Peter Hoffman 24.06.12

Peter has been involved in basketball for over 35 years of his life. He has nearly 11 years of professional playing experience combined with over 15 years of head coaching experience.

Born and raised in Midland Michigan USA. Peter played NCAA Div 2 college basketball for Michigan Technological University, graduating in 1993. Peter was named Div. 2 All American averaging 24 points per game during his last two years, the only  player in school history to have over 1800 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, and 100 steals during his 4 year career.

After graduating Peter moved to Denmark to play professionally where he played for Horsens IC,  winning the Danish Championship twice, and league MVP title. Peter played professionally in Austria, Malta, Spain and France. While in France Peter played for Addecco Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne, wining the French League and Cup Championships as well as helping them qualify to the Euroleague quarterfinals, only to lose to CSKA Moscow. Peter finished his playing career playing for Los Barrios in the LEB Gold from 2002-2004.

After finishing his playing career, Peter turned to coaching U16 and U18 teams leading his team to the Danish Championship in 2006. During these same year (2004-2007) Peter was named National Team coach for Denmark’s U16 and U18 teams.  In 2010 Peter was named Head Coach of Denmark’s A-National Team leading them to the C-group European Championship in Malta. Currently Peter is helping rebuild Denmark’s national team program so they can participate in the next European Championship and is the current Head Coach of the Danish National U18, U20 and Senior Men’s National Teams.

Read below as Future Stars catches up with Peter Hoffman ahead of this year’s Future Stars tournament on the development of young Danish players:

What would I define as a success at this summer’s U18 A group European Championships?

I guess it would be easy to say that winning now would be a success, and if we can win a game or two it would be a success. Other people would say staying up would be a success. But for me, moving back down would not mean failure either. I am most concerned about us being able to compete at that level. If we can compete with the necessary intensity, discipline, and tempo and remember to do the things that we practice then I believe the winning and losing will take care of itself.

How important part of our preparation is the future stars tournament?

Very important actually. Every time we play, no matter who it is, gives us a chance to help us build our chemistry and timing. It also helps us to find out who we are as team, not only what we can, but maybe more importantly what we can’t. Future stars is one of our last tournaments so it will be important for us to play good.

How good are conditions in the Danish league for young Danish players to further develop their talent? 

That depends on the environment they are in. Some clubs have excellent coaches and really focus on the development of younger players and are very successful while others clubs are more traditionally more result oriented. In general I suppose the Danish league has the same problems as other countries. If we are talking internationally, the Danish league has really improved over the last many years, but compared to the rest of Europe it still has a way to go. Unfortunately basketball is not the number 1 sport or even number 2. That means we lack the sufficient talent, finances, resources, and education of coaches to really take the next step.

Why is it so difficult for younger players to make an impact on Euroleague teams or Eurocup teams? 

Euroleague teams are the best that Europe has to offer. Simply put they are the top of the basketball pyramid. Successful players on that level are considered specialists and experts within their field. Simply put the success that coach Ivkovic was able to attain in Greece is amazing and more the exception to the rule. For example, if we say that the Euroleague is the best of the best and that a player must be at an expert level in order to compete on that level. Well, in order for a player to achieve that intuitive expert status, there are nearly 10,000 hours of practice that need to achieved. If we break things down that means in rough numbers that a player would need to practice 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 10 years in a row. Knowing what we know dealing with age related training and what young kids are able to comprehend, that magical number is very difficult to achieve in ten years, 15 years is more likely. However those fifteen years also depend on the environment the player develops in. They depend on the quality of coaching, family, friends, school, and teammates.

What are the most important factors allowing young players to develop into successful professional players? 

Being in an elite environment is extremely important. If a player grows up outside the normal regiments he will often at times not have the same level of teammates to push him day in and day out. Motivation will then become an issue. Training sessions will not be optimal in quality of coaching or in the amount of hours a week the player has at his disposal in relation to gym time. An elite environment is one that has a winning culture, winning attitude, and a winning mentality. It’s an environment that has well educated coaches and a clear game plan as to how to develop players. The coaches are ambitious, energetic, and inspirational. An elite environment is also one that has a special training culture that players want to train every day because they like it and not because they feel they have to. It’s an environment that helps create self-motivated players and creating self-motivated players should be the goal of every youth coach.