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Strength Coach for the By Marty Dobrow

ThE SkiLLEd CommuniCATor iS inCommuniCAdo. The man so talented at getting others to discuss difficult things is not inclined to discuss anything. Don Kalkstein doesn’t want to talk. He’s not being rude. It’s just that much of his work in the

field of sports psychology demands confidentiality. He explains that he just can’t “break the gate.” That’s part of why he’s been so successful working with

championship teams such as the 2007 Boston Red Sox and the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. He has earned trust at the highest levels from athletes and coaches—people not constitutionally inclined to show vulnerability. “He just has a way,” former Red Sox manager Terry Francona

said in a 2006 interview with the Boston Herald. “He’s there for everybody. I think he’s a star at what he does.” This past June, after the Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat

for their first championship, coach Rick Carlisle was effusive in his praise for Kalkstein. Before taking a question in the postgame press conference, Carlisle gave a few shout-outs: to his wife and daughter, to a pair of star players, to an assistant


coach, and to “Don Kalkstein…our director of sports psych, who has been a phenomenal resource not only for me but for our players.” Make no mistake—the players also sing Kalkstein’s praises.

In Deep Drive, his autobiography written with Rob Bradford ’92, 2007 World Series MVp Mike Lowell says about Kalkstein, “Every single get-together with him left an indelible mark on me.” After the Mavs won, veteran point guard Jason Kidd told

Channel 33 in Dallas, “We would not have won a championship if it wasn’t for Don. That’s how important and big of a piece he is to this franchise.” others might talk in glittering ways about him, but when

it comes to Don Kalkstein talking about Don Kalkstein, silence is golden. “Although I’m honored that somebody would want to do an

article on me, I feel very uncomfortable talking about myself,” Kalkstein said. “I don’t do a lot of interviews. In fact, I’ve done zero interviews in the basketball world in the last 11 years since I began working for the Mavericks.”


83, No.No. 1

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