When he was in high school, Peter Ramis was asked to volunteer as a coach for the elementary school basketball team.
“I actually became a better player by coaching because I really had to learn the fundamentals to teach them to the kids,” Ramis says.
When the time came to make a career choice about whether he wanted to coach or go into business, Ramis chose business.
“I became an executive vice president with Citibank,” he says. “I was an area manager for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and then a national sales manager for two major companies, and then the general manager for small oil company. Eventually I became a business consultant and I’ve worked with such companies as Johnson and Johnson.”
A good thing about working in the business community is that the companies usually require their executives to perform some form of community service.
“While many would work with Habitat for Humanity, I would coach,” Ramis says. “I’ve coached at the YMCA, at elementary schools, junior high, junior varsity and even varsity either as a head coach or an assistant.”
The schools where he volunteered include Dade Christian, Palmer Trinity and Somerset Academy. However, because of the demands of his job and the traveling required, Ramis could coach only on a limited basis — a season here and a season there; but it remained a passion within him. One of his job assignments kept him out of the U.S. for an extended period. When he finally returned, his son asked him to coach a basketball team at the YMCA.
“When I got there, the guys on this team couldn’t even dribble,” Ramis says. “It was like the Bad News Bears; we lost the first game41-0. But we went forward from there and that team finished in third place.”
The next team that Ramis coached won a title and today he is a consultant working with <www.YouVisit.com>, so he has the time and a schedule that allows him to coach. So Ramis opened the School of Basketball. His teams participate in the YMCA for League Play and this summer he has shepherded four teams, one in each age division.
Parents like Ramis’ coaching style, including Raquel Smith-Bankston who says he has had a positive effect on her sons.
“There has been an amazing measurable growth with their understanding of the game, their skill sets and ability to play the game, and their development as overall players,” she says.
Ramis sees sports as an avenue that parents can use to improve communication with their children.
“I try to incorporate parents into the practices,” he says. “I’ve had dads tell me they are much closer to their child as a result of being involved. What I try to do is teach the parents about the sport. When I have a new lesson I’m trying to teach, I sit them close to the parents. The parents are learning about the sport the same way the kids are. It’s all about bringing families together.”
Ramis also takes a long-term approach to bring the best out in his players. If he thinks they will play beyond the youth leagues, he works on developing skills that will help them play on a high school or college level.
“I honestly believe most coaches don’t know how to develop the talent,” Ramis says.
His reputation is growing, as several Miami area churches have asked him to begin basketball programs.
For more information, go to <www.theschoolofbasketball.com> or call 877-614-6656.
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