials of I Train Fundamentals or the Defensive Slide Bar?

As the sports and performance coach at Duke University I use the Defensive Slide Bar with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for strength training. I use it in our off-season agility/basketball footwork training. I also use it in some of our lifting sessions and it has been beneficial for use during rehab with some of the players. I absolutely love the Defensive Slide Bar and will be ordering more. It is a device every coach should have to teach proper footwork/movement training. – Will Stephens (Associate Director of Sports Performance Men’s & Women’s Basketball Sports Performance Coach Duke University)

Where do you see I Train Fundamentals in 5 years?

There are two primary objectives for I Train Fundamentals LLC.  The first objective is establishing a training facility in Memphis where coaches and athletes can come together to learn and perform the proper fundamentals of sports and of basic life skills.  The second objective is through the development of more training products, like the Defensive Slide Bar, that can be distributed to athletes and coaches worldwide.  In the next five years, we hope to have the beginning phases of a facility underway and to see the Defensive Slide Bar being utilized by the majority of college and high school teams across the country.

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