Meet Coach Doug Saylor, M.E.D., CSCS, Folsom, (LA) Louisiana

Meet Doug Saylor

Meet Coach Doug Saylor, M.ED., CSCS

The Overview…

Doug Saylor is a basketball performance specialist, motivational speaker, teacher, administrator, coach, author, and cancer survivor. Doug considers himself, first and foremost, a teacher-coach. Motivated to make a positive difference in the lives of others, Doug seeks to inspire and connect with everyone that he coaches ---- from young beginning players to college and NBA veterans, and career educators to seasoned business executives.

Players come from all over the United States to spend time in the gym with Coach Saylor. And, his speaking engagements span business, athletic, and performance venues.

Coach Saylor is passionate about what he does, and his professional pillars are continuous improvement, service, leadership, integrity, and respect.

The Longer Version…

Doug Saylor is a basketball performance specialist, motivational speaker, teacher, administrator, coach, author, and cancer survivor. Doug considers himself, first and foremost, a teacher-coach. Motivated to make a positive difference in the lives of others, Doug seeks to inspire and connect with everyone that he coaches ---- from young beginning players to college and NBA veterans, and career educators to seasoned business executives.

What makes Doug Saylor different? Why should you contact Coach Saylor for coaching and speaking opportunities? Why should you read his book, HoopLife? Why do players come from around the region, the state, from all over the United States to spend time in the gym with Coach Saylor? The following highlights help to answer these questions:

