Brendan Suhr on Coaching U


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By Brian Levenson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Brendan Suhr is one of the most respected figures in basketball, as he has nearly 30 years of coach and executive experience in the NBA, as well as 13 seasons as a coach at the collegiate level. He has been part of some of the most historical basketball teams of all time, while winning back-to-back championships with the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, also working as an assistant coach on the 1992 Dream Team. Brendan has also worked for hall of fame coaches such as Chuck Daly, Hubie Brown, and Lenny Wilkins. Today, Brendan works with people in the corporate world. Brendan is someone who cares deeply about relationships and pouring all of the wisdom he has learned over the years into coaches and, in turn, into the basketball community.

In this episode, we discuss what life was like for Brendan growing up (5:55), the values he got from his parents (11:04), the value of education (14:13), range/specialization in education (19:07), why not to go too narrow in studying specialties (22:07), what it was like to have Hubie Brown as his high school head coach (24:50), how Brendan’s “presence” developed over time (28:28), what Hubie saw in Brendan that made it so Hubie wanted Brendan to help him just 10 years after coaching him (31:17), taking advantage of every opportunity that came his way (35:45), the commonalities Brendan found amongst the great coaches he’s played for and worked with (39:27), the differences between those coaches (41:05), how he stayed true to who he was while still “stealing” attributes from the other great coaches he was around (44:53), why he went in his own direction and considers himself a “softer” coach (48:57), serving others and serving oneself (53:21), how he and Chuck navigated working with the Pistons and the Dream Team differently (55:50), how Rick Mahorn navigated and changed who he was on and off the court (58:25), anger (59:50), what made the Pistons great (1:02:35), the expectations for the Dream Team and how that played into the coaches’ messaging to the players (1:07:08), what makes a great assistant coach (1:14:44), what it means to be coachable (1:16:56), Coaching U and MindVue (1:24:21), and what drives Brendan today.

You can follow Brendan on Twitter @BrendanSuhr. Additionally, you check out Coaching U’s website here, as well as follow Coaching U on Twitter @Coaching_U. Lastly, you can visit MindVue’s website here.

Thanks so much to Brendan for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.


224 episodes