NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Episode 45: Ramsey Nijem

by Scott Caulfield and Ramsey Nijem PhD, MS, CSCS, RSCC
Coaching Podcast January 2019

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The Head Performance and Strength Coach for the Sacramento Kings National Basketball Association (NBA) team, Ramsey Nijem, talks to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Scott Caulfield, about his recent experience completing a doctoral degree as well as his path to his current position. Topics under discussion include Nijem’s educational track from bachelor’s to master’s to doctorate degree, his passion for basketball and how it lead him to his career, as well as his mentors and professors who helped him along the way. 

Find Scott on Twitter: @scottcaulfield

Find Ramsey on Instagram: @ramsey_nijem

Find Ramsey on Twitter: ramsey_m_nijem

Show Notes

“I want to train athletes. I want to study athletes.” 5:57

“It starts with education on the front end” 26:27

“We’ve got to do what we can to keep these athletes fresh” 29:54

 “NBA players may not want to live in the weight room, but they want to compete" 33:10

“We need to be flexible and adaptable to the changes that different loads cause in our athletes” 36:08

“Nothing has to be super complex” 38:37

“Get that kind of new hire that you can learn from and grow with, but also go get a beer with” 41:08

“Before you try to fix a guy’s squat, learn his name” 44:54

Reporting Errors: To report errors in a podcast episode requiring correction or clarification, email the editor at publications@nsca.com or write to NSCA, attn: Publications Dept., 1885 Bob Johnson Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Your letter should be clearly marked as a letter of complaint. Please (a) identify in writing the precise factual errors in the published podcast episode (every false, factual assertion allegedly contained therein), (b) explain with specificity what the true facts are, and (c) include your full name and contact information.

Transcription

[MUSIC PLAYING]

This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, Episode 45.

NBA players may not necessarily be weightlifters, so they may not want to live in the weight room, but they definitely want to compete.

This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know, but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

Welcome to NSCA's Coaching Podcast. I'm Scott Caulfield. With me today, Ramsey Nijem, Head Performance and Strength Coach for the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. Coach, welcome to the show, man.

Thank you for having me, Coach.

 

Excited to be here. We are at the 41st annual national conference. We are in the thick of things here in the exhibit hall. So if you hear any banging or people around us, they're still kind of shuffling some stuff around. We actually have a ton of posters behind us that people are defending. How's the show been for you, so far?

It's been great. It's always just nice to get back in the thick of science and either, you know, check out posters or presentations or just chat with people. You know, it's always just nice to catch up and feel the passion in the room, for sure.

Yeah, and you defended your thesis here, so talking about continuing education, man. Just, you're a doctor now, so talk a little bit about doing that and what that process was like.

 

Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, I defended yesterday morning. It was-- I was quite anxious to get it done, as you could imagine. Landed at midnight, Thursday. Pulled the all-nighter, just editing slides. And honestly, it was already done, but it was the nerves of, like, this has to look perfect. So I stayed up through until 8:00 AM, when I kicked it off with-- my dissertation chair is Dr. Alvar. And the committee members are Dr. Brown and Dr. Kappert.

And even though I feel like a content expert in it, you really-- you just are nervous. You don't want to let them down, honestly, right? It's like, so I'll present later today and I'm not nervous at all for that, but presenting just in front of those three people-- I'm like, oh no, don't mess this up, so.

 

Right.

But yeah, it was something I started four years ago, and it really was just an extension of my master's program. Did the master's at Cal State Fullerton Center for Sport Performance and really just got the bug of research and academia and appreciating science. And so it just seemed like an easy transition.

However, I didn't want to leave coaching. So there was that debate in my head like, well, you know, you want to get a doctorate degree. But you don't want to go work in a lab because then you'd leave coaching, and now people view you as more of a traditional PhD rather than a coach. So I was lucky to find a program that allowed me to do both. And I took that through four years, obviously, which ended with the dissertation that we defended yesterday.

 

And the dissertation was on workload monitoring in the NBA, specifically looking at acute chronic workload ratios and how they relate to injuries in the NBA. And then we ended by creating a prediction model, which isn't a very good model, but that's OK. It's always just nice to put it out there and show people, hey, some of these things may be related to injury. However, we probably can't use them to predict injury. And so, yeah, we defended that yesterday, and it just feels nice to get that off the back a little bit.

 

Yeah, and how hard was that to do? I mean you have a full time job with an NBA team.

 

Yeah. So it's not like you have this multitude of free time.

 

Right.

 

You have a family. Like, how hard is it to do that?

It was, you know, that's probably of the number one question people give me. Right, it's like how did you manage to get it done? I just always tell people it's-- it was just a sacrifice of sleep, honestly. So it's-- there is plenty of free time in the NBA.

The major time commitments of the NBA are just, you have to be there. Right? You have to be on the plane or on the bus or in the gym. So you just have to be there. But there's not always work to do necessarily. Right? Like during practice, hold for like a rehab case, usually that's time where, yes, you want to be watching practice, but you could knock out some work on a computer.

 

So I just found times-- whether it was on the plane, whether it was at the hotel rooms. Between shootarounds and game days, there's usually a four-hour period where you can get some work done there. So I'm just sneaking in work constantly. And in over four years, we are able to get it done.

That's cool, man, yeah. And yeah, it's very doable, so it-- when-- it makes people who, you know, have made excuses-- when they hear, like, someone with a job like yours get it-- that maybe we need to step our game up. But so what-- I mean, go back to this-- what even made you want to go that route in the first place?

 

Yeah.

 

Yeah?

 

Yeah. So I started relatively young. So I started as, really, a strength and conditioning coach, really, just seven years ago. And so I did my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara, and my first internship was at UC Santa Barbara with the athletics program. And my first mentor was Dr. Jeremy Bettle. And so I go in and meet him, and he has a PhD, and I'm sitting there thinking, like, doctor, why? You don't need a doctor to be a strength coach.

 

Yeah.

 

You just need to lift weights.

 

Right.

And so that was kind my first introduction at the science of what we do. And I remember seeing the blue JSCR journal. And I'm like, what is this? And he said take it home and read. Learn something, kid. You know?

So took that home, and I remember reading a couple of articles in there. I'm like, man, this is amazing. I didn't know this was a science. I didn't know this was-- you can do experiments and those types of things. So I think that really just got that started, kind of what has culminated to the doctorate.

 

But from there, decided, hey, I need to get a master's. I really need to learn how to understand literature, understand statistics. So I did the master's at Cal State Fullerton. I remember that I was looking at a few different programs, and when I get to Fullerton for my visit, obviously, I meet the legend of Dr. Lee Brown. And he asked me, "Hey, what do you want to study?"