  • Doug grew up playing basketball in and around the Steel Valley just north of Pittsburgh, where he learned the true meaning of mental and physical toughness. He was usually the smallest player on the court and excelling in basketball didn’t come easily. He set some big goals when he was 11 years old: become a great basketball player, earn a college basketball scholarship, escape the Steel Valley, and earn a college degree.
  • Doug played for Hall of Fame Coach Vic Bianchi in high school, where he followed in the footsteps of elite Division I players in a legendary program at Ambridge High School. His high school career included multiple All-District teams, District MVP, and All-State honors. He started in the top high school all-star game in the country his senior year and he was recruited nationally by powerhouses such as UNC & UNLV, eventually signing with LSU. Doug had worked daily for years to become one of the best point guards in the United States, never allowing his lack of size to limit his dreams, goals, and success.
  • Doug played for legendary Hall of Fame LSU Coach Dale Brown, and he established a new single game assist record his freshman year in a game where he recorded 16 points and 14 assists. His college career started off great, but Doug struggled to sustain his success and eventually left the team his junior year. He earned his BS degree in four years from LSU becoming the first in his immediate family to earn a college degree. Doug had accomplished his goals of becoming a great basketball player, escaping the Steel Valley and a tough life working in the steel mill.
  • Coach Saylor developed a successful career in sales and marketing after graduating from LSU, but he wasn’t fulfilled. He missed basketball. Doug returned to UNO where he earned a Master’s Degree in Human Performance & Health Promotion, as well as PhD work in Kinesiology at LSU. A certified Health & PE teacher, Doug also earned credentials as an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; and, was certified as a facilitator for the Franklin-Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens leadership development program. He was ready to launch a new career as a teacher and a coach.
  • Coach Saylor began teaching PE in 1999 in St. Tammany, and he also worked alongside the groundbreaking speed and strength trainer, Coach Kurt Hester. Doug learned how to help athletes reach their potential through training them how to increase their speed, agility, and strength. Kurt suggested to Doug that he should start working with local basketball players to improve their skills. Coach Saylor formed a company and started conducting individual and group training sessions and holding basketball camps.
  • Doug was driven to do his best in any endeavor, so he intensely studied basketball player development. He visited with basketball training experts around the nation, using his network of connections throughout the college and professional basketball world. He learned from player and program development gurus from Gonzaga, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, the Cleveland Cavs, and the Atlanta Hawks, to name a few. He also spent time with the top academic experts in skill learning and development, as well as vision and selective attention, experts such as Dr. Magill at LSU and Dr. Simon at Illinois helped Doug integrate his Kinesiology background into his training business. Coach Saylor began to create his own training programs, and he purchased and integrated the top technology for player improvement, tools such as NOAH® to measure and improve quality and consistency of shooting, and Dartfish® motion capture technology to study and improve movement efficiency on the court.
  • Coach Saylor was training many of the top junior high and high school players in St. Tammany, but he also worked with college players from LSU and players in the professional ranks. Players such as P. J. Brown and Greg Monroe sought out his services, as well as high school players from as far away as Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio. He was asked many times by parents and players how he had managed to excel in high school and earn a college scholarship despite being only 5’10” and weighing around 160 pounds. Doug authored a book, HoopLife, to help parents and young players learn from his experiences. This critically acclaimed life lessons basketball instructional book was praised by coaches, players, and parents, as well as best-selling author and former Citadel point guard Pat Conroy as being “biblical in nature for a young player.”
  • Coach Saylor was recruited to work with the national sports leadership organization, BeLikeCoach, a John Wooden legacy project, where he served a senior leadership role and helped create a new model of sports program development based in part by studying the top 2% of organizations across sports, business, and education. Doug completed Lean Job Instruction Training through the TWI Learning Partnership, and he authored and coauthored articles on the principles, tools, and practices of collaborative learning teams for individual and organizational change. This experience changed and expanded Doug’s views on coaching and teaching, allowing him to synthesize his business success directly into the world of education. He started to mentor coaches using this new perspective and expertise.
  • Coach Saylor was coaching and teaching when he received news of his greatest challenge yet, tougher than any opponent that he had faced on or off the court. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Oral Cancer in the fall of 2015, and he had to immediately go into serious competition mode. Doug approached his diagnosis and the subsequent years of surgeries and treatment just as he had faced any serious opponent as an underdog on the court. Using all the mental toughness and mindset lessons that he had learned and then taught, Doug vowed to control what he could control and let the rest go. His mindset was to approach Cancer as an opportunity to learn and to grow, with the hope that if he survived, he could become a better teacher, coach, leader, and person. Doug had faced long odds before and armed with a strong belief in God and the help of friends, family, and the surgical team at LSU Oral & Maxillofacial, he went into surgery #1.
  • Doug endured, from 2015 until 2017, a total of twelve surgeries and many, many hours of treatment and therapy. Skin and bone from his left arm and leg were removed to repair his face so Doug had to learn how to walk and move again after his surgeries. He struggled to eat and speak and had surgery to insert a feeding tube. This allowed Doug to recover with proper nutrition and although it was a struggle, he was back in the gym coaching and teaching as soon as possible with the feeding tube tucked into his pants pocket. Just as he had set the seemingly unattainable goals of becoming a great point guard and playing college basketball when he was 11 years old, adult Doug set goals while he was laying in the hospital. He wanted to recover, attain full remission, and get back into the gym at full strength coaching and teaching again.
  • Coach Saylor received the news that he was in full remission, and he returned to full time coaching and teaching in the fall of 2017. He was tasked with starting a new High School Boys basketball program at Christ Episcopal School. Using the wisdom and experience gained from years of playing, coaching, teaching, speaking, and writing as well as surviving cancer, Doug reentered the gym with a renewed spirit and energy to teach life lessons and basketball together. It took four years to get the program to the point where Coach Saylor felt ready to step back from full-time teaching and coaching and go back to full-time writing, speaking, and player development. He announced his semi-retirement in May of 2021 but stayed involved with player development as well as assisting with the Christ Episcopal High School Girls’ team. Christ Episcopal School created the Doug Saylor Servant Leadership Award that same year, to be given to a Senior athlete each year who demonstrates the servant leadership qualities that Coach Saylor has always worked to model and teach.  
  • Coach Saylor is now back in the gym again, teaching and coaching the game that he loves. His business, Doug Saylor’s TruePoint Basketball Academy, is the culmination of all the hard-earned lessons that he has learned through basketball, teaching, coaching, and surviving cancer. His passion has remained the same as it was when he began playing the game fifty plus years ago. His mission always is to be the best, but instead of training and developing himself as he initially did, he now uses his unique on and off court experiences, education, and training to help other players reach their goals. Doug has developed unique tools and processes to help players reach beyond their previously attained levels, to “go beyond their best.”
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