The Nets are now well known for their performance team, measuring all manner of data. As Joe Harris famously noted, “They even track the color of your piss” (It’s about measuring hydration levels.) But it doesn’t end there, as we know. The performance monitors sleep patterns, diet, etc.
And, as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said on Friday, the Nets performance team also offers players access to a sports psychologist to help with confidence. The therapist works in conjunction with other performance team professionals, coaches and veterans.
“I would definitely say it helps to talk to people; older people, veterans, therapists, just people that have a knowledge of under pressure situations. It’s kind of hard,” Hollis-Jefferson told beat reporters in talking about his increased confidence.
“Like, people can tell you a million things about how to react when they’re stable, when they’re calm, when their heart rate is low. But when their adrenaline is rushing and when the game’s on the line, how many people can tell you how to react to that? So pretty much getting some people that went through it and understand it, talking to them and then talking to therapist has helped.”
Dr. Paul Groenewal is that therapist, a Closter, N.J., psychologist whose website notes he “specializes in the treatment and coaching of elite athletes.” RHJ refers to him simply as “a guy named Paul.”
Groenewal, team insiders say, can often be found at the HSS Training Center, ready to talk to whoever needs his service. Overall, Hollis-Jefferson credits Sean Marks with creating an environment where all the players’ needs, physical as well as emotional, are taking care of.
“Everybody we have here,” Jefferson said, discussing the performance team. “Sean wants you to just focus on basketball; everything else, somebody is here for, either on a day-to-day basis, daily, whatever. So, the big focus is basketball here. He wants you to be exceptional at it. He wants you to focus on your craft, so what better way than to give the players the tools to do that?”
As Jeremy Lin said last year, and repeated to the media. “I’ve never seen an organization care for their players holistically from a 24/7 standpoint.”
- How a sports psychologist has made one Net a better player - Brian Lewis - New York Post