I said, well, honestly, I'm a strength coach. I got my CSCS, and I want to study athletes. I've been training athletes. I want to continue training athletes. I want to study athletes. And so we're in the-- I remember, you know, vividly-- worrying that we're in his lab. And he kind of looks up and points at, along the wall, and says, "You see all those papers? That's us studying athletes. That's what we do here."

And told me, man, I got to come here. So I went there, obviously. Had an incredible experience. Again, just the training of understanding how to really digest the literature and critically evaluate it.

And then from there, it was like, man, you just might as well keep it going. I was relatively young at the time. I was 22, I think, at the time. So that made it easy. I've always considered myself a decent student, so I did my undergrad in three years. I did the master's in, really, one year.

 

Wow.

And so I was relatively young. And so I was like, well, you're going to continue learning. You might as well get letters for it, kind of thing.

 

Sure.

 

Like if I'm going to stay up until 2:00, 3:00 AM reading material anyways, I might as well get something for that, that I can document. So that was kind of that. Like, well, you-- if I know I'm going to keep doing this, I might as well get some letters for it. And so that's what kind of pushed me all the way through.

 

And then leaving Cal State Fullerton, I called Dr. Brown to say, hey, really considering a doctorate program. However, I want to still coach. What should I do? He says, "Call Dr. Brent Alvar and chat with him."

 

And so that was kind of the next progression, was chatting with Dr. Alvar. He laid out the vision of the program. And so it was really a no-brainer for me to sign up and kind of jump into the thick of that.

 

Nice. And who were you guys working with when you were at Fullerton? What kind of athletes were you coaching? What kind of studies were you doing then, when you were in your master's?

Yeah, absolutely. So when I first got to Fullerton, I considered trying to work as an intern or a GA with their programs there, but they were actually full already. And so I ended up taking on a local volleyball team and then doing some kind of freelance work or entrepreneur-type things on the side, just to maintain my foot in the coaching door for that year.

But when I left UC Santa Barbara, there was a-- so my first mentor, Dr. Jeremy Bettle that I mentioned-- he ended up leaving to the Brooklyn Nets. He's now with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The person that replaced him was Chip Schaefer, who came from the NBA. And so as I'm leaving UC Santa Barbara, Chip says, "Hey, why don't you stick around and earn a master's online and really coach here still?"

And I said, you know, I really just want to get in a brick-and-mortar type building. I need the training. I think it's going to be difficult to get that in an online format. So he kind of said, hey, you know, I really appreciate what you've done for us. I can tell you really want to be an NBA strength coach. He knew some people. Right, that was kind of his thing-- I know some people, I can help you out.

So he said, hey, go get your master's, and I'll take care of you. And so that was really the driving force behind me accelerating the master's. It was like, hey, I know if I get this done, he might be able to take care of me. So I ended up doing the master's in a year.

And just to maintain-- to fit in the coaching door, I just worked with some local kind of high school teams. But I didn't actually work with any of the collegiate programs there.

And then my master's thesis was on deadlifting with and without chains, so looking at some accommodating resistance. And then from there, we just-- we brought in-- I think it was like 13 subjects that were really just all my buddies. They were all strength coaches. We knocked out data collection pretty rapidly. And they all came and they all had experience deadlifting, so was the easy process to get that done.

 

So yeah, I didn't actually work with any of the Fullerton teams.

 

Gotcha.

 

But I just kept a foot in the coaching kind of ground while, really, just trying to get through that program with the hope that, hey, I'm going to get this done. And then I'm going to call Chip, and then Chip is going to take care of me.

 

And then, you know, it happened. So I was fortunate, for sure. Because, long story short, the way I got to the NBA was actually through Chip. So, you know, it all kind of came together.

 

Ah. So how did you know? You said, oh, you wanted to be an NBA strength coach. When did that light bulb go off? Or how did you decide, you know what, I want to go the NBA?

Because not-- I mean, there's definitely-- obviously, there's strength coaches in the NBA. But it's still kind of becoming like really official that every team has two strength coaches now.

 

Yep.

 

We don't necessarily automatically think of the NBA when you think of strength and conditioning. Right?

Yeah, absolutely. So I've played ball my whole life.

 

OK.

I actually went to UC Santa Barbara because it's a good school. You know, education-wise. And so I tried to walk on the team there. But for the listeners that haven't met me, I like to tell people I'm a good 5' 11". But definitely lying there-- I'm 5' 10" on a solid day. So I didn't make the team, but considered transferring to UC San Diego because that was a D2 school. And then the academics were still high. So it was kind of like, hey, I can keep my mom happy because the academics are good, but I could still play ball.

 

And at the time, I remember talking to my older brother. He's like, well, just become a personal trainer. You work out all the time. And I'm like, huh, a personal trainer? What the heck? He was like, yeah, you just take a test or something. And so because I was a good student, I knew I would be able to do that.

And that was kind of like the light bulb. It was like, OK, well, you've got a few options, at this point. If you want to continue in basketball, you're going to have to go overseas and live a rough life. And skill-wise, especially relative to like NBA athletes, I'm not there. So decided, well, if I can't be an NBA player, maybe you can help NBA players.

 

Nice.

And so that was kind of this-- it probably was like a six-month transition of, OK, you got to hang up the hoop dreams and then just find a career in basketball. And so it came together, I guess, pretty quickly. And I was just real fortunate.

 

I remember right I went I walked into UC Santa Barbara for an internship, Jeremy said, hey, "Yeah send a resume over." And I did that, and he didn't get back to me. And so I would follow up almost every day with him. And he probably doesn't know this, but that was mainly because the facility was in between my classes and my house. So it was just easy for me to walk in and bug him.

I think he eventually realized like, dang, this kid's not going to leave me alone. So he says, "Man, just take a seat in the office." And so he comes in and, you know, closed the door and sits down. He says, "Tell me what you want." I said, well, I want to be an NBA strength coach. And he looked back at me with the most confidence and said, "I am going to be an NBA strength coach."

And I remember that confidence and I'm thinking like, well, how are you going to be an MBA strength coach? So he already had some things in place to make it happen, obviously. So you know, I just bit-- was really fortunate to have kind of a dream to become an NBA strength coach. And one of my first experiences was with a guy that ended up being a NB strength coach. The guy that replaced him has been in the NBA for 25 years.

 

Wow.

 

So it was really a lot of fortune, obviously, to get here. But my desire to be an NBA strength coach really stems from my desire to be an NBA player.

