Why Holger Geschwindner’s Training Made Dirk Nowitzki Successful

Do you ever think about performing repetitive dry runs and applying mathematical principles when someone asks you about basketball coaches' training regimens?

How about pairing saxophones with basketball? Would you be surprised to learn that Dirk Nowitzki, a German-born Dallas Mavericks star, learned the sport differently from a typical athlete?

Learn more about Holger Geschwinder's bizarre training, which broke the code.

Institute for Applied Nonsense

Holger Geschwindner, aged 76, owns an "Institute for Applied Nonsense" office in Germany. The institute's name directly replies to his critics, calling his teachings "nonsense." 

Due to his use of physics, mathematics, and philosophy to his basketball principles, some find it crazy and unusual — he has even devised 60 degrees as the perfect angle for making a jump shot.

He is very exact with every player's movement during his training camps, such as elbow and finger form and posture.

In his more than 20 years mentoring the greatest European basketball player, Geschwindner has taught him everything. At first glance, this may not seem related to basketball, but all the coach's training paid off. 

Dirk Nowitzki recalled when Holger Geschwindner brought his friend Ernie to play the saxophone while Dirk was training in a bad mood.

Listening to the saxophone lifted the spirits he revealed — at the same time, it improved his rhythm while playing the game.

In time, his mentor encouraged him to play guitar and piano to enhance his finger and hand coordination in scoring. For him, basketball was like a dance.

Nowitzki also learned to play instruments. Geschwindner let his students watch and listen to Parsifal (a German opera). Holger Geschwindner believes that basketball is an art, and he wants his students to realize that the sport mentioned above is not a series of repetitive movements. 

To master the sport, Geschwinder even made Dirk do improv; he believed it made the players realize how to handle any situation the game threw at them.

It seemed like reading physics books helped Dirk earn the title of top 20 players of all time, and his improv ability made him win an MVP and defeat Lebron in the finals.

How Geschwinder Discovered Nowitzki

The 15-year-old future NBA All-star played at DJK Würzburg. For Geschwindner, he looks at the individual strengths of a player.  

He knew then that it was not Dirk's fate to become a gymnast or weightlifter, and he had to harness his physical traits. 

Nowitzki's peers saw him as a freak because he was a foot taller than them, but Holger discovered the boy's potential.

Although it wasn't enough that he was tall, Geschwindner then offered to be his coach. Dirk thought at first that the Holger was crazy.

After Nowitzki consulted his parents about it, they told him that his future mentor played for Germany and Geschwinder started training him 2-3 days a week. 

His unorthodox training regimen was crazy — Geschwindner made his protege do plenty of jumping and shooting practices and set aside weight training, stating it was unnecessary.


Although the training was unusual, it worked on Nowitzki like a charm. Every year Geschwindner saw progress in his student. Then, Holger Geschwindner asked if he would play against the world in internationals or if he rather preferred to become a local (German) star. 

Had Nowitzki decided to stay in the country, the coach would have stopped his training then and there.

It is only because the path for becoming a local hero was inevitable; the boy chose the former. In effect, Geschwindner taught him every day along with Robert Garrett and two more future German pro basketball players.

According to Nowitzki, his coach, Holger Geschwindner's training is very old-school. He made him do squats, lunges, and even finger push-ups. For this tall and skinny young man back then, everything his mentor taught him made him what he is today.

"Giving up Isn't an Option."

Geschwindner not only guided Nowitzki inside the court but outside as well. He was there to advise him during tough times — and Holger suggested otherwise when the young man felt discouraged and did not want to undergo military service. 

When Nowitzki was new to the NBA and away from his home country, he recalled him being quite depressed then.


Another instance is when Dirk finds out that Cristal Taylor — his fiancée — cheated on him. Holger knew it before he did. However, Geschwindner was unsure how Dirk would react or feel. 

After that issue, the athlete flew back to Germany to explain everything to his family. He was ashamed of going back to the USA, worried about how people would think of him. But in contrast, everyone supported him after all.

Geschwindner is an agent, a coach, and a friend to him. Holger possessed qualities every great coach should have, and every basketball enthusiast craves.

Conclusion: Holger Geschwindner Training

For every success, there's a person behind it. While some idolize their stars, there will always be someone who makes them who they are today.

No doubt, Mr. Holger Geschwindner developed a complete person by the name of Dirk Nowitzki. They have a great relationship, as close as father-and-son as one may see.

But despite this, some think Geschwinder's training is worthless and out-of-this-world. Holger stated that listening to others can sometimes be destructive.

Dirk Nowitzki is famous for his signature Flamingo and One-step-fade-away shot. It's also apparent to basketball fans that he is capable of swift movements in the court and splendid shooting accuracy and form anywhere he's positioned. These are skills quite unusual for a 7-footer. 

These amazing feats were possible only because he learned from a great teacher, coach, and mentor.

Though Holger Geschwindner's training routine is a little bit strange, we can never deny that Dirk flourished as an MVP and a legend in the world of basketball.

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast