LadyDrinks Confidence Workshop for Kids: Transcript of Interview with NBA Trainer Olin Simplis. May 9, 2020

“It’s not abnormal to have self doubt”

Olin Simplis is a trainer for NBA-level athletes and taught the self confidence and leadership workshop for kids 9 years old up at LadyDrinks

Topics we covered:

→What’s the key to confidence (on and off the basketball court)? Ask yourself, ‘What do you love?’ Find different ways to stay motivated. Have self-discipline, self faith, and self belief. Be a good person.

→Where can you gain an edge? You can look other people who have more talent, more money for tutors. The one thing you can do is outwork: have the self discipline to get up earlier, meeting with teachers and tutors.

→What should be your focus? Focus on the habits. Focus on the process. Not on the end result. Enjoy the journey. Work hard. Have the will to always want a challenge. Confidence lies in the little things you do daily.

→How does failure contribute to confidence? Failure is an opportunity to learn a lesson. It’s not the end. If you come home with a bad grade, take the time to re evaluate and see what habits need to change. With failure comes small successes. What did you learn? If you get frustrated or get down sit in the feeling for while. He doesn’t mind that kids get angry. To him, it signals desire and passion for the activity or sport.

→Enjoy the little successes. Don’t wait for the big wins. Focus on two or three minor details. you can’t accomplish everything at once. Jack of all trades, Master of none. Try to master one thing at a time. Become great at a small few things. Add from there. Give yourself a pat on the back. Take breaks Measure in order to get better

→Olin’s advice for kids: Print out a map of the world. Put a pin where you live. Put on on your fridge. one in your neighborhood. Know that the white space around you is your competition. It’s a huge world. And you are competing on a daily basis. Don’t compete against yourself. There is too much competition in the world.

Full video of interview:

Transcript of interview

Olin Simplis(00:00):

Even at the NBA level, you’d be surprised. I have a lot of NBA guys that, at certain times during the season or sometimes in their career, doubt themselves. And they one of the top 450 players in the entire world. Even at the elite level, even at the highest level, self doubt creeps in. It’s a constant practice to believe in what you’re doing and stay motivated. It’s not abnormal to sometimes have self doubt, but confidence is vital and necessary.

Joya (01:09):

And you said that one of the most important pieces of having confidence is to really have love and to have passion for what you do. Is that something that you preach every single day when you’re, when you’re teaching?

Speaker 1 (01:21):

Alot of times, kids are placed in environments that the parents want to see them succeed. I think it’s very important that whatever career path, whatever school, whatever subject matter, it’s something that you guys are absolutely passionate about. Sometimes it becomes monotonous doing the same thing day in and day out. Find different ways to stay motivated. At the younger age, let’s find your path, let’s find your passion, your niche and then we build out.

Joya (02:27):

I love what you said that players will look at somebody else and say, well, they have more talent or they’re taller or they have more money to be able to get tutors or whatever. And that there’s one thing that you always have available to you that gives you an edge?

Olin (02:45):

Whether it’s basketball or going to class. Everyone works out. Everyone’s studying for tests. What do you do different that no one else can do? You can outwork your competition.

Get up earlier. Meet with your tutors or your teachers and, or if you can’t, Spend more time. It takes a lot of self discipline. Success can be in everyone’s future if you develop that one habit. It sounds simple, but it’s not as easy. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have only 450 guys in the NBA or the two percentage at the top of the food chain, right? Everyone has the ability to outwork, spend more time at whatever it is that you have passion for and just get it done. No excuses.

Joya (04:08):

You can get up earlier, you could study longer, you can stay after school or you could do other things to be able to make up for that.

Olin (04:15):

You have the internet, right? Unbelievable resources. You have YouTube, you have, you have so many different things available to you that can help you overcome whatever it is that you’re missing.

I deal with kids that go to public school environment. I have kids that they go to the private school, some of the best academic institutions in the world. Even to play basketball, you have to put in the grade.

So the kids in the public school, they don’t have the finances to have a tutor for every single subject, but they still need to have the same sat scores or GPA to even obtain a scholarship to whatever universities they may want to go to. So they’re doubling up on their load cause they have to study harder, study smarter, and then they’re spending a lot of time in the gym hours, um, to, to, to, to obtain a basketball scholarship. So, uh, yeah, that’s self-discipline.

