NBA draft day is a special day for 60 young, talented basketball players. While with the @lakers, I enjoyed the days and months following draft day when I got to spend time working with young, hungry players who now had to get ready to perform on basketball's biggest stage. Here is my message to this year's NBA draftees on what to prioritize as a young professional about to realize their dream:
LIVE IN THE WEIGHT ROOM: You're going to be expected to handle greater workloads than ever. The weight room is where you become durable enough to endure the rigors of an NBA season. Your approach in the weight room shows your teammates and coaches how serious you are about being great. Don't be a guy who does enough to get by, this will stick with you forever. 💪🏻
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY: You're young and you need sleep more now than you ever will. Put your phone down 30 minutes before bed and take a warm shower. Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Your body needs this recovery time. 😴
LEARN TO SAY NO THANK YOU: You're about to be pulled in too many directions. It's up to you to prioritize your time to focus on your skills, your body and recovery. Your ability to say "no thank you" to people, events or opportunities that don't help you to improve your skills or body will keep you on the path to success. 🖐🏻
VIEW NUTRITION AS A SKILL: You don't have to have the best nutrition habits today but you need to be willing to improve. Start by taking small steps. Gradually cut back the sugar and stay away from bad oils like vegetable or canola oils.
PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: This new chapter can be overwhelming. You need a mental strategy to combat all of the new expectations that are now on you. Practicing mindfulness can be the easy answer to this. Give yourself 5-10 minutes each morning to be in a quiet space, reflect on what's exciting, what's frustrating and what's scary. This will help you be more present and focused on what's important.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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