Up & Coming NBA Trainer Dustin VanLieu Aims To Develop The Next Generation Of Athletes & Trainers
Today we’d like to introduce you to Dustin VanLieu.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I appreciate you guys for taking the time. I got started training after playing ball in college, taking advantage of an opportunity to move to Orlando, FL where I was able to work with guys like Chandler Parsons & former NBA Champion DeShawn Stevenson. Then I’m 2014 I moved back to New York and started my own training company called GymRatz Performance. Since then I have traveled the country, assisting and working with some of the best college and pro athletes in the world including Jayson Tatum, Tyler Herro, Mac McClung, Kia Vaughn, Chuck Harris, Kendrick Ray and many more. Currently I’m on tour with NBA Trainer Drew Hanlen doing a series of clinics around the country with GymShark as well as looking to expand operations in NY. And this is still just the beginning.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
As you can imagine, it’s difficult to get the respect of professional athletes when you never played at that level yourself. I played for the #1 NJCAA school in the country, finishing 3rd in the National Championship and went on to play briefly in the ABA, but for the most part, higher level athletes would still look at me and say “what can this guy really teach me?”. But by developing an elite skill set myself, being able to demonstrate & teach specific skills and concepts that the greatest players on the planet struggle with along with diving into film and analytics, I’ve been able to help athletes transform their games which has ultimately led to more respect, word-of-mouth and a strong reputation in the basketball community.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I personally specialize in situational skills. I analyze an athletes inefficiencies based on film and analytics along with where their opportunities are coming from. For example, if an athlete gets 30% of their scoring opportunities in “spot up” situations and is only shooting 28%, I dig into that film and find out why they are so inefficient and establish a custom plan to improve their performance in those situations. A lot of athletes spend their time working on skills that don’t translate to the opportunities their getting in games. They’ll work on a bunch of ball handling and iso moves even though they may find themselves getting iso opportunities less than 2-5% of the time during the season. It’s an inefficient use of their time and energy. But not with me. Our work will translate to in-game results.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Goals without a plan are just dreams. To turn a dream into a realistic, obtainable goal, you need to create a PLAN! A plan that has actionable steps you can take in order to achieve the success you’re looking for!
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success to me is accomplishing goals. A lot of people will be more cliche, saying things like “success is happiness” or something along those lines. But they don’t specify what it takes to achieve happiness. I believe the more accomplished we feel on a daily basis, the happier we are because the more successful we feel.
What’s next for you?
Outside of continuing to travel the world and expanding business in New York, I’m going to dive more into consulting and mentoring. The training and coaching industry is becoming increasingly competitive and I want to assist the next generation of trainers, not just athletes, achieve success in the basketball world.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
I respond to almost all messages on my Instagram! Shoot me a DM anytime; my IG is coachdjv.