NBA star Steph Curry talks daily routine, sensory-deprivation tanks, and hacking his brain for neurocognitive efficiency...
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Basketball
Fascinating look at Steph Curry's daily rituals:
TI: What does your daily routine look like? How many shots do you take per day?
SC: It depends on the situation and the day. If it's a normal practice, I'll get up 300 shots. During the summer, you up that to about 500 when I'm working on my game, trying to get better. During the season, it's more just maintenance and trying to fine-tune everything. You don't want to exhaust yourself, so I dial it back a little bit.
TI: What's your daily diet? How closely do you attend to that?
SC: Pretty closely. With how much we run during games, and how many games we play, I need as many calories as I can get. It's not a very strict diet at all, but the more years I go, the more experience I have, the more that nutrition and eating the right foods is important for recovery and things like that. So I try to study that more, but I'm pretty much on the "eat whatever you can diet," just to get those calories in, so I can maintain myself throughout the season. But I'm getting a lot smarter with it now.
TI: With all of the travel and early mornings, are you a coffee drinker?
SC: Just coffee when I need it. I stay away from it for the most part, but certain mornings you need a little boost. I might have a cup or two, but I'm not a daily coffee guy at all, or energy drinks or anything like that.
I do love when Steph talks about improving his brain with neurocognitive efficiency.
TI: I love this phrase from your trainer, Brandon Payne: "neurocognitive efficiency." What is that? How do you train for it?
SC: In my terms, "neurocognitive efficiency" is being able to make smarter, faster decisions on the floor. We overload our sensory system, nervous system, in our training with different lights. There are little beams that we have on the wall, and I'll be doing dribble moves and reading the lights that are associated with different moves. Different colors mean to do a different move, and you have to make that decision in a split second and still have control of the ball.
In a game, there are so many different variables that are thrown at you — the defense, where your teammates are, how fast your body's moving, and you have to be in control of all those decisions. So we overload in our workouts so that the game slows down in real life. It helps you become a smarter basketball player.
TI: Have you found results from that? Do you feel a difference?
SC: Definitely feel a difference. I think my ball handling has become a lot crisper, my decision-making has become a lot better, and I feel more creative on the floor. I feel like the game is definitely slowing down, so I can make better moves and have more control over my space out there.
TI: What's going through your head when you're going to take a shot that could decide a game?
SC: What goes through my head when I'm going to take a game-winning shot is ... I better make it. Don't be afraid of the moment. I'm pretty confident that whatever shot I'm going to take in that situation is a shot that I've taken many times in practice. So you let the muscle memory and the repetition of what I do take over. And have ultimate confidence in making that shot.
TI: How do you prepare for a championship?
SC: It starts really at the beginning of a season. How you come into the season with your mindset, your sense of focus. And every step of the way I think you learn something that makes you a better player, and all those lessons really come out when it matters the most in a championship. You obviously have your routines that you rely on, then you go out and play and have fun. For us in basketball, we have a seven-game series, so you have time to adjust if you need to. It's a fun experience to go through, and one that I'll remember for a long time.