 

That's cool. That's cool, and where-- so when did you actually kind of take that-- I mean that networking obviously was a huge part of it, to be able to meet the right people and kind of put those things in place. But then when did it kind of become the reality that you're like interviewing and all this stuff where you get the calls?

Yeah, so when Chip first got to UC Santa Barbara-- and Chip, Chip Shaefer, was the Head Athletic Trainer for the Bulls in the '90s, kind of Phil Jackson's guy-- became kind of a bridge position of Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach for the Lakers in the early 2000s. And then when Phil Jackson retired, NBA lockout year, I believe, and the entire staff got let go. And that's relatively typical. Like, to the NBA, or fairly typical. Well Chip's son happened to be an alumni from UC Santa Barbara.

 

Oh, wow.

 

And the position had just opened because Jeremy left to the Brooklyn Nets. And so it was easy for them to bring in Chip, obviously, somebody with that type of resume. And so when he came in, he kind of said, hey, you know, I know some people. We'll see what we can do for you. And so after spending six months with him, just coaching with him and then really working out with him every day-- like, we'd close up shop around 5:00 PM or whatever and we would just lift.

 

And I was asking, originally was asking, kind of the kid question of, hey, who is better Jordan or Kobe? How was Shaq? Those types of things. Those questions eventually turned into like real strength and conditioning questions, and then like family questions, and so it was really the progression of like a fan, strength coach, mentor type of relationship.

 

And so I end up graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 2012, and I go to Chip and say, hey, I'm going to go back home for the summer. Do you have any opportunities that might help me continue learning and growing? He said, "Let me see what I can do."

The next day I get a call from The Golden State Warriors, and they said, hey, Chip told us you're going to be back in town. We know you live near our facility. Let's get you in for an interview for an internship. And I'm sitting there like, really? Holy-- and I remember it, like the night before that interview, I think I memorized the Wikipedia page on the Golden State Warriors.

 

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Just because I was nervous. I'm like, they might ask me who the General Manager was 15 years ago, so.

 

What do I need to know?

 

Exactly. How do we-- how do we impress? And so that ended up falling through, but they placed me at a-- with an internship with, actually, Dr. Don Chu, so former president of the NSCA.

Wow.

 

So I spent some time at Athercare with him in Castro Valley. But that was kind of, I think, the first like, oh man, this could become a reality. Because Chip got me an interview, and I had no business having an interview for an internship. So I think that was kind of like, OK, this can be something. This can be more than just like a funny dream. It can be a reality.

And then, from there, it just kind of took off. So I did the master's. I ended up, after the master's, I went to start a strength and conditioning program at Santa Barbara City College. And that was an experience, man. It was-- I was looking at a few different options, and the Athletic Director at the time interviewed me. It was a Friday. A few hours later, he calls and says, "Hey, we want you to take the program. We want you to start the program here."

And his name was Ryan Byrne. He actually just texted me an hour ago saying congratulations. And I said, hey man, you know I'm kind of feeling some things out. Do you mind if I just take it through the weekend, and get back to first thing Monday? He said, yeah, sure. It must have been 30 minutes. He calls back, says, "You know what man? I'm telling you. This is your program." He was so passionate.

And I remember his passion just like fueled me. I was like, you know what, sign me up. And so as I went back to Santa Barbara to start that program, it was beautiful. We had an outdoor weight room.

 

Wow.

 

And for the listeners, if they just Google Santa Barbara City College Stadium, they will see, literally, a football stadium that sits on the ocean.

 

Wow.

And so we had an outdoor weight room on a football stadium on the ocean.

 

My gosh.

 

And I was 22 at the time, and I was the head of-- the Head Strength Coach starting the program. So we had like 17 teams, and so it was just exponential learning for me.

 

Wow.

 

But as I took that on, I also worked at a place nearby in Santa Barbara called P3, which is pretty well known in the NBA space for training NBA athletes and testing NBA athletes. And so I interviewed there for a position, and got the position that was supposed to place me with the Atlanta Hawks, so that was kind of another opportunity. And then that fell through as well. So here I was, kind of 22 at the time, thinking like, man, every opportunity is falling through. I'm never going to make it.

But now, retrospectively, I look at that like, man, you were just a kid. You know what I mean? Like-- but those opportunities kind of just kept coming and falling. Chip ended up calling me offering me a G League position, but I turned that down because I thought I was going to the Hawks. So there were some opportunities already lined up.

 

And finally in 2014, after one year Santa Barbara City College, Chip calls me says, "Hey, man, they're going to give me an assistant." He actually, if I was-- you know, back up a little bit-- he actually ended up taking the Sacramento Kings job. So he left UC Santa Barbara to go to the Sacramento Kings. He ran it for one year on his own, and then they gave him an assistant. He called me. Said, "Hey, do you want to be assistant?"

 

I said, absolutely. We didn't talk about pay. We didn't talk about any of that. I knew I was-- he could have said, we'll pay you minimum wage, and I was going to go do it, obviously. So yeah, like it was kind of progression of dream to reality, with just different opportunities presenting themselves.

 

Wow, that's super cool. I like what you said, too, and I don't know if other people are catching up on it too, but like you're working at Santa Barbara City College. You're also working at P3. Like you're hustling to get--

And I started the doctorate at the time, too.

And starting the doctorate, doing all these things. You're obviously-- it's not like you just graduate and take this job and you're rolling in dough right. You are you are doing all these different things to get the experience that you knew you needed to get to the next level.

Absolutely.

That's pretty awesome. OK, so you're Assistant with the Kings, and then Chip left to go somewhere else? And--

Yep.

Yep.

Yep, so--

Pretty much got promoted?

Yeah. So we spent two years together. And then after-- so that would have been three years for him. So after his third year and my second year, the Chicago Bulls called and they brought him on. They offered him the Director of Sports Science, slash, Sport Performance. I think he kind of holds both titles over there. But really like an overseeing role, which is kind of fairly common now in the NBA. And it's really a model taken from some other leagues.

So they offered him that and that was obviously an opportunity for him to go back to Chicago, where he started his career. He's also from Chicago.

OK, nice.

So I think it was really like a homecoming for him.

Sure.

 

And not to say he's getting older, by any means, but I think he's transitioning into like the idea of ending his NBA career at some point. So I think he just was a nice transition for him to go back home and potentially finish his career off there. And so, yeah, he left.

And I was 25 at the time and I remember him calling me. And I remember my first response was, hey, Chip, that's awesome. Congrats. My second question was like, uh, what does that mean for me? And he's like, "Well, we'll see, obviously, how it plays out."