Have self belief, you can pretty much do whatever it is you want to do. And I know it sounds cliche, but if you have self discipline and self belief, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. I truly believe that.


So one of the questions we ask today is ‘When is the time that you faced a challenging situation and how did you overcome it?’ Olin, when you have athletes who are faced with this, what do you normally tell them?

Olin (12:13):

Focus on your habits. Focus on the process. Don’t focus on the end result. If you’re doing something daily, some days you’re going to put forth more effort or you may execute certain things on certain days at a faster rate or smoother, but just focus on the habits, the process part. The end goal will always come. Sometimes guys want the end so much that they forget the journey. Enjoy the journey, remember to enjoy the journey.

Joya (12:45):

And what are some of the habits that you’re a fan of, especially when you’re training for something as, as high level as basketball in the NBA?

Speaker 1 (12:53):

Guys that just want to work hard. As simple as that may be. There’s guys that sometimes come to the gym and, and they just want to sit there and just, you know, go with a certain, certain pace. And for me, those aren’t the type of players that I like to work with. You know, I’ve had all stars in my gym, I’ve had guys that don’t get off the bench in my gym. So if I have an all star in the gym that doesn’t work hard, that’s, you know, and not pushing the envelope. And I have someone that doesn’t play, I will take the person that doesn’t play any day of the week. Um, simply because at some point it’ll, it’ll pan out and their efforts will get them what they want.

Speaker 1 (13:39):

I don’t have time. I don’t have the energy to deal with guys that really don’t want to get after it. So for me, it’s just the, I guess, I guess the will to always want to challenge oneself. Right? So like people even ask me, why do I still work with young kids? I’m like, well, that’s where I started. That’s where my passion lies. But if the kids don’t want to work hard, those aren’t the type of clients that inspire me. I want those that are willing to work hard and really get after it.

Joya (15:41):

Olin, what would you say about confidence from the two things that you just heard?

Olin (17:06):

Notice the little things you do on a daily basis. It constantly fills your cup of confidence. Confidence is the little things we do daily to overcome. It’s not one big thing, right? Maybe it’s talking to your teacher. In some people’s eyes. That’s a real simple thing. For another it’s a huge thing, but doing it instills some level of confidence, faith and self worth.

Olin (21:19):

New environments, the unknown, the unknown is always scary. Being a good person, being a good human being can for others, you’ll always attract you know, friends. So once again, it’s just, you know, having self belief in who you are as a person and realizing that, you know, um, I’m a good person and I’m going to attract new friends and get your old friends aren’t going anywhere. So, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy, right? How in all of these areas of your lives and different avenues that we’re referring to, how a level of how confidence just comes into play. So, you know, if you know who you are as a person, you’ll be fine in whatever environment you put yourself in.


I imagine, you know, with athletes that are all in there playing in different stadiums or playing in different cities, that change is always going to be there. So what is the one tip that you offer when people are constantly facing new variables and different auditoriums and stadiums and, and cities?

Speaker 1 (23:28):

Like if I have to like sit with one of my players, meeting an agents. He is going from a gym with sweats to wearing a suit and tie and be in an environment with these agents. Agents take on these million dollar entities and we have to make sure that we’re not only pitching our guys the right way, we have to make sure we’re making the right decision to even go with a certain or particular agent. It can be nerve wrecking if we choose the wrong person

Olin (24:25):

It may affect one of my players career path or if we don’t present my plan in the right light, we may lose out on a good agent. So it’s, you know, I’m constantly in different, different arenas, um, on a, on a daily basis. But once again, it’s just so faith, self-belief and then realizing that if you’re, I, I re I believe this, if you’re a really good person with every thought in the universe is going to come back. So whatever Rena you’re in. So, so faith, self-confidence and just being a good person. So I always have to remind myself, even even at this age, you know, like I’m recently engaged, so this is off topic and sometimes it’s like at 44 I can’t believe I found this woman and my mother sent me with your, you’re a great person. You deserve love, right? Like so even in that, in that realm and that in that era, it’s like at that belief of myself that, Oh, I deserve this. You know, sometimes it’s like, wow, I can’t believe that you know, the person, um, that I’m with it, you know, cause we’re like best friends. So it, no matter what arena you’re in, what part of your life, what, what, just having so faith and self confidence and being a good human, I think, you know, sky’s the limit.

Joya (25:39):

Congratulations on your engagement.

Joya (26:45):

We all know Olin that failure is a big part of success. And when you talk to kids and when you talk to athletes about failure, I think we come at it like we come from a culture where failure is just not even acceptable, but it has to be part of the process, doesn’t it?

Olin (27:06):

It’s a huge part of the process. Failure led to you changing a certain habit. Failure is a lesson, not the end all be all. Being a parent, like I had a kid I put, I put through private school

Speaker 1 (28:03):

So the early age, what I would do with him was he would study on his own. I wouldn’t help him unless I saw him put forth effort. But I also wanted him to fail in my house so I can teach him certain lessons. Like if I always saved them, then how would he be able to handle himself out on his own. So if I saw him studying and putting in the hours and we, and he came back with a grade that we really didn’t want, I was, I would never get upset with him. I would never, you know, punish them or whatever the case may be. That allowed us an opportunity to say, okay, let’s change your study habits because he’s putting in the hours he’s putting in the time. There’s just something missing. So, you know, if you, it allows you to change habits so you can now be successful, you reevaluate yourself. So to me, that’s all failure is an opportunity to reevaluate yourself.

Joya (30:16):

But Olin, I bet that there are times when people fail and they get really in the dumps, like they get really depressed. So what do you tell them when to kind of pull them out of that?

Olin (30:27):

I like when when someone take it to heart, because we know it’s your passion. So I allowed them to sit in it for a little bit. But then it comes to a point where, okay, we have to recoup. I love it when kids get angry. I think we live in a popcorn generation today. Everyone wants it now, wants it fast. I don’t see kids getting upset enough when they don’t accomplish something. I actually like it. It’s welcoming. Now I know you have that desire and if you have the desire, you know, we can work.

Olin (31:15):

I welcome the frustration. I welcome the agitation. I welcome, I welcome, you know, guys getting angry and upset and getting in, getting down. Cause I know I can work with that. We can work with that. Someone that doesn’t care. It is nothing that we can do. If you get frustrated, it’s a good sign. If you get angry, it’s a good sign if you get down, cause you know, that’s something you’re really passionate about. So I welcome it. Now we can’t sit in that area for too long.

I bet taking breaks, Olin is like a really important piece of 62

Speaker 1 (33:06):

You have to enjoy the little successes that you are having along the way. It’s okay to celebrate little successes. Mental burnout, mental fatigue can stall your growth. So you need to give yourself a little vacations throughout the year from whatever it is you’re doing.

There’s nothing wrong with stepping away and then coming back and, and, and try to, uh, finish the task. So stepping away as a perfect thing to do with that time

Joya (38:29):

How do you hold up a mirror to yourself to see, okay, this worked but this work, right? So

Olin (38:41):

I live in an arena where analytics is the end all be all. And so if my guys are successful, my guys are being drafted, my kids are playing varsity basketball, my youth kids are doing well.

Olin (39:42):

So I’m constantly evaluate myself to make sure every one of my clients are getting the best me, but the best me for them, not the best meat for it us for each.

Speaker 3 (40:25):

But I like what you said about measuring, it’s important to measure and look back at the statistics to understand what they’re not, you’re growing.

Speaker 1 (40:33):


Joya (42:13):

Do you ever have that happen, Olin, where someone tells somebody that they aren’t going to be able to be successful

Speaker 1 (42:24):

all the time, but then that, that always comes back to how we got this started. No one can tell you what you can and can’t do. Mmm. About something that you’re passionate about and something you want that you want to do. Right. Like some of the greatest minds on that you guys to know about. Um, I think I haven’t, didn’t go to college was told they weren’t smart. It was told this and that yet. No. Um, they made it, you know, so they’ll never let anyone. I’d never tell a kid they can’t play basketball, but what I can, what I do, that’s why I never speak about the NBA. What I do is I speak about the habits that I’m teaching you in basketball. If you apply to other areas of your life, if you happen to make the NBA great, if you happen to get a college scholarship, right?

