Thorsten Leibenath

Thorsten Leibenath

Basketball expert, Sports Director Ratiopharm Ulm

Speaker biography

Thorsten Leibenath – Sports Director of the basketball club ratiopharm ulm.

Thorsten Leibenath trained as an industrial clerk, but it was actually clear that he wanted to take off with basketball. After playing actively in the 2nd Bundesliga, he acquired all his coaching licenses early on and initially became an assistant coach. At the age of just 24, he was promoted to the first division. After around seven years as an assistant coach in the German Basketball League, Thorsten Leibenath went to Great Britain in 2006, where he was head coach of the Scottish Rocks. There, he immediately made it to the cup and play-off final. After his stint in Scotland, he returned to Giessen and the Bundesliga.

Thorsten Leibenath Lecture topics

    • Encouraging and empowering people – that’s what leadership means.

    • Handing over responsibility: involving the team in decisions in the event of success and failure

    • Guard rails in communication: Open and value-free communication with respect and style

    • Stressful situations and pressure to act: the parallels between professional sport and everyday business life

From 2011 to 2019 and after eight years as coach of ratiopharm ulm, Thorsten Leibenath took over the position of sports director in order to steer the sporting development of the team and the club together with the management and, in particular, to introduce young talents to Bundesliga tasks. In his eight years as coach, the Ulm team has reached the final of the German championship twice and the cup final twice. He has established the club internationally in the EuroCup and also holds the starting record in the Bundesliga with 27 wins in a row. Nowadays, he tends to manage the club’s fortunes from his desk. In addition to strategic squad planning, he is also responsible for the further development of one of the most modern basketball performance centers in Europe, the OrangeCampus. As sports director of Ulm, Thorsten Leibenath was involved in the first German championship in the club’s history, which was won in 2023.

In 2012 and 2017, Thorsten Leibenath was honoured as „Coach of the Year“.

Thorsten Leibenath is taking his own exciting path with ratiopharm Ulm. The „higher, further, faster“ principle and the purchase of expensive players is not an option for Leibenath. He and the entire management of the basketball club sign young players who are willing to grow in personality and learn to take on responsibility during their time in Ulm. True to the motto: rather a little less pay, but more playing time. The basketball Bundesliga club has made a name for itself with this type of management and even became champions in 2023, ahead of Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich.

In his presentations, Thorsten Leibenath talks about leadership, communication and the parallels between a high-potential team and managing companies with generational issues, hierarchical thinking and pressure to succeed.



Auf ein Bier mit Thorsten Leibenath
The Benas Podcast - Thorsten Leibenath on Ulm's Unique Prospect Development Philosophy


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