And so the next morning, we have an NBA draft workout. And my current boss, Pete Youngman, comes up to me says, "Hey, man, you think you can run this on your own?" And I'm, of course I could run it. It's draft testing. Like, yes, we have done plenty of that. So my answer's, of course, Pete.

And his second kind of comment was, "Well, just so you know, I'm going to be pushing for you to get the head job here." And I'm like, oh man. Like, let's do this. So that took some months to iron out with the NBA.

Off season is just always hectic with draft process and then summer leagues and then free agent season. So what that typically means is that lower-level positions like a strength coach kind of get put on the back burner until those things are ironed out.

So it took some months, but I just kept plugging away. And finally, we got it ironed out and they named me the head guy in 20-- Was that '16? So yeah, '16-'17, '17-'18. And now we're going into my fifth year, third as head with '18-'19 season.

Awesome, man. That's super cool. So give us an idea. What is it like? What's a day in the life of an NBA strength coach?

Yeah, absolutely. So a little bit different practice days versus game days, and whether you're on the road or not. But a typical game day, whether you're at home or on the road, you'll have a shoot around slash some film, Usually? Around 10:00 AM, 10:00 to 11:00 or so, 10:00 to 11:30. From there, there's usually a brunch, 11:30 to about 12:00, 12:30. And then from there, most players we encourage just to go back to the room and get a nap.

And so typically the same thing for the staff. They'll go and get a nap. But like I said earlier, that's-- that was my time to kind of plug away on some work. And then about 4:00 PM is usually the first bus. Tip-offs are usually at 7:00 or 7:30 PM, and so first bus will typically get you to the arena-- or if you're at home, you just need to get to the arena three hours before tip-off.

And so the typical game day might be, we'll get in around 8:00 AM be there until about noon for our guys, anyone who wants to get some work done before or after the shootaround. A nice kind of four hour block between like noon and 4:00 PM. And then 4:00 PM to about 7:00 or 7:30 is kind of the pregame routines for everybody. And then you're locked in, obviously, game time 7:30 to, you know, 10:00 or so. And then you usually can get out by 11:00 PM or so.

So game days are typically pretty long, especially if you don't go home during the break between shootarounds and games. And then practice days are a little bit shorter. So a practice day, again, probably get in by 8:00, especially for like a 11:00 AM practice. Our staff will come in and we'll do kind of a staff lift from like maybe 8:00 to 9:00, shower, make sure we're ready for our guys. Guys'll start trickle in, maybe 9:30, 10:00.

And then, from there, practice starts at 11:00. That might run a couple hours, so 11:00, 12:00, 1:00. Have lunch, 2:00 to 3:00. And so by about 3:00 or 4:00 PM, you know, you can really get out of the building. So practice days maybe like really 9:00 to about 4:00, as far as work goes. And then game days are just really the entire day.

OK, And it's not like a collegiate thing where you got-- when the team is coming in you, got the whole team, right? Like you're going to have certain guys come in at certain times?

 

Mm-hmm.

 

And do some guys like lifting in the morning, some guys like lifting pregame?

Yeah. Yeah, so--

Just depends on the person?

Yeah, it depends on the person. And like you said, it's definitely not the same kind of workout blocks as like a college system where you got the whole team in. So our off-season model looks more like a college system where, you know, the five, six, all the way from eight to 11 guys that we may have in at a time, they all will train together the hour before they get on the court together. And then they'll train on the court together, and then they'll scrimmage. And so off-season will look more like a college system.

But during season, yeah, we just kind of cater to our guys' routines. So especially if you're a vet. My general rule with our veterans, or have you had success for seven, eight, nine, 10-- all the way up to close to 20 years, right. We had Vince Carter, so.

I hear you, right.

You've had-- you've found success with the routines that you have?

Yeah, but--

And then, so it's not my job to come in and change those. It's really my job just to come in and help you keep those things going. So with the vets, we give them the responsibility to maintain their professionalism, and they do a good job of that.

 

So some guys'll come in before shootaround. Some guys want to get it done after shootaround. Some guys will come in before the game and get it done. And some guys want to knock it out after a game.

So Vince Carter, for example, really a good professional, really physically prepared for the game. And knows that he has to put in the work, obviously, while-- as he gets up in an age. So he's a guy that he really likes to do it after the game because he's already warm and he's already got-- you know, it takes him some time to really get going. And because he's already going, he might as well knock his lift out.

So yeah, and then our younger guys, we kind of hold to a different standard a little bit, in the sense that we do make them come in at specific times. And so, during season, it's not uncommon to see your entire rookie, sophomore kind of class together working out before practice.

Yeah, and you guys had some younger guys, too, right? Because I remember Jesse Wright, my good friend with the Sixers, saying that they had some really young guys. And they were almost like-- they were really able to get it after it with these guys.

And I've seen you. I heard you talk about that, and seen some of the training guys doing. Like, people might be surprised that you guys are really getting after it, lifting.

Yeah. Yeah, we try, for sure. I think that's something we take our-- you know, take pride in is there's definitely like this idea that NBA players don't train hard or- 

Right, right.

And while it may be true sometimes, it's really, like-- I think when people make those comments, it's, hey, you've got to appreciate we play 82 games.

Right.

In 169 days. Like I'm fatigued just from the travel, at times.

Right.

These guys are playing 35 minutes on top of those things, on top of the stress that comes with agents and friends and family and contracts and playing time. So we definitely try to appreciate those things, but we have-- I think we have the youngest roster in the NBA. We had 10 guys under the age of 25 years old, so.

Wow.

You know, a lot of our guys are extremely young, which-- there's pros and cons of that from a physical preparation perspective, obviously. So a lot of times, we might look at that and say, well, they're young. And I think that's like a traditional coach. They're young. They can just do it all.

Right. Right.

Well maybe, but they also haven't been exposed to the demands of an NBA season. And so we have to appreciate that as well. So but because they are young and, really, because we didn't really have anyone playing 35 minutes a night because we just had so many young guys. Our coach had to really have an extended rotation, meaning that they were never really extremely fatigued from any one game. So we were able to really get after it with those guys, for sure.

That's great. What do you-- so what are you guys doing? You mentioned the travel. Obviously, it's crazy, flying, all these crazy trips, and some of the road trips seven, 10 days, whatever they are. What are you guys doing to minimize the damage of the travel schedule?

Yeah. Oh, I think it starts with education on the front end, honestly. And so while we do try to do certain things like give them some hydration packets on the plane or long flights and encourage them with the sleep hygiene stuff when they get into their rooms.

But for us, it really starts with like educating on the front end about the habits that lead into those two-week trips. It's, hey, I know you feel fresh now, but understand that that is a guaranteed sleep-deprived situation. So can we bank some recovery on the front end so that we can kind of make it through those times?