Speaker 1 (43:25):

If you haven’t played high school varsity, I never make a promise to a kid because the numbers or what they are like, it’s one in a million. So my thing is instilling habits. So whoever, whoever’s teaching your lesson plan, whoever your tour, they should stay on track, whatever your goal is. But it’s like singing, right? You have to do extra work. You have to seeing guys that are coding have to study it. Where do you make it or not? That’s not my, my job per se. My job is to give you the best chance to make it both during that time. I’m teaching you things along along that journey that’s gonna help you in other areas of your life. So I will never tell someone. And no one should also tell you and no, should you listen that you won’t make it. Like it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s one of those things that, that annoys me and upsets me, so.

Speaker 1 (44:17):

Mmm. Yeah. Just stay on course. They stay in your journey, enjoy the process. So belief, so faith and yeah, there’s going to come obstacles. There’s going to, and people develop at different rates too in different times, right? Like, I don’t know if you guys know who Anthony Davis is. Um, he’s one of the top NBA players in the game. Top five. He was like six one, six two all the way till his junior year in high school. Wasn’t really being recruited. He grew like nine inches that summer. And then he became the thought player in the country. We all have different learning curve. We all have different hats. We all have D where we absorb material different like one day. Mmm. The young lady that’s a singer, maybe singing Craig’s voice crack was, she’ll wake up two months from then. Sound like Adele, you know, like it’s just one of those situations, you just have to continuously put forth the work and understand your journey’s always going to be different than someone else’s and no one should be able to take you off that path.

Joya (47:34):

I feel like a theme that’s coming up across the board here is that sometimes we’re really hard on ourselves. So what’s some advice for people then when they’re just being, they’re just kind of beating themselves up a little bit too much,

Speaker 1 (47:46):

Enjoy the small successes. If you view it like, I, I failed. That’s not how I would view that. I would look at it as though like I learned, because even in the path, the way you were doing it, you were still helping people.

Speaker 1 (48:43):

You found out through trial and error how you can help more. So that’s a, that’s a success. If you ended up becoming a professor one day, you’re, you’re learning how to deal with different demographics. so that’s a success. That’s not a failure. We have to learn how to look at what exactly is a failure. Do you know? And a lot of times a failure is just a lesson. That’s why I like using the term failure in certain instances.

Speaker 1 (49:29):

I have a player now and we in the past month and a half, he’s become so much better as a basketball player, but there’s areas in his game that he hasn’t seen growth. Well, I told him we haven’t targeted those areas. I’m a huge stickler for focusing on two or three minor details every off season. You can’g accomplish everything at once.

Olin (50:32):

You know, there’s a term Jack of all trades, master of none. I’m huge on mastering a couple little things over the year and now you become greater, faster, right? Like with a more, but if you try to do so much at once, you’re really not going until you become good. We want to be great at a couple things. Then once we master it, you add a couple more things. So focusing on a small little things and accepting those successes. And I had to remind, remind this one player because he has a chance to be drafted next year, you’ve made such huge progress in the two areas we focused on whether you don’t do anything else, the rest of this off season, when you go back to college next year, those two years are going to affect you greatly. And so he was focused on the areas that he hasn’t gotten better at us, so we didn’t focus on those if we did, you know. So focus on the small things and enjoy it and, and you know, give yourself a Pat on the back. It’s okay to say, Hey, I did it. You know,

Joya (51:29):

Olin, any last thoughts for this group?

Olin (53:44):

I asked each kid to print out a map of the entire world. Put a dot, a star or where you live. Put one on your fridge, put one in your notebook. The white area is your competition. That puts it into some perspective, why the term ‘outwork’ is so important to me. Every day, you see this huge world you’re competing on a daily basis.

Speaker 1 (54:38):

You don’t ever want to compete against yourself. So that’s where anger or self doubt comes from. There’s too much competition in this world and you don’t have time to compete against yourself. Look at it and you realize you’re competing against everyone. Especially in my field basketball, it’s not just the States. And we’ve got European players, players from Africa, like we have players all over. So that one little doc put a dot on that map. Have it on your fridge and you look at it every day

Speaker 1 (55:25):

It’s simple. But when you look at it and you continue to look at you like it’s, it does something to you. Print out a map of the world of blank. Put it on your paper and just put it back where you live and the surrounding areas is your competition.

Speaker 3 (56:14):

I love that. Thank you so much for your time today, everybody. Thank you for coming and spending an hour with us on Saturday. Can everybody say thank you Olin? Take care of your mothers. Yes. Happy mother’s day to your moms. Thanks for everybody. Thank you Olin. Thank you.

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