Under the Sheets: What Sleep Means to One of the NBA’s Best Shot Docs
A few weeks ago, we spoke with NBA Shooting and Skills Coach, David Nurse. Not only does Nurse hold two World Records but he also has trained over 100 players from Kyle Korver to the Brooklyn Nets.
In this rare glimpse behind the scenes of the athletic elite and its trainers, Nurse explains the importance of prioritizing nighttime.
What got you interested in exploring off-court factors when it comes to training athletes?
David: The realization that you can only be on the court at maximum capacity for about 2 hours. Then how do you optimize the rest of your life for the other 22 hours?
Basically, understanding that it is much, much more involved than just on-court basketball that goes into your whole total performance.
In your experience, how does sleep factor into performance?
David: It’s the ultimate.
If you don’t get the right amount of sleep, and I’ve done it with tracking my own sleep with the Oura ring and tracking players’ sleep, and if you don’t get the right sleep, you are at a disadvantage for being able to perform.
I tell people that it’s like plugging in your iPhone. If you get it fully charged at night, then you’re 100 percent ready to attack the day in every single aspect. But, let’s say that charge doesn’t get up to 100%. Your functioning at 50-60 percent.
Sleep literally is everything. People think it’s workout first, then nutrition, then sleep. People think it’s great to say “Oh man I got just 5 hours of sleep,” or “I only got 4 hours. I’m working so hard,” and it’s glorified.
I just laugh at them and say, “No, you’re working dumb.” You won’t be able to produce at your highest level. Sleep is literally everything.
As an athlete yourself, do you find the ChiliPad to be beneficial?
David: For sure! I joke about it with people when I’m on the road. I don’t sleep as well when I don’t have my ChiliPad. I am an absolute prima donna when it comes to sleep, and I don’t care. I’ve got to have it at 57 degrees, and I can feel the difference. When I travel, I just pray that the hotels can get the air temperature down that cold.
Can you feel the difference in your workouts?
David: Oh yeah, I killed a workout this morning and felt great because I was at home in LA sleeping on my ChiliPad.
Have any of the players you coach used the ChiliPad?
David: Yeah, I’ve told four or five players that I work with, who are high-level NBA players, about it just from them being around me and hanging out, telling them about the kind of stuff I do.
Coaches too. I’ve got a few of them hooked up with the ChiliPad, and they are currently using it.
How do you think athletes and people, in general, can benefit from the ChiliPad?
David: If they want to perform at their highest level, if they want to be the best version of themselves, If they want to have the most energy throughout the day, if they want to feel rested, if they want to get their nutrition in line, if they want to basically do everything at the best that they can do without feeling like they have a ton of bricks bringing them down, then they can benefit from the ChiliPad.
Everybody can benefit from the ChiliPad.
About David Nurse: David Nurse holds two Guinness World Records: the most three-pointers with one basketball in one minute and in five minutes. He is a world renown shooting and life coach who has developed some of the top shooters and players in the NBA. David also leads the non-profit organization Basketball Life to put on clinics worldwide.