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Testimonials

 

 

Dave Iwan, Father of Zach Iwan:
This is the third year my son Zach, who is now 10, has trained with Rich. When I decided to send Zach to a basketball trainer, I was looking for someone who not only knew basketball but was also good with young kids and could teach them the right way. He started in the FUNdamentally Sound session once a week working with 6-8 other kids his age. I was able to attend a few of the early sessions and knew Rich was going to be good for Zach. Not only were his drills and techniques excellent, his communication skills and interaction with these young kids were equally impressive. Zach proceeded to take part in these weekly sessions for the first 18 months or so on a semi regular basis, eventually graduating to Elite skills training program. His ball handling and finishing abilities improved significantly in the Elite program.  At that point I thought Zach could use a more personalized session and transitioned into Rich’s personal training sessions. While Zach was on a steady improvement trajectory, these personal sessions allowed him to accelerate his learning curve as well as allow specific instruction tailored around his needs, particularly his shooting. To see Zach perform ball handling and shooting drills today is fantastic, as he has improved considerably. Rich’s sessions follow a familiar pattern- ball handling drills, finishing moves/ moves off the dribble and then shooting drills. All these drills are done at game speed with an emphasis on technique and proper form. Rich explains the drills, demonstrates the drill and tells the students why they are important. His attention to detail around the smallest nuances is extreme. Rich is demanding of his students to convey seriousness but keeps it light at the same time, making each session both exhausting and interesting.

I also used Rich this summer to provide training sessions to Zach’s mid monmouth team I coach. At those sessions Rich proved equally effective with a larger group, teaching similar drills using the same great communication skills. The kids had a blast and learned something as well. I continue to use in practice some of the drills the kids performed this past summer.

I think Rich’s best quality is his flexibility as a coach. He can be as technical as the student can handle, push them hard to test each student’s limit while keeping the atmosphere enjoyable. If Zach or his sister or brother want to be the best basketball players they can be, I know Rich can get them there.


LeAnn Plutnicki, mother of Emma Plutnicki
Over the past two years, my 13-year-old daughter, Emma Plutnicki, had been to a couple of sessions with Rich at Elite Basketball Training, but it wasn’t until this summer that she began  training weekly, taking part in his Nothin’ but Net and Elite Ball Handling and Attacking sessions.
During the six-week sessions I had an opportunity to watch Rich teach  kids at all skill levels. He has a no-nonsense and precise method of explaining the skills to players. His teaching style is similar to John Wooden’s teaching style: demonstrate the correct way; show the wrong way; demonstrate the correct way again.
His way of explaining is also key to the player’s understanding, frequently sparking that mind-to-body connection for the player’s execution. Emma says, “He makes it easy to understand the  drills and WHY we are doing them.”   It is important to know why you are working on a particular skill  and what the end result from mastering it should be in game situations.
 His sessions allow for maximum repetitions and the sessions are progressive — with the skills and drills being further developed the next time. This progressive teaching also helps Emma visualize better and be more efficient when she is back home practicing on her own.
Rich’s  instruction on footwork is a key component to all sessions and has helped my daughter in a short period — again, because she understands why.
Emma  is Pro Shot-style shooter, which Rich is adept at teaching. At one point he made a small adjustment to the turn in her shot, which made an immediate difference in her accuracy.
I watched him make small adjustments (and sometimes big ones!)  with other players on many different skills whether shooting, ball-handling or footwork. The little things matter and Rich gets this.
Probably most important: He is demanding of players. He expects excellence, which inspires excellence.
Emma plays a lot of basketball. She is on a training-based AAU team in North Jersey, on which during practices she gets great skill instruction from her coach and from many visiting trainers in the area. I believe Rich Stoner is one of the very best in New Jersey and beyond.
My only complaint about training at Elite Basketball? We have to travel nearly an hour to get there. But it’s worth the drive.
LeAnn Plutnicki
River Edge, NJ
Summer 2014
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Brian Prioleau, Father of Donte Prioleau

Read full evaluation/testimonial here => Donte Prioleau Testimonial on the Rich Stoner Training Methods-2.22.2014 (1)

As a parent I’m a full supporter of the Rich Stoner training techniques both on the basketball court and in the weight room. I’ve seen first-hand the magic within the Rich Stoner training sessions as it relates to my son.

My son has progressed to making a national AAU boys travel team with only being exposed to basketball for less than 2 years.  Thank you Rich for all your hard work and training with my son.  My son mentioned to me that he now feels empowered on the basketball court and as a parent I know that he owes that all to you.

