"If you go three, four, five days in a row with less than six hours of
sleep, your reaction time is comparable to that of someone legally
drunk, " (Coach)Rivers of the Boston Celtics said. "You're trying to play a basketball game where just a 10th of second, a degree off, throws your whole game off."
Dr. Charles Czeisler is known in the N.B.A. as the Sleep Doctor. He advises players to sleep 8.2 to 8.4 hours a night, which requires nine hours in bed.
Bowing to Body Clocks, N.B.A. Teams Sleep In
By HOWARD BECK Published: December 19, 2009
Bill Sharman is no basketball radical. He was not trying to
revolutionize the N.B.A. when he became the Los Angeles Lakers' coach
in 1971. He simply wanted his players to be confident, relaxed and
mentally sharp on game nights. So Sharman instituted a brief morning
practice and gave it a lively name: the shoot-around.
Within a few years, every team in the league was holding them.
Doc Rivers is no basketball revolutionary. He simply wants his Boston
Celtics to be confident, relaxed and mentally sharp on game nights. So
a couple of months ago, Rivers eliminated morning shoot-arounds.
The Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference with a 20-5 record, hardly
seem to miss them.
"All of them, to a man, said: ‘Wow, it took some getting used to, but
I'm fresher. I love it, ' " said Rivers, the Celtics' coach. "So
there it is."
For 38 years, the morning shoot-around has been an unquestioned staple
of the N.B.A. game-day routine. It may soon be extinct, another dusty
exhibit in basketball history, next to the peach basket, the two-handed
set shot and John Stockton's short shorts.
Three teams - the Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail
Blazers - have dropped the morning shoot-around. The Knicks now hold
them only for road games. The Denver Nuggets dropped them last week.
The Washington Wizards are experimenting without them, though only in
A growing interest in sleep science - and a recognition that players
need more time to recharge - is fueling the trend. Simply speaking,
N.B.A. players often fail to get enough sleep.
The typical night game ends at about 10 p.m. By the time players
shower, dress and speak with the news media, it is close to 11 p.m.
They are usually famished, so everyone eats a late dinner. Even the
most conservative players - those who do not frequent nightclubs - will
not get to sleep until at least 2 a.m. If the team is traveling,
players may not reach their hotel until 3 a.m.
For a shoot-around or practice that starts at 10 a.m., players have to
arrive as early as 9 a.m. to lift weights, receive treatment or be
"You're talking about our players functioning on five or six hours of
sleep a day, " Rivers said, "and that's just not good enough."
Rivers was once a skeptic on the topic. He now speaks like a sleep
"If you go three, four, five days in a row with less than six hours of
sleep, your reaction time is comparable to that of someone legally
drunk, " Rivers said. "You're trying to play a basketball game where
just a 10th of second, a degree off, throws your whole game off."
Rivers got a full education last summer from Dr. Charles Czeisler, the
director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School
and the chief of the sleep medicine division at Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston. In the N.B.A., Czeisler is better known as the
Nate McMillan, the Trail Blazers' head coach, consulted with Czeisler
last year, before wiping out all shoot-arounds and morning practices.
At Czeisler's recommendation, McMillan took the effort further. He
gave his players permission to stay out until 2 a.m. on the road, to
keep their body clocks on Portland time.
Czