Professional athletes typically do whatever necessary to keep themselves in great shape, and they're willing to pay top dollar to do it. In many cases, that means spending time in hyperbaric chambers, or eating very healthy diets, or taking multi-hour naps. At bare minimum, they hire excellent trainers to design intense workouts and keep them at an elite level of fitness. (OK, in truth, the bare minimum is taking naps.)
These players usually don't like to take a chance with their bodies, or to hire trainers who don't have sterling reputations working with their peers. Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has taken that chance. And he's doing so with an unlikely partner: his kids' trainer. From Scott Powers for ESPNChicago.com (via Blog a Bull):
During the summer, Boozer sought out a new basketball trainer to help him develop him into a more all-around player and touch up on his fundamentals. While the Miami-based trainer, Devel King, was an unlikely choice for Boozer as King had no previous experience with NBA players, Boozer believes this season will turn out differently because of his work with King.
"I felt like the trainer I had before, things I was doing before wasn't getting me to be where I wanted to be at," Boozer said. "I wanted to switch it up a little bit. Ran into coach King. He was actually training my kids at the time. I loved what he was doing with them, a lot of fundamental work, which is great, a lot of footwork, jabbing, different things I thought that I need for my game.
"Sometimes when you play so long in the NBA, sometimes you forget some of the basic stuff, and he was able to re-teach me some of the basic stuff that helps my game a lot. It's simple, but it's super effective. ... I was in the gym a lot, in the lab a lot working on everything, man. Defense, offense, ball handing, shooting, rebounding, going to be a complete player."
King said he nearly crashed his truck when he received the call from Boozer to work him out. But as much as King was shocked, he never treated Boozer differently than any of his other clients, who range from kindergartners to college players. King was critical of Boozer when he needed to be.
You may remember Boozer's kids as the awesome little guys who rooted against their father during a Bulls/Heat game last January. Truth be told, if King could get them to listen, then he can probably do good work with Boozer, as well.
Plus, although it might seem weird for a highly paid professional athlete to train with someone who'd previously worked with children, it's not as if King spends all day having his athletes jump around on trampolines and play Around the World while he checks his Facebook account. King is a serious trainer, and I'm sure he understands the value of the opportunity that Boozer has given him. They'll do real work.
Still, for the sake of jokes, I'm probably going to pretend that King and Boozer spend all day practicing free-throws on eight-foot baskets. Maybe, if he's lucky, Boozer will get to buy a soda from the vending machine when they're all done.