With June now upon us, the NBA Draft is suddenly just weeks away. That realization only means one thing for the hundred-some prospects currently vying to be selected by an NBA franchise on June 27: workouts, workouts and more workouts.
Commonly, these prospects sweat with a group of guys that their agents all represent and put on showcases in big cities like Las Vegas and Minnesota. But, there are a select few who forgo the hype of group training and prefer to work privately with an individual coach.
This summer, Michigan sophomore guard Trey Burke, and unanimous National Player of the Year, has decided to choose the latter route and has been prepping for his dream come true with his longtime personal coach/trainer, Anthony Rhodman. Burke has been benefitting from his individual workouts with Rhodman ever since he was a freshman in high school.
Before school, Burke would awake at 4:30 a.m. every morning to meet with Rhodman and would be already working out by 5 a.m. Three hours later, Burke would finish up his daily routine of basketball and strength and conditioning drills with Rhodman as his classmates arrived at school. Clearly, the former Wolverine has the hardware to prove how well his determined and unrelenting work paid off for his basketball career. He's now projected to be a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft.
Dirk Nowitzki has also benefitted from his extensive work with his own personal trainer -- a shooting coach, Holger Geschwindner, from the Dallas Maverick's native country, Germany. Stories and rumors flooded the surface of American media outlets during the Mavericks' 2011 championship run of how the 11-time All-Star worked with Geschwindner daily, putting up hundreds of shots in the waning hours of the night... during the playoffs. Nowitzki won the 2011 NBA Finals MVP and cemented his legacy as one of the top power forwards of all time.
Today, any young athlete can be paired up with his or her own personal trainer in any sport and reap the benefits. One of the most efficient ways of doing so is the up-and-coming website, CoachUp.com. Founded by former pro-basketball player, Jordan Fliegel, the company provides an online service that puts private coaches in touch with aspiring athletes based on their location.
"Forgive me if I get too emotional here, but CoachUp really is the embodiment of the American Dream." Fliegel said. "Its the idea that anyone can improve with the right guidance and support. Its the idea that dreams matter, and that people should be encouraged to do what they love -- whether that means striving for excellence in a sport, or paying forward one's knowledge to the next generation as a coach. We are breaking down the barriers (price, distance, access, etc.) to connecting athletes with the coaches who can help them get better at doing what they love to do. It's a beautiful thing."
If young athletes today can capitalize on their opportunity to work closely with personal trainers, maybe one day their dreams can come true. Perhaps a few days down the road, they will be waiting to hear their name called out on draft night, just like Trey Burke and Dirk Nowitzki before them.