Because you-- no one's going to be extremely fresh during those times anyway, so how do we just bank some recovery on the front end to really minimize the fatigue that accumulates on the back end? So it's a lot of education on sleep and nutrition.

And then during season-- or during the trips, excuse me-- you know, we might do some hydration stuff during the plane flights, especially if we're going coast to coast. They might be wearing some compression or some stim units, whatever our athletic trainers are encouraging.

Once we land and get to the hotels, if it's a coast-to-coast trip, what we're doing now is we'll actually land and go right to practice. And the reason we do that is really just to appreciate just their clocks and their internal clocks and know that, hey, even though it's 8:00 PM or 7:00 PM on the east coast, your clock is 4:00 PM, and you're not going to go to sleep when you get to the hotel anyways.

 

Right, right.

And so rather than waking you up the following morning to go to a shootaround, and now we're waking you up at 9:00 AM our time, but it's 6:00 AM on your clock, and just traveled. Rather than trying to fight that, we just kind of accept, like, you're not going to sleep anyways. So we might as well go knock out the lift-- or excuse me, the shootaround, so it's really a low level practice.

We might as well go knock out that, do our walkthroughs, and then let you just sleep in through a brunch meeting all the way to 11:00. So that's something that we're doing a little bit of just to try to really get them as much consistent sleep as possible, rather than breaking that up.

And then when we do we land at a hotel-- so let's say we play you know in New York and then we head over to DC, or whatever it is, or maybe we're going right over to Brooklyn. Once we get to a hotel, say we land at-- we get there at 2:00 AM. So a lot of people may not know, you actually fly right after a game in the NBA, typically.

OK.

So we play and everyone else goes home to their families.

Yeah, right.

And we go to the plane and we fly somewhere, so but when we do get to the hotel, players are encouraged to go right to their room. And then one of our roles as the support staff is really to help out our equipment managers and to pull bags. So the truck comes up. We have, you know, a hundred bags. We're pulling those, we're tagging them, and we're getting those up to their room.

So you know, they do have the luxury of just grabbing their keys. There's no check in. All the keys are laid out, so just trying to minimize the obstacles in their way to really get their room and relax. So those are just some things that we're trying to do to help encourage recovery and fight the fatigue of a trip.

And were you-- did you help kind of spearhead that idea? Or was it, you know, you and the medical staff together? Or was it kind of something that you guys brought up and had to sell the sport coached on?

No, I think it's-- honestly, I think some of that was already starting to transition before I even got to the NBA. So, I can't take credit for that idea. I think it makes sense for assurance though. There's conversations of what makes sense. So, you know, we might sit down in front of a schedule and say, hey, what makes sense here? What makes sense there?

But some of like the landing and going to practice stuff has been done, and the coaches understand it. And coaches, typically, understand that, hey, we got to do what we can to keep these guys fresh because they want to win games. So, they don't want fatigued athletes anyways. , So, yeah, I can't really take credit for that,

Sure.

But I definitely can appreciate why we do it.

Yeah, nice. How big is-- you know, with all this technology stuff that's coming out-- and are you guys utilizing that to give your coaching staff better information? Are they open to it? Is it something they're interested in? Some they're not interested in?

Yeah. So, oh yeah, I mean tech-- the technology boom in sports science and in training is obviously amazing, Just how much is out there now. And so we don't give too much information to our coaches. We do, part of my role is, quote, unquote, "sport science," which I don't even know what that means. I mean, we should all be doing sports science. The science of sport, right, that's what the NSCA is literally doing.

So but part of my role is kind of that. It is sport science. And with that, what I really look at is just workload monitoring, and that's kind of what the dissertation was in. So we are tracking some things from a game load perspective. And then we do some wellness surveys. We do some practice stuff.

And so that information will occasionally get communicated and reported to the coaching staff. But only-- really only if I think it's extremely relevant and going to make an impact on what they're doing. Maybe a game rotation, who plays that night, who needs certain minutes. But rarely do we take it there.

And I think there's this huge thing in the NBA about resting players, and so much so that the NBA has changed rules. And so because we can appreciate that coaches want to win games, and they don't really care for a quote unquote, "sports science." We really want to frame it in the right way and only give it when it's needed.

Now, within the weight room, though, there is a lot of technology we have in there, obviously, with some velocity based training stuff. We have an isokinetic squat machine. We have a radar gun for our medicine ball wall. We have a kBox with a kMeter. So we have a bunch of things in there and we do track some of those things.

And then we also play to those metrics as just, really, to drive intent or competition in the weight room.

OK, yeah.

So if we're doing a speed squad day, some days it's, hey, we want to hit a certain number, right? One meter per second. Other times, it is, we just-- it might just be we put a weight on the bar, and now we'd say, who can move that the fastest, right? And so that's kind of a different way to look at it.

And that's been great for us. Honestly, like we be do-- we might do speed bench, speed squats, and barbell jumps. And we've had-- these guys are competitors, right?

Yeah, very, very. 

NBA players not necessarily be weightlifters, so they may not want to live in the weight room, but they definitely want to compete.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And so when we start showing numbers from the isokinetic squat machine or our velocity-based training stuff, guys get under there and they they go, and they're like, man, I'll beat right now. Let's go. So it's cool. So really from an intense side is where we're getting using the technology to drive training efforts which hopefully lead to training adaptations obviously.

That's cool. Maybe that engages guys a little bit more that may not have been super into lifting, for sure, in the first place, right?

Yeah. 

A little competition, that's awesome. Wow. You're talking about game load, workload, stuff from your dissertation today. What's kind of a real quick-and-dirty two minute drill on, you know, what the gist of that presentation is?

Yeah, for sure. So there's a big, I think, boom in the literature right now on workload monitoring. Acute chronic workload ratios are huge obviously, right now. And so I kind of talk through what the literature's starting to suggest as far as that stuff goes, right, the relationship between workload and injury and the short synopsis on what the literature is suggesting currently is.

We know that if you do too much, there's probably an increased risk of injury. And we know if you do too little, there's probably an increased risk of injury.

Right.

You can use an acute chronic workload ratio potentially to really understand what those two areas are of too little and too much. But we really aren't that confident in those things. Right? Like the listeners are probably like, man, everyone knows that, right? Like that, to me, that's strength and conditioning. Right?

Yeah.

That's proper periodization or programming. And I remember just thinking back to my first year as the head guy, sitting in a room with all of our sport coaches, our Head Coach, brand-new coaching staff. And when I come in, I'm like, hey, guys, I want to talk about sports science. And they're like, oh, who is this nerd, right? Who is this kid, nerd that we just gave this job to?

And I said-- and I remember telling them, like, listen, honestly, like I read the literature. And I'm telling you, all we really are confident in is if you do too much, you might get hurt. And if you do too little, you might get hurt. And I remember them kind of looking up. Like, you went to school for that?

And so that's kind of my way to get them to buy in. Like, yeah, it's not that complicated.

Right.

So from there, though, I think there are some certain strategies that strength and conditioning or sports science professionals should be using to manage those lows, to make sure that we're not doing too much or too little. So some strategies that I go into later on are things like building chronic loads, right, if we know that a training camp or four games in five nights, if we know what those loads might look like, then we really want to build up a chronic training load to that point.

Right.

Right. The first time that we put a player through those loads it shouldn't be in competitions. We want to build that capacity early. I think you want to appreciate just the idea of there's times when your athletes are fatigued because they've just been put under too much load. Maybe you mismanaged and didn't prepare them or maybe you did and they went into two overtimes that you weren't prepared for. Or maybe they're just fatigued and tired because the travel hit them harder. That's hard to prepare for, right? So even if I prepare my guys physically for the distances, accelerations, and decelerations, can I prepare you for those same things while also being jet lagged?

Right.

Probably not, right? And then these guys, these guys go out on intent to the town. And they want to enjoy their night, so there's sleep deprivation, so if and athlete is fatigued because of too much load, what are we doing strength and conditioning professionals to really accommodate that, right?

If I had a four by five back squat on my program for the day, and I see a guy comes in. I'm looking at his loads, and those are high and he's clearly fatigued. The wellness surveys are confirming all of this. Am I going to stick to plan A, or am I going to switch to plan B and maybe cut volume in half, right? Or maybe turn that to like a taper day? Maybe we just switch the low from 80% to 50% and look at speed. So I think it's building some chronic loads. It's appreciating that we may need to be a little more flexible and adaptable to the changes in our athletes' responses to those loads.

And the last couple of things I will go into are things like, can we separate the systems, the biomechanical, and physiological systems? Right, we heavy decelerations might affect the hamstrings, for example, in a way that may not be conducive to more sprint work or more deceleration work. But we may be able to get around that by getting you on a bike, and getting a physiological adaptation. Maybe we throw you in Alter G or a throw you in the pool.

So how do we consider these different systems at play here? So those were just kind of some of the things that I go into, later on today.

Are there any quick and dirty, super simple ways? I mean you mentioned the wellness surveys. Are there-- there's a really simple things that anybody could implement that you think would have a benefit to coaches?

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think at minimum, you want to wellness surveys. I think that's extremely important, just-- and it's honestly, it's something that all strength coaches are doing. Like that that's my thing with some of the sports sciences. All these things, you're probably doing. Sports science is just trying to put some numbers to it keep it a little more objective.

So I'm already having the conversations with my players when they come in the weight room. Hey man, how you feeling? And that's within the context of how was your weekend. Hey, you played well last night. Hey, you got dunked on last night. So we're cracking jokes, but we're also checking in with you. And now, I just write it down.

So we use a three-question survey. For wellness surveys, a 1 through 5 scale just to track that. I think that's easy and simple for everyone to do. I think session RPE is easy and simple to do. Whether it's after a practice or a game, it's pretty easy to ask your athlete session RPE. You can use a 1 to 10 scale, or 1 to 5 scale. So track some of that.

And then I think you should probably be doing something with the q chronic ratios. And how you decide to go about that is really, I think, up to you. There's obviously some ways in the literature that it suggests, but I think that the state of the literature isn't as robust as we think, so I think you should probably be looking at some relative way of understanding how much has the athlete done, and how much have they been prepared for it?

So you might want to look at just minutes played in game. So an easy one would be if you're a high school strength and conditioning coach, and you're working with a basketball team. Just look at the players' minutes played per game. And then compare that. You could just sum that up, compare that to the previous sum of last week. Divide it. Right divide week five by week four, sum of minutes played, and that's going to give you a change in load for the week.

Cool.

So you can do those things. And now you're a sports scientist right?

Right. Right. Nice. That's awesome. So it doesn't have to be super complex? Good to Know.

Not at all.

Like it. We talked about you kind of came up through the ranks. You were an assistant coach first, and now you have an assistant. And you-- do you have two assistants? Or assistant, intern? You have two assistants?

We have-- so Evan VanBecelaere is the assistant, for kind of me, I guess-- or the Sacramento Kings. Really, not my assistant right. It's the Sacramento Kings Assistant Strength Coach. Ernie DeLosAngeles is our G League strength coach, but the way we've structured him out is for six months he's the head strength coach for the now Stockton Kings, which is our G league team. And then for the other six months, when they're not in season, he's really just a member of our staff.

OK, cool.

And then we have an intern. So that's kind of our four from a Sport Performance Staff. And then our bigger staff is our sports medicine sport performance staff. So we do have a director of Sports Medicine, a head athletic trainer, an assistant athletic trainer, and then the G League athletic trainer. So collectively, there's eight of us. But during season, it's really just me and Evan that will travel.

OK. And what-- when you were looking to hire those guys, what are you looking for in filling those kinds of positions?

Yeah, absolutely. So it's funny, I didn't even know Evan going into the hiring process. I heard of him, and a buddy of mine-- actually, I love telling this story-- a buddy of mine from high school worked with him. He facilities guy at Santa Clara, and Evan was at Santa Clara previous. And good buddy of mine from high school called and says, "Hey, this guy Evan said he applied and he's a really good guy." And I'm sitting there like-- oh, no, no. Excuse me. He said, "He knows his stuff." That's what he said.

And I'm sitting here like, yo, how do you know he knows this stuff? He's like, "Well, all right, man, I don't. But he's a good guy, though." I'm like all right, that's all I need to hear. So he had a good resume and he had a good coaching presence to him. So I interviewed him.

And being relatively young at the time, and still obviously, but because I'm relatively young in the field, I don't have a large coaching tree that I can pull from. So when it comes to like time to make a hire, it's not like got friends of mine ready to take jobs, right?

Right, right.

So I knew that I was going be taking a risk anyways, you know, but I had a feeling he would do a good job. And ultimately, I had a good feeling that he was a good person. In the NBA, you gotta spent a lot of time with people. Right, we're on the road literally every day together, like there's a lot of time spent.

 

So the bigger question for me was, can I have a beer with this guy, right? Can I really hang out with this guy? Is he going to bring a different perspective to me? I didn't want a yes man that was just going to agree with me because I still want to grow and develop. I'm certainly not at the point in my career where I'm done doing that. So it was like, OK, let's get a guy here that you can learn from and learn with and grow together. But, hey, you can also have a beer together, so that was the kind of hire with Evan.

