Draft Diary: (Entry #1)
Now that I am basically finished with school for this year at Stanford, I have devoted all of my time to training. The days are fun, challenging and productive. Every week Monday through Saturday I am working to make myself a better basketball player and to condition myself to be able to perform at a high level when I workout for individual teams. Each week I will lift 4 days a week, workout with a individual skills coach 4-5 times a week, I will play pick-up 3-4 times a week and 6-7 days a week I will make at least 300 jumpers on top of what I already have done. Lets run through a typical day for me.
Monday morning at 7:30 I cheerfully roll out of bed to my soothing alarm clock. I get together all my workout gear and make sure I grab my vitamins as I head out to eat breakfast at the Jimmy Vs Sports Cafe on campus. Ive been eating there for the past five years and all the guys that work there are always in a positive mood that rubs off on me as I start my day. The Cafe has delicious French toast and tempting glazed donuts, but I fight my desire and go with six egg whites and oatmeal.
I make the 15-20 minute drive to the Reikes Center, listening to my mix playlist on my IPOD, mostly to T.I., E40 and Ne-Yo. I get to Reikes around 8:30 and say hello to all of the strength coaches and athletes working out, not only because I like to be friendly, but also because its a policy at the Center to say hi or welcome everyone in the Center.
All my workouts begin with four to 4-5 different abdominal and back exercises. Mondays and Thursdays are lower body workout days, so following the ab workouts I head to the track to heat up my lower body with a dynamic warm-up. After the dynamic warm-up, my strength coaches, Juan Pablo and Manny Fresh, have me performing exercises that focus on explosion, agility and quickness: a few for example are, jump-roping drills, plyometrics, and ladder drills. Speed training is the next area I focus on. Juan Pablo and Manny put me through exercises that aim to improve my running form so that I can, for example, lengthen my stride, helping to increase my speed. One of the speed exercises is running up-hill on the treadmill. At various speeds and incline the goal is to maintain the ideal running posture at difficult running levels to strengthen my legs and to make the adjustment of running with the ideal posture when Im running on the court. After speed training, I begin my strength training moving from station to station pounding through lower body lifts. When Im finished I get my lower body stretched and make a protein shake to help my body recover from the 3 hour workout that ends around 11:30.
I usually grab a sandwich for lunch and head back to the Reikes Center to make my 300 jumpers before I begin my individual skills work with my coach Phil Handy. Phil is based out of Sacramento and he works with NBA, college and high school players. Playing in the NBA and overseas, Phil knows a lot about the game and his workouts portray that knowledge from the various drills that he has in his arsenal. I workout with Phil four times a week and although we shoot and dribble all 4 days, two of the days are focused more to shooting and two are focused more on dribbling. Everyday with Phil we work on conditioning while shooting and dribbling so that Im prepared to perform my best when working out with individual NBA teams. We start around one in the afternoon and finish close to 2:15.
I make sure that I stretch after Im done with Phil so that my body does not tighten up when I make the drive back to Stanford to play pick-up with the Mens basketball team at three. After the run ends around 4:45, I again make sure that I or Juan Pablo stretch my lower body. I then slowly ease my way into the cold tub to ice my lower body. The cold tub is usually always set to 45-50 degrees (F) and the eight minutes that Im in there, though not very long, can seem to take 20 minutes.
That is a normal day for me. The only differences are that I lift upper body Tuesday and Fridays, Wednesday mornings I will run in an underwater flume to keep my heart rate up, and one day out of the week I will spend two hours with Catherine Fox. She is a former Stanford swimming legend and a two time Olympic gold medalist. My favorite hour is when I receive a full body massage from her and her favorite hour is when we spend an hour doing movement body therapy. It is an intense hour of stretching exercises that help not only to increase flexibility, but also to strengthen the body by teaching it through different exercises to use your own body-weight to strengthen your muscles. The first couple times I took the class it was extremely painful, because my body had not had to endure holding different flexibility positions for a much longer extended time than the normal fifteen seconds that I spend stretching different body parts. As of late, the exercises are becoming more bearable and my range of motion is increasing as well. My excitement is short lived as Catherine proceeds to raise the degree of difficulty of my hour of movement therapy.