Matt Johnson on Building People, Teams and Culture in College Hoops

Matt Johnson’s passion for physical preparation started with a failure when he was 15.

Despite his love and talent for basketball, Matt didn’t make it to the Junior Varsity team, so Matt sought out to make himself stronger.

Along this journey, he met and trained with Lee Taft, and eventually earned his Master of Science degree in Strength & Conditioning at Marywood University.

A former entrepreneur and Director of Strength and Conditioning at George Washington University, Matt has been serving as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for Butler University’s Men’s Basketball team since 2018.

Matt joins me today to share his ideas on developing people, teams, and culture in collegiate basketball.

He illustrates how training shifts during the in-season and the off-season.

He explains how he uses technology to quantify the game and describes how this helps him train his athletes.

And he underscores the importance of forging relationships and fostering a culture of open communication between coach and athletes as well as highlight how a strength & conditioning coach can evolve in the world of basketball.


You have to remember that there’s a person behind the jersey. – Matt Johnson


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • Matt’s background, career path, and experience training with Lee Taft at an early age
  • What got Matt into basketball
  • Why you need to work with the general population first before specializing as a coach
  • The differences in training during in and off-season
  • How Matt uses tech to measure athletes’ performance
  • The difference between collegiate basketball and the NBA
  • What makes collegiate basketball unique
  • How Matt builds culture into his basketball programs
  • Forging relationships with athletes and the power of having a couch in the office
  • The most essential lessons Matt learned from basketball coaches
  • The difference between basketball coaches and strength coaches
  • How to be a better strength & conditioning coach in the world of basketball


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