Thank you Rich Stoner.

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Evan Carberry (Vassar College)
I was lucky enough to play for Coach Stoner at Metuchen High school, where he helped me create positive habits on and off the court. I am currently a senior guard at Vassar College, but it was not until this past summer that I started working with Coach Stoner. My only regret after training with him this summer is that I didn’t start working with him sooner. With my season just getting underway now, I feel more prepared and confident than I have in any of my past seasons. Training sessions with Coach Stoner are challenging, but worth every bit of the effort. He helped develop my shot while also getting me into game shape before preseason even started. The challenging nature of his workouts also kept me mentally sharp and up to speed over the summer.
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Steph Mason (Rider University)

My daughter started working with Rich at the end of last year’s high school season. She had just finished playing her senior year after an ACL tear the summer before. Steph had been a good shooter throughout high school and was headed to play in college but her injury had affected her shot. I’d been receiving Rich’s emails for a couple of years and decided to check out his pro-shot system. Rich worked with my daughter on her footwork and mechanics. His drills were intense and game like. With his help, Steph’s shot became more fluid again and I saw her confidence returning with each session. When she received her preseason workout packet from her college coaches, much of what it contained was exactly what Rich was already incorporating into their sessions. Steph looked forward to their workouts. She and Rich had developed a really good working relationship. Rich expects hard work but he is always encouraging, always motivational and always positive. Steph started her first summer semester at college a couple of months later definitely feeling more prepared and more confident. I think it speaks highly of Rich that when Steph had only 9 days off between summer classes and the start of the fall semester, she chose to spend 3 of them working with Rich on basketball and fitness. I’m so glad that we finally called Rich. It’s been a great fit.

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Trevor Anthony (TJ)

Age 11 Thomas Jefferson Middle School Basketball

My son TJ had a love for basketball since he was 2 years old.  I played basketball in high school and college so I immediately thought that I could coach him.  Although I was able to teach him a few things it does not compare to what Rich has done for his overall game.  He has been going to Rich for basketball skills training since September 2011 and I have seen a drastic change in the fundamental aspects of his game.  In such a short period of time, TJ has become more confident and frankly just a better all around player.  Rich has proven that sport specific training with an emphasis on the fundamentals is the key to sculpting a young athlete to become a great player.  I sit in on every basketball training session and I can tell you that TJ would have never developed these kind of skills by just playing competitive basketball.  As a 6th grader he made his school’s basketball team which consisted of mostly 8th graders and a couple of 7th graders. His overall goal is to play AAU and I have no doubt that he will get there because of Rich’s training and dedication to the kids.  TJ highly respects Rich and plans to train with him for a very long time.

Recently, he started meeting with Rich twice a week for Sports Performance Training.  He is already in decent shape because of his constant activities but this training enhances his core strength and agility amongst so many other things.  He absolutely looks forward to these workouts and personally claims that he feels stronger after every workout.

Rich’s Elite Basketball training is the real deal.  I would recommend it to everyone at any skill level.   I am looking forward to seeing what kind of athlete TJ will become.  Working with Rich has proven to benefit him in every way so he will continue to do so for years to come.   Rich motivates, teaches and inspires my son; the greatest recipe for success!!

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Will has derived real benefit from your training.  My intention was to find someone to provide him with skills instruction so that he would have a reasonable chance to make the middle school team next year.  I am confident that over the course of the past couple of months, your training has provided him with the core skills that he needs to build upon to develop into a competitive basketball player.  Also, I know that Will has enjoyed the workouts and embraced the challenges that you put in front of him.  He is now motivated to take his game to the next level and I look forward to watching him continue to improve his game.

Robert Casagrande on his son Will

Matawan, NJ

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Rich Stoner’s training has helped me in so many diferent ways.  Over the past months that I have trained with him, I’ve learned many techniques such as the Kobe Bryant follow through and also shooting with my index finger in the center of the ball.  His training has alos helped me become a better ball handler so I can easily get by defenders and break presses.  Before coming to Rich, my shot was good byt after practicing my follow through and other drills he has taught me my shot is automatic.  I have also gotten quicker and stronger from the many endurance drills, such as rolling the ball down court, sprinting and dropping low to pick it up.  Also, the medicine ball drills help my hands get stronger for dribbling and not letting defenders steal the ball.  This has made me quicker and more aggressive going towards the basket.  Rich has also worked on my passing that has helped me get assists that defenders cannot steal.  Rich has not only helped me in shooting, but also in handling the basketball, passing, quickness, and strength. I have definitely benefitted from Rich Stoner’s training.

