Walter Norton Jr.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Special to Celtics.com
October 3, 2006

WALTHAM - Training camp begins on today with all the excitement and energy that a young team brings to new beginnings. This will mark the official start date to pre-season practice for the entire team. But unofficially, the pre, pre-season has been running all summer long. Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Tony Allen, Dwayne Jones, and Kendrick Perkins have spent much of the summer trying become the next wave of Celtic greats.

For over a month now, they have been joined by Sebastion Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Kevin Pittsnogle, Allan Ray, Rajan Rondo, Gerald Green and Leon Powe. The guys have invested long hours and tremendous effort into developing their games while sculpting their bodies into top form. The Celtics coaching staff, from top to bottom, have given all of the athletes every opportunity to improve.

The Celtics have a very young team, with twelve players on the roster currently twenty-four or younger. While that statistic indicates a lack of NBA experience, it has not hindered enthusiasm or work ethic. The youth movement has instilled a college-like atmosphere in the weight room and on the court. The players show up ready to work hard and improve each day, often seven days a week.

The athletes spend as much as four hours working out each day to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. A typical day consists of:

  • 0-40 minutes: Muscle activation, dynamic warm-up, plyometric work, movement teaching and movement skills, torso training and/or tissue regeneration.

  • 41-100 minutes: Court work, including set/play review, individual skills, in-game adjustments, 2/3 man game teaching, and play.

  • 101-125 minutes: Conditioning, with an emphasis on interval training, court running and change of direction. On high volume ground contact days, the players will bike instead of running.

  • 126-180 minutes: Lift (Resistance Training) The players will train for athletic performance using free weights and focusing on single leg strength, explosive power, and muscular balances(push/pull equality, etc.)

  • 180-200 minutes: Post-Workout Conditioning/Recovery. Any players trying to reduce bodyfat will spend additional time on a bike, stairmaster or versaclimber in an effort to become leaner and lose weight. The players who have finished their workouts will start their post-workout nutrition with a recovery shake and additional fluids. The players will stretch, use massage, steam, etc. to help speed recovery for the next day.

This timeline does not take into account time spent with Athletic Trainer Ed Lacerte or Massage Therapist Vladimir Shulman. These two work very hard behind the scenes to keep players feeling good, healthy, and in optimal condition to improve. These two work with the athletes before the workout starts and after they finish, putting in long hours to ensure success.

The summer is no break for the players or staff and the last six weeks have been a terrific example of a systematic, structured approach by everyone involved to help the organization improve. This season's Celtics may be young, but they have prepared like veterans.