And then Ernie was actually an athletic training intern for us, my first year in the NBA. And although he was athletic training intern, he would always come in the weight room and ask me questions. And I was always lifting, so he would jump in a lift. He was asking a lot of really good questions. And really just remind me of like myself with the passion of asking questions and really wanting to get better.

So you fast forward a couple of years, and we had opportunity to bring on a G League Strength Coach. He had finished a masters sport performance. He had been dabbling in coaching already. He was the head athletic trainer at UOP for a couple of years. So he'd been around elite level athletes, or at least collegiate athletes.

And so again. It was just like, hey, this guy is ready to learn. He's ready to grow exponentially. He's a really good person. He's a hard worker. The big one with the G League hire was I need someone that can grind, man, because the G League is not the NBA. It's getting better, as far as like the logistics of games and those things.

But there's times where I might call Ernie at 2:00 AM and say, "Hey can you get this done?" And I know that he would do that for us. And so I wanted a guy that I can trust, you know, no matter what. And so that was easy to kind of bring him along.

Nice. And you guys have interns. You actually have an intern position that's posted right now. It's not going to be an-- it's going to be filled by the time people hear this podcast. But what are you looking for in intern positions?

Yeah I think the same idea. First, the minimum that we require is a CSCS, and we prefer some coaching experience. Through the interview process, it's really like can we-- let's feel this guy out, make sure he's not going to be too much of a fan of these guys, right.

Right, right.

You get some of that, like these guys just want to be in the weight room with NBA players. And yeah sure, like we all do, like it's fun. These guys are fun, but ultimately we need someone who wants to be a strength coach first. Right? And so that's kind of where it starts.

And then beyond that, it's just kind of, hey, what else can you bring to the table? Can, again, can we trust you to do things? Or we like to give much responsibly as we can on the front end. We don't have this idea of, like, hey you're an intern and you're just going to clean weights for us. Like absolutely not, like you're going to come in. And I need people that are going to take work off my plate, right?

Right. Right.

What can you help me with? And on the flip end of that, we have a responsibility to educate you and help your growth, but we would-- we definitely want someone that we're going to just consider an extension of our staff, rather than intern. And our last intern, Josh Washington, who now with Auburn-- he's is a GM with Auburn-- that's exactly what he did. So whoever we do end up hiring got some big shoes to fill to come into this role.

But yeah, we're just looking for someone that's hungry, hopefully with a little bit of experience. And someone who enjoys basketball because you're around it a lot. But isn't necessarily a fan of the NBA in the sense of like, hey, I just want to hang out with these guys. So all of those things come to mind, for sure.

Is that a whole season-long internship, or a year? Is it a year-long position? What's the--

Yeah, we can keep him up to a year, so we'll start it in August. We'll bring him in. And then they'll be with us through our season, which NBA regular season ends in April, and then playoffs begin after that. So hopefully, hopefully, they're with us longer than that. And then after that, it's really like, hey, you're welcome to stick around for the draft process and help us up until the year point, because we're happy to have you. But ideally you find a better opportunity before then.

Yeah, cool. Until and what does an intern in the NBA do? If I'm applying for an internship, what am I looking forward to? Obviously, I mean, you mentioned it, I'm not going to be around athletes, but what do I actually do as an intern in the NBA?

Yeah, it is-- well it's big time commitment because you're in there pretty often, obviously, just the same as we are. But we kind of start our interns off with, hey, just kind of-- just watch and get a feel for guys. As they come in, just say hello. And let's build that trust before you start trying to fix a squat, learn a guy's name.

And so the front end of that is really just kind of shadowing, if you will, and then making sure that, obviously, the weight room's cleaned up. And really that's our chance to feel them out. We want to hand them responsibly as quick as possible, but we also want to feel them out and see if they're ready for those roles.

But then, beyond that, there's definitely some-- the coaching. So like, we'll start our guys with-- we kind of start every session with a prep package or like it's kind of our specific warm up to the training for the day. We'll try to hand that off quickly. So the intern's probably coaching the prep packages for us. And then they're going to be help-- they'll help load the plates up as we coach the bigger lifts. And maybe listen to our cues and maybe have a conversation. Hey, what do you think about that cue?

And then after that, or actually before that, leading into practice, there's some Catapults that we put on players, so you're probably running around and making sure guys got their Catapults on. We might have sent you upstairs to make sure all the Catapults were turned on and laid over their chairs. We might've sent you upstairs to make sure the supplements were laid out where they were supposed to be laid out.

Then during practice, it's pretty dead. But we-- well, our internship is rarely dead because we run it kind of like a master's curriculum. That's my goal is to really educate. So during practice, your probably reading a paper that's part of a unit. So if it's a hypertrophy unit, then you're probably reading a Brad Schoenfeld paper.

And then after practice, you're collecting monitors. You get them all in. After that, I'm probably teaching you how to build a report or something, just to kind of show you what I'm doing on the back end.

And then from there, practice ends, and the day kind of slows down. But then beyond that, we'd probably expect you to work out with us and train with us. And you don't have to do what we do, but you definitely want to train because I'm a big believer in practicing what you preach, obviously.

So that's kind of, I guess, some of the responsibility. It's really just an extension of our staff. Whatever I'm expected to do, you're probably going to be helping me do it.

Yep, that's super cool, man. I might be applying next time. Better watch out.

Well, hopefully--

I don't know if we have any polos to fit.

(LAUGHING) Keep your eyes peeled for a Kings' internship in the future. And you guys, this year, you put on your own sports performance conference, right? What was that like? Why-- I guess why did you decide to do that? It looked super cool. I told you, I'll try and be there next year. But how did you get involved in that?

Yeah, that was-- it was amazing, man. Like, I mean, you see I'm smiling now, but it was just cool to come together. It was something that I've always wanted to do.

So I grew up in the Bay Area, an hour from Sacramento. My mom still comes to probably too many games. She thinks she's a dang season ticket holder. But it was somewhere it's-- you know, I'm relatively young, but and I know that I got here from other people. And so you know, I feel obligated now to just pay it forward.

And so it was-- that was kind of my way of like, man, you've got this platform now the Sacramento Kings. How can you use this to really just connect people and help people grow and learn? And so and I tried to do that through like Instagram or social media where I answer every single message I get. And it makes my girlfriend angry, half the time, because I'm always on my phone, but it's just a responsibility I feel like I have.

