CHESAPEAKE CITY — Coaching hoops under the hot August sun is nothing to Coach Joe Zang, owner and head trainer of Z-Train, a new sports training venture currently taking on clients in Cecil County.
Offering both private and group sessions, Z-Train seeks to help athletes improve their skills and performance through effort and mentality.
During a private, 1-on-1 session with Cody Wiseman, a rising 8th grader, Zang coached worked with the young guard on ball-handling and shooting skills at a small court in Chesapeake City.
“Good shooters set their feet before the ball comes,” said Zang, as he directed Wiseman through a drill that saw him running around a pick to catch-and-shoot a midrange jumper.
Despite the over-90 degree heat, Zang and Wiseman worked through a number of shooting and dribbling drills during the hour-long session. Zang focused on reminding Wiseman to take his time and not rush his motions — to be smooth with the ball. Along with the shooting, Zang put Wiseman through some agility courses to focus on dribbling with both hands while keeping his dribble tight.
“[Cody] has been getting a little bit better everyday,” said Zang. “Today was the best I’ve ever seen him do. He’s looking better every week.”
Z-Train coaching are typically structured in a package of 6 hour-long sessions, not including a complimentary evaluation session. According to Zang, he typically runs around 5 sessions per week — spread between individual and group sessions — but is looking to expand.
He also noted that he works with athletes of all ages, and not just basketball players. Z-Train also offers pitching technique sessions for baseball players, as well as general strength and conditioning and agility training for all athletes.
Thus far, according to Angie Wiseman, Cody’s mother, the sessions have shown nothing but positive results.
“They connected right away,” said Angie Wiseman. “I think he’s really a good influence on Cody.”
Zang, who graduated with a degree in Physical Education from Salisbury University, has coached high school basketball since 2011, including at both Perryville High School and Elkton High School. He is currently the Varsity Boys’ Head Basketball Coach at Newark Charter High School in Newark, Del. Zang has been named Coach of the Year in both Cecil County and the DIAA, has won five divisional/conference titles and has seen a number of his athletes move on to play at the collegiate level.
While currently without a dedicated facility, Zang indicated that he hopes to bring Z-Train into a space at Elkton’s Southfields Sports complex when construction on the complex has completed.
Athletes interested in training with Zang can visit his website at www.ztrainathletics.com.