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Guillaume Vizade, Head Basketball Coach at JAVCM, France, Pro B

Learning Inspiration 🌈 #43

Guillaume Vizade is the Head Basketball Coach at J.A. Vichy-Clermont, France, ProB. Guillaume was elected Coach of the Year 2018/2019, ProB – France, and received the French Federation’s bronze award for serving and helping improve French basketball. In addition to being a basketball superstar, Guillaume is also a Marketing & Management professor at the French business school ESC Clermont where he designs and implements training programs for professionals and students.

Guillaume Vizade, Head Basketball Coach at JAVCM, France, Pro B

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

Other basketball coaches, such as Pablo Lasso (Real Madrid, most global and efficient way of playing), Zeljko Obradovic (most successful coach in European basketball history), and Gregg Popovich (culture builder and longest successful franchise in the American sports industry.) 

I am also trying to take a more in-depth look at my colleagues from other sports, like Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United, mentor of Guardiola) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal, longevity – twenty years in Premier League). 

Inspiring leaders such as Marguerite Barankitse, Burundi’s humanitarian known for saving hundreds of people during Rwanda’s genocide, and Yayi Bayam Diouf, who organized her community of Thiaroye, Senegal to help eradicate illegal immigration of youth from coastal fishing communities to Europe.

Inspiring thinkers such as Henri Savall, founder of ISEOR Laboratory in Lyon, France, developed a theory on the method of evaluating hidden costs, improving the quality of staff, efficiency, etc more.

How do you learn on a daily basis? What are your learning routines? 🧠

My way of being is to be a constant learner. It doesn’t matter if it is from a book, a movie, a podcast, a tv show, or a lecture. 

I see myself as a student of the Game of basketball and a transversal learner of philosophy, art, and science. I am learning from what I have the opportunity to see, watch, and listen. I put my ideas, my work, into my notebooks. I have so many, and my coworkers make fun of me. When I find something interesting enough, I add the idea into my coaching book. 

My coaching book contains my values, leadership style, management questions, and basketball coaching philosophy. It’s an intimate learning process because I am improving the book every year, especially during the offseason. Whenever I find a coaching or management dilemma, I try to connect with a specialist or a colleague and have an hour phone call or skype interview to understand it properly and keep learning. 

Recently I have learned a great deal from Professor W. Sckölborn’s Differential Learning Process.

What are your favorite books, and why? 📚  

Inspiring readings, Philosophers:

Sports & psychological writers:


  • Dany Lafferière’s  – Discovering American society. 
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah – The immigrant dilemma
  • James Baldwin’s Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone – Intimate reflection of black American poets during racial segregation.  

What are your favorite podcasts, and why? 🎧

  • HBR Idea Cast – Discussion of management and leadership topics every week.
  • Basketball Immersion (the basketball podcast) by Chris Oliver – Discovering a different coaching philosophy on a particular aspect of the game. There are many innovative ways of teaching and playing basketball.  
  • How I Built This by Guy Raz – Inspirational success stories and entrepreneurship 
  • Ted Technology & Ted Talks Daily – Discovering and diving into different subjects and being inspired by powerful speeches.

If you were to stay alone on an island and only be allowed to bring one item, what would it be? 🏝

I’d bring my Moleskine notebook and a pen. Being away from excessive information and endless content will help me focus and start writing and drawing a book. 

What would you say to the 18 years old version of yourself?

I am pleased with my journey so far. Still, I would certainly push myself to learn from the best international practices by traveling and spending time with different coaches. You won’t have much time available when you start to coach professionally. 

What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome this year, and how did you do that?

Dealing with the Covid crisis has been challenging for my teams because the League shut down the basketball championship last year. And, starting over, this season has been postponed for two months. Managing this complexity and leading during uncertain times has pushed me to reinvent my way of organizing practices, teamwork, and developing skills.

One last word? 

Learning and being inspired, connecting to others, and being a doer and problem solver look even more critical.

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Romain from Clind

Romain is currently in Master 2 at Sup de Pub Paris. He is an organiser of electronic music events also passionate about human relationships, sports, UX/UI design and digital brand strategy.

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