Justin Eng

8th Grader Hightstown, NJ

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Our son (Tyler) absolutely loved working out at Rich Stoner’s Elite Basketball Training program. He learned so much about the fundamentals of basketball. He is using the skills that Rich taught him every day to become a better player. My son cannot wait until Rich’s next program!!

Tyler Hoagland

North Brunswick Travel Basketball League

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 From his first steps onto a playground in Middletown to his last steps off of the hardwood floor at CBA Dallas’ journey was not unlike that of most kids paved by a lot of coaching experiences.  Competitive basketball provided abundant learning opportunities at every level with coaches spanning a broad spectrum of enthusiasm, experience, competence, and effectiveness.  He learned from every single one of them.  I’d like to think Dallas tried to make the most out of every minute of practice, every word spoken in a huddle, and every chance to learn from a mistake.   But like every kid the message isn’t always delivered or received the way it we’d like it to and learning from travel, school, and AAU ball all have their biases.  Personally, I think the hours playing playground ball on hard pavement without coaches or referees were the richest experiences.  Camps were a great source of fun, rudimentary drills, and more open and informal competition but they were limited in terms of individual attention and provided a source for perpetuating bad habits.  Even as he got older and the camps seemed to be more specific and stratified he did not seem to thrive in spite of being put in the more advanced and exclusive groups.  Although I knew that some parents had found some success with individualized instruction I did not see enough improvement in their kids to convince me that it was for Dallas. I always thought that he could grow on his own through conventional channels.  It wasn’t until recently that I found out how wrong I was. It was most fortuitous to discover Elite Basketball Training.  For Dallas it was nothing short of life-altering.  Rich Stoner has shown and continues to prove that sport-specific personal training is by far the most powerful method of development for our young student-athletes.  Amazing is the only way I can describe how much could be accomplished in such a short span of time.  The strength and agility program produced dramatic results.  Not only did we see changes that you could see in a mirror we were able to see changes on the court.  Dallas’ reactions and movements were considerably more explosive.  His improved leaping ability one year after knee surgery is only eclipsed by the improved balance and strength that makes the other player bounce off of him.  Rich and Dallas managed to take on strength & conditioning with basketball training concurrently.  This appears to be the most effective approach.  After passing him over at his freshman tryout the coaches at his school could not overlook his improvement in speed and strength. A D3 coach who had made an offer to Dallas before his senior year at CBA went out of his way to commend him when he caught up with him working out at a D1 practice.  Whenever anyone who knew Dallas in high school sees him today he does not hesitate to give Elite Basketball Training the lion’s share of the credit. I often think about how differently things could have gone for Dallas had we found Rich Stoner even 2-3 years sooner.  I cannot overstate his impact on the course of my son’s basketball life.    Dr. Paul P. Ouano

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Ever since my days as a pro player I knew that agility, speed and footwork were very important aspects of the game. Though I was never too agile or fast as a player, through rigorous self- training and hours of repetition, I have improved my footwork and became very good at positioning and moving around in an efficient way. Up until last year, when I first met Coach Rich Stoner, I have never seen such emphasis put on the very same principles that helped me succeed in basketball. The way Coach Stoner preaches footwork, agility, speed and balance and his attention to details, made me want to learn as much as I can from him in this field. Last week I gave a one hour agility and footwork clinic for high school kids in New York City. Inspired by Coach Stoner’s very own drills and combined with a couple of drills I came up with (again, keeping in mind the guidelines and techniques I’ve learned by watching Coach Stoner work), I finished the clinic and received many praises by the players that participated (“Coach, this is the best clinic I’ve ever had!”) and the coaches who were present (“May I borrow your notes?”). I was also evaluated for an assistant coaching position at a local NCAA college team as their head coach was watching the clinic. At the end of the clinic I was hired. I believe in the fact that this method of coaching should be taught more, as players these days count on their athleticism and do not put too much work into improving an important aspect of their game that could be better if they work at it. Agility, quickness, footwork and balance are keys to success in my book. Thanks for stepping out of the box and teaching something new and important in a way that is rarely seen, I am now hired as an NCAA assistant coach. I have Coach Stoner to thank for that.

Ido Singer Former Israeli professional basketball player

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Dave McDaniel Elms College

 

Dallas Ouanu Villanova University

Stephen Fortuna  Metuchen High School

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Dear Coach Rich,

I have been playing basketball ever since I could dribble a basketball.  Basketball is my number one love.   I have gone to camps all over including many, many years at the Pocono Invitational camps.   While I enjoyed all of those camps none of them compare to the recent two day mini-camp in Red Bank.  You can never learn enough about basketball techniques.  The drills shown to me will no doubt help my game and become invaluable to me.  What I like most was learning new things and then executing them in the 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 games.  I can’t wait to attend another one of your camps. 

Sincerely,

Russell Hawkins (11th grader, Bridgewater-Raritan High School)

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Steven Switzer

Soccer, Basketball, and Track and Field

Metuchen High School

My son Steven had battled a weight problem since he was a young child.We worked with our pediatrician and later a nutritionist to no avail.As Steven approached his teenage years, his weight problem clearly stood in the way of him excelling at sports, which he loved.Rich took an active interest in Steven, and helped us realize that with a proper eating and exercise plan tailored for Steven, he could achieve his goals of obtaining a healthy weight and to become a solid athlete in high school.

For the first time, the emphasis was not on Steven’s weight, but on fueling his body with proper foods based on his activity level and metabolic needs.  Rich provided uswith a detailed plan of what and when Steven should eat, and frequently reviewed the food journal as well as answered any questions we had along the way.  Rich developed an age appropriate exercise plan for Steven to follow at the YMCA in addition to training with him one time per week.

 It did not take long to start to see some dramatic results in many areas.Almost immediately Steven began to drop weight and there were visible changes in his body composition.More importantly, Steven’s confidence level soared.He became more active in every area of his life.I am pleased to say that upon entering High School, Steven achieved the goals that he and Rich laid out at their first meeting.He was at a very normal weight for his age and height and had lost a significant amount body fat.Steven also is competitive on three different high school sports teams.Two years later, Steven has maintained the eating plan and a variation of the exercise routine that Rich created for him.I will forever be grateful to Rich for working with Steven and giving him the tools he will need to remain healthy for a lifetime. 

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Cassie Smith

Battle  Knights Traveling Basketball Team

My 15 year old daughter, Cassie, has worked with Rich since she was 8.  She’s been to his basketball clinics at Edgar School, and worked with him privately to develop her skills.  She always seems pumped up after a session with Rich, and enthusiastic to get to the next one.  Rich is great with the kids; he offers technical insights, and progressive athletic challenges.  He has an uncanny way of motivating an athlete, and always seems to communicate his expectations for hard work and improvement in a manner that wins the respect of his students.

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Ryan Josell

Age 13 Battle Basketball 11U 

 

Ryan has been training with Elite Basketball since the age of 7.  He first attended Elite Basketball Camp in Metuchen as a third grader and looks forward to camp each summer.  He also trains individually with Coach Rich throughout the year.  Elite Basketball Training has always provided a high level of skill and fitness training, helping Ryan improve both his skills and athleticism.  Rich provides a fun, positive, and energetic environment for the kids to train in.  Regardless of how demanding the workout is, Ryan always comes home with a smile on his face asking, “when can I work out with Coach Rich again?” Rich is a terrific motivator, a great teacher of the game, and has been a great coach and inspiration to Ryan.

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David, Timmy, and Michael Redshaw

Metuchen High School Athletes

My sons have attended Elite Basketball Camps and clinics for the past five years.  They enjoy the full day camp as well as the half-day shooting camp because while both camps provide important fundamental instruction, they are also a lot of fun!  By the end of the week, they always come home with new and/or improved skills that they utilize in their competitive play.  Rich Stoner’s camps are always one of their favorites!

 

  

Frankie McGuire

Metuchen High School Basketball

Frankie has been attending Rich Stoner’s basketball camps for several years and has also participated in individual skills training sessions with Rich.  Frankie has benefited greatly from Rich’s expertise in skills training and his innovative approaches to training and coaching.  Rich is a great motivator and uses a clever, relevant and even humorous demeanor to deliver his skills training techniques to his players.  As a result of his improved skills, Frankie is having more fun now playing the game of basketball and has experienced more confidence and satisfaction in his game. Thanks to Rich, Frankie has learned skills and strategies that he can continue to utilize and improve upon while playing in competitive youth basketball leagues.

 


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