This is the second installment in a series that is exclusive to FitnessRX For Men.com and will take the reader into the mind and body of an NBA rookie from college, the pre-draft phase, NBA Draft, through training camp and the entire season.
Solomon Hill was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft and was a four-year player out of the University of Arizona. We will chronicle Hill’s experiences and what he does to stay in top shape to become a difference maker on a team that came close to ousting the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
Getting through the grind of an NBA training camp and preseason can de a daunting task for even a veteran player, so Solomon Hill knew going in that being in condition was a must. Preventive measures were also taken and the Indiana Pacers rookie forward suffered only one setback, albeit a minor one that didn’t keep him off the court at all.
“I re-aggravated an old wrist injury weight training,” he says. “So I took two weeks off from lifting. I was still able to do rehab exercises for the wrist and also concentrate more on my legs.”
Part of his regimen came by way of keeping his eyes and ears open. Hill learned that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant ices his joints before and after games, so this became part of the University of Arizona alum’s schedule.
“If you start doing that earlier, you’ll prolong your career.”
An example of Hill taking advantage of down time is by using Hyper Ice in his hotel room and on the airplane, specifically on the 15-hour flight the Pacers had to take to play a preseason game in Manila.
Besides icing, Hill also receives regular massage therapy. This is especially important for his legs and jumping ability. His routine was to come to the team facility at 7:45 am, get any medical treatment from the staff, 90 minutes of practice, hit the gym and then get a massage.
Hill’s workout schedule appears as follows:
DAY ONE – upper body (less intense)
DAY TWO – lower body (squats, lunges, band work, quicker circuit)
DAY THREE – upper body
DAY FOUR – lower body (less intense)
“At the end of each workout, the strength and conditioning coaches will guide you on doing an extra 10 minutes in the gym on an area you need to work on,” adds Hill.
Through one of his teammates, Hill hired a personal chef and had her meet with the team nutritionist. They got together and the first round draft choice has been able to maintain a clean diet throughout the offseason. “I didn’t want to use training camp to get into shape,” says Hill, who added that he was able to add nine pounds of muscle to his now-6’ 7”, 229-pound frame from lifting over the summer.
Indiana’s first preseason game was against the Chicago Bulls and that meant the return of Derrick Rose after his knee injury. There will be many more nights where Hill will be facing the perennial All-Stars of the league and he goes about it the way a wily veteran would.
“I watch a lot of game film,” he explains. “As a rookie, I also watch it on my own (not just at team meetings). It makes life easier and sets me up for success. I not only watch the players at my position, but all the others, as well. I learn to not make the same mistakes.
“Getting pointers from my teammates has also helped me,” Hill continues. “Paul George told me that being a two-way player (offense and defense) is the way to stay in the league. And that’s the type of team that we are – all defense and hit first. We’re not flashy, but will give you your toughest games. Like the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference.”
But besides success on the court, Hill has an added agenda for his rookie campaign in the NBA.
“One of my goals by the end of the year is to develop my core better.”
Judging by the way he totally immerses himself into everything he does, that seems like a cinch.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Solomon Hill’s “Diary of an NBA Rookie,” right here on www.fitnessrxformen.com.