Let’s look back at LeBron’s 2017/2018 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As we all know, the Cavaliers lost in five games in the NBA Finals against the powerhouse, Golden State Warriors. In this article, let’s focus on the regular season LeBron had instead.
Before we begin, how does the NBA Regular Season work? There are 30 teams in the NBA. These 30 teams are split up equally into 2 conferences; the Eastern and Western conferences. Within each conference, the 15 teams are further grouped into 3 different divisions. So how many games does each team play? In a regular season, each team plays 82 games. Yes, you read that correctly, 82 games. On average, the teams were playing about 3.5 games per week and the 82 games season took around 165 to 170 days.
With all this information, what made the 17/18 season so special for LeBron? Well, let’s just say LeBron played all 82 games during that regular season for the first time in his 17 seasons in the NBA. There are a handful of players who played all games in the season but what made Lebron stand out were his numbers. He averaged 36.9 minutes, 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds. These are amazing numbers considering he played every single game and still managed that.
So how did the then 33 years old superstar managed to play at such a high level throughout the entire season. The answer is simple. Recovery. There have been reports saying that LeBron spends approximately 1.5 million USD each year just on his body. He took recovery as important as his games. Whether or not he plays the full 48 minutes or less than 30, his main focus after the game is recovery. LeBron’s diet and exercise play a huge role in his success. Mike Mancias, LeBron’s trainer, mentioned that over the 15 years working with LeBron, he has become so regimented that he does not even have to do much. He often joked with everyone saying, “This machine runs itself.”
According to mike, LeBron uses a hyperbaric chamber for his recovery. Hyperbaric Therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased significantly compared to the normal air pressure and his body is exposed to a higher level of oxygen. This stimulates the release of substances called growth factors and stems cells, which promotes healing. His routine also included meditation.
As an athlete in Singapore, adopting LeBron’s method of recovery is almost impossible. Most of the athletes are not full-time athletes. Many of them still have a 9 to 5 job and spend the rest of the night in practice. This makes it more difficult for them to focus on recovery as they would probably go to bed once they reach home. Also, unless you are able to spend millions of dollars on a personal chef, trainer, nutritionist and all the equipment every single year, then maybe you could be the next LeBron James. However, what you can learn from him is his work ethic, discipline and desire to succeed. These 3 factors are crucial in your everyday life, not only in basketball.
I hope you picked up a thing or two in this short article!