I had the pleasure of interviewing and getting to know Tyler Leclerc, CEO and head skills trainer of TJL Training. Leclerc looks to become one of the best and most sought out basketball skills and development trainers world-wide. While he may only be 20 years-old, Leclerc has loads of experience under his belt and an impeccable track record.
Leclerc grew up in Groton, a small town in Massachusetts where he played four years of varsity basketball at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, before moving on to play a year at Salem State University. He’s been in love with the game of basketball since he can remember and that love continues to grow everyday.
“As a high schooler, I was always in the gym…” Leclerc says. “Before practice, after school, in the summer, etc.., anytime the gym was open I was trying to workout.” Leclerc says it never started that he wanted to be a skills trainer, like most of the trainers out there. His first focus was always training himself and developing his own skills. It wasn’t until his junior year that he developed a passion for training. When high school and club teammates started asking him to run individual and group sessions for him, he started to realize that he had “picked up a knack for training” and, during the summer going into college, he decided to give it a shot.
After a full summer of training kids locally, he quickly realized that he liked the training aspect of basketball more than actually playing in the games. So, after one year at Salem State, he stopped playing and decided he would train players full time.
While the training industry is competitive, Leclerc has a handful of credentials that make him stand out amongst the crowd. One thing that really sets Leclerc apart from other trainers in the industry is his “knowledge of sports training, anatomy, and how the body should work” as he is a NASM certified personal trainer. With this knowledge he is able to supply his players with safe and effective athletic training, that helps prevent injury, while building strength, speed, and agility.
Another major differentiator for Leclerc is the experiences he’s had. The following summer after leaving college, Leclerc had the the privilege of working alongside many reputable trainers including two of the best professional basketball trainers in the business, Drew Hanlen and Chris Hyppa. Through them, he was able to work with many notable NBA players such as Jayson Tatum, Jordan Clarkson, Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre, and many more.
Working alongside Hanlen, Hyppa, and other trainers not only allowed him to see and experience what training is like at a professional level, but it also allowed him to “figure out what works great for all of them” and add his own creative twists on their methods. Leclerc has worked and currently works with players from top college programs such as Duke, Boston College, and Notre Dame – some notable names being Duke stars and NBA lottery picks RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson.
These experiences, along with his vast knowledge and certification in personal training, gives him the ability to get that high school kid a scholarship, and the ability to turn that college player into a pro.
As a former player, Leclerc understands how basketball can change one’s life and it’s not something he takes lightly. “There is a lot of opportunity within the game of basketball.” says Leclerc. “ My goal is not only to give his players who work with me opportunities they might have never had, but also to better their lives through the game of basketball teaching them lessons they can use in other aspects of life.” Leclerc eventually wants to create a training environment where players of all levels can train together and learn from each other – basketball wise and life wise.
As someone who is established in the training industry, Leclerc offered up some advice to others looking to get into the industry themselves. “Know just about everything you can about basketball.” Leclerc says. “…Situations, reads, skills, etc…” But, while learning the game of basketball is important, Leclerc says that learning how to communicate with your players is just as important. Learning the different ways in which kids take criticism, the best ways to build skills, and different learning styles are just three of the many ways in which Leclerc says a trainer can better learn how to communicate with his or her players. “It’s deeper than just knowing some skills. There is a lot of areas of training that you can study and learn about to become a great trainer and there’s always more to take in.”
What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Tyler Leclerc: The best way to get in contact with me is via email: [email protected] or via instagram @tjltraining or through cell at 978-877-9764.