The Los Angeles Lakers, like all professional sports teams, are at war with injuries and fatigue. Each time a player gets injured, the team loses valuable production that they are paying boatloads of money for. As more is learned about what causes injuries, fatigue consistently appears as a culprit.
Even if an injury doesn’t occur, fatigued players don’t perform at the same level as well-rested ones. That’s why the NBA has made efforts in recent years to reduce the number of back-to-back games a team plays, and it’s also why the DNP-Rest trend is steadily growing.
Each year, more teams are understanding just how valuable rest can be for the overall health of a player. For the Lakers, head trainer Marco Nunez is always looking for ways to keep players performing at the highest level, and he spoke to Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell about this endeavor and different methods the Lakers are trying out:
Exactly, we’re looking at different companies right now. There’s one company we tried out at summer league, keeping track of guys exertion levels, exhaustion levels, sleeping patterns and stuff like that. Everything is going towards technological (advancement), so we’re looking at a company that’s more of an app. These players will go right on their phones the minute a game is over. So the app would ask some simple questions that gives us feedback about how the players are feeling and where they’re at from that perspective.
Nunez adds that they are also focusing on making sure players are always properly hydrated:
The other thing we’re doing focuses on hydration…. Whether it’s advising how much water and electrolytes to drink six hours before a game, how much during a game and more importantly, after a game this is specifically how much water and Gatorade a specific player needs to consume. Especially on the road and for back to backs. We have to really focus on how our guys are recovering.
Unfortunately, injuries can’t be completely eliminated from sports, but trainers like Nunez are doing what they can to limit them as much as possible. Wearable technology is changing the game in this regard, and it’s good to see that the Lakers are forward-thinking on this issue.
While many of the Lakers core players are young, which helps them recover faster, it’s still important to develop good habits now that will help them stay as healthy as possible over the course of their careers.