Because I remember the first time I got a call from an NBA team, I was like, I remember calling my family. Like, I'm going to the NBA. They're like, you got a job? Like, nah, I've got a voicemail, though. So it was really that. I think that was the driving force behind it. And then, so as I became the head guy, I was, OK, now you can do it. So we spent a year kind of talking about it, honestly. And then 2018 came around, New Year's and I was kind of done talking about it. I just wanted it to be about it 

Yeah. Yeah.

So I had-- my girlfriend's a designer-- I had her create a graphic, put it on Instagram, and the feedback was pretty good. I'm like, oh, all right. Well, and it's out there now, so you can't turn it back. And it didn't even have a date on it. It just said, Spring 2018 because we wanted to feel it out.

And so from there, it just was like, OK, let's do this. And we started with the idea of like hey, let's do $50, maybe 50 people. That was kind of like what I told our staff. And I'm like, hey, if a student can't afford it, that's fine, we'll let him in free, if they message me. I don't-- it's not about make money. Let's connect people.

Well, that quickly turned-- we underpriced it, given our speaker lineup. And so we sold 100 tickets six weeks prior to the event. I'm like, oh man. So we had to wait list it. We ended up with a big wait list. We couldn't even let everybody in.

The speakers came together beautifully. They're all people that I know and work with, but they're all well-respected in the field. And so from there, I was like, OK, I clearly need sponsors. Because I didn't think about any of that stuff. I'm like, oh no, you just invited someone from-- you just invited Mark Fitzgerald from the Anaheim Ducks. How are you going to get him here? Well, you got to fly him here. Well, he needs a hotel room, right? So it was like, and you probably should give them a speaker fee because they're professionals.

And so it was like, oh man, there's dollar amount here that I have to earn now? Ah. But we weren't going to earn it through the ticket prices because we messed that up. So I had to go get sponsors, and so that was like an interesting thing. But it was cool because it was also-- it-- our role with the sponsors was we would only bring you on as a sponsor or a vendor if we with you or know you personally.

 

Nice.

 

And so we had sponsors that wanted to help us out, but it was like, no, like we don't need your money. We're not going to sell the integrity of our conference for it. So sponsorships came together. We had almost 15 of those. We ended up with 120 attendees, 150 people in the room.

And then the setup was amazing because I went to our general manager and said, hey, I'm going to have a symposium here. And he's like, "Ah, what do you need? Do you need some money?" And I'm like, no, Vlade, I don't need money, but just to use the court. And he fully supported it. And he was like, absolutely, whatever you need.

And so as soon as the general manager approves of something in the NBA, you're going to get support.

 

Nice.

So I ended up with event coordinators.

 

Oh, wow.

 

We had a huge stage, and we had a DJ. Like, it was crazy. And so it was funny. I was super, like, grateful for everyone. And it's funny because our event coordinator and our facility staff were probably looking at me like, dude, we do this every other night for 20,000 people.

 

Right, right. Yeah, yeah.

 

Your 150 people is nothing. But for me, it was everything. So it was awesome, man. We're already excited about next year. We don't know how we're going to, you know, do it next year because there's kind of a debate now of do we want to grow it bigger?

 

Right.

 

Or do we want to keep it small and intimate? Because that was one of the big feedbacks with the intimacy of it. And we did a lot on the front end to try to drive networking. So like our icebreaker was, I remember I told everyone, hey, everyone get out of your chair. Head to the other side of the court. And people were like walking, so I got into coach mode.

 

I'm like, oh, y'all don't listen, huh? Get on that, so everyone kind of jogs over. And it was kind of like, hey, if you're from Sacramento, start walking to the other side of the court, and people start walking. I'm like, look, man, you are all in Sacramento. There's no reason you're not having beers and coffees with each other. Start talking. So they started talking.

And I was like, if you're from Bay Area, California, from somewhere outside-- so we let that ride for a little bit. Five minutes later, we came back the other direction on the court. And it was, hey, are you a professional strength coach? Are you collegiate? Are you high school? Are you in the private sector? And so same idea.

And so we ended the ice breaker by saying, look, you all brought business cards here, and I get why, but that's not networking. Network is connecting, and so that was a theme of the day. And obviously it was mixed in within a great speaker lineup and education. So it was awesome, man.

I'm like nervous for next year. Am I going to be able to like redo that.

Yeah, have you got a date set already? Or--

No, not yet. It's really just going to be based on, obviously, our seasons, so if--

Right, right, right.

If we make the playoffs, then it would have to be later than April. And if we don't, then it could be at the end of April. It was at the end of April this last year, and it was nice because the weather was nice.

But I hope that we have to wait until July because I want to keep, you know-- it'd be great to make a deep playoff run.

Right, or if you win it, for sure, man, yeah. Cool. Well, I know you got a presentation to get ready for. And this has been a great podcast, a lot of information in here. If people haven't connected with you yet, what's the best way that they can reach out and find you?

Yeah, so my Instagram handle is just Ramsey underscore Nijem, I believe. Let me double-check that. And then my Twitter is-- yeah, so Ramsey_Nijem on Instagram. Twitter is Ramsey_M_Nijem. I had to put an M in, that's my middle name So. So those are probably the two easiest ways to just kind of contact me.

Like I said, I answer every message, so I don't want to-- I know that this NSCA Coaching Podcast is starting to blow up, so I don't want to be invited too many, but yeah, I love connecting with people, so those are the two easiest ways to get a hold of me.

Yeah, and definitely if people want to check you out, your Instagram is pretty cool. You got a lot of guys training. You got you and Evan training, getting after it, pushing each other.

Yeah.

Wasn't set in PRs. So it's always nice to see.

Following on form.

Following the Coach Caulfield arm farm. We've got to keep that up. Appreciate the time, man. Looking forward to hearing your presentation this afternoon. So thanks for being on the show.

Awesome, thank you, Coach. appreciate you having me.

Thank you for listening the NSCA Coaching Podcast. We truly appreciate your support, and we wouldn't be able to do this without you. So keep on listening. If you enjoyed our episodes, please go right us a review at iTunes or Google Play, wherever you download your episodes from.

Also be sure to subscribe, so you get these delivered to you every other week right on time. You don't want to miss the next one. Also, you can go to nsca.com, and check out the episodes there if you prefer that. And as well, check out our new web site and everything that's going on.

This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

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Photo of Scott P. Caulfield, MA, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D
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Scott P. Caulfield, MA, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D

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Scott Caulfield is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Headquarters in Colorado Spri...

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Ramsey Nijem, MS, CSCS, RSCC

Sport Coach, Sacramento Kings

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Ramsey Nijem is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Sacramento Kings National Basketball Association (NBA) team and is concurrently ...

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