NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - When the NBA suspended its season back on March 11, there was a ton of uncertainty, not just with when the season might come back, but how to proceed with training and conditioning during a global pandemic that put a halt to our normal everyday lives.
“Especially within the first moment of shutdown, we knew that there was going to be at least four weeks that we weren’t doing anything in terms of the NBA,” says trainer Mike Guevera.
Seen often on Instagram as ‘Mr Do It Moving,’ the personal trainer of Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday says they immediately made the most of their time. They started by reducing all of the inflammation they could from his body that accumulated throughout the season. The next step:
“How do I maintain this athletic specimen and get him in prime shape and keep him in prime shape so that if and when the season does come back, he’s ready to go and firing on all cylinders?” Guevera asked himself.
That’s where his expertise as a trainer kicks in. He says he defines an athlete as anyone who can pick up a skill quickly, which is how he was able to effectively train Holiday on a football field instead of a basketball court or traditional gym.
“It’s much easier as a trainer and coach to be like, ‘All right we’re going to run this type of route, cut hard here, break your feet down, make it look like a euro step and then finish like a dunk,’” says Guevera. “Boom. (He) executes it perfectly.”
From work on the football field to the pool, yes, it’s a little bit of a different style for some basketball players, but everything serves a purpose.
“There’s not a lot of stress or impact force,” says Guevera. “Impact force, you traditionally want to save for the court. Save the joints. Save all the jumping and sprinting for the court. Match the training to his style of play. Very physical, doesn’t take defense lightly, has pride when he plays defense. Can we build body armor so that when does stand people up and guard fives and fours, is he a lot more effective at doing that?"
And while being forced to work out outside of typical gym formats isn’t the most convenient, Guevera says there are certain advantages to putting in work outdoors as well.
“Just continue to utilize outside space,” says Guevera. “Utilize whatever creativity that we can stand our legs on. And enjoy being outside, because it’s free, why not?”
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