from Matt Higgins and Curtis Rush of the New York Times,
Adam Oates was an unemployed N.H.L. coach in the spring of 2015 when he tuned in to watch the N.B.A. finals.
At one point, the broadcast turned to a discussion about LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and his use of a private shooting coach, Idan Ravin, who had also worked with Kobe Bryant and others. Oates already knew that the Dallas Mavericks’ sharpshooting forward, Dirk Nowitzki, had been tutored by a coach, Holger Geschwindner.
“It got me thinking that there might be some guys that want a little extra attention or extra thoughts, depending on their schedule,” Oates said of N.H.L. players. “So I reached out to a couple guys, and every single guy said, ‘Yeah, I’d love that.’”
Oates, a Hall of Fame center, knew from a 19-year playing career, a stint as a coach for the Washington Capitals from 2012 to 2014, and his time as an assistant for the Devils that an N.H.L. staff scarcely has time to devote to individual players. He also knew that in the past dozen years, players have been ramping up their commitment to nutrition, fitness and skill development.
“We’re trying every new pill, shake, workout — trying to improve, right?” he said about his pitch. “I’m like, ‘O.K., why don’t you work on your craft?’”
Create an Account
In order to leave a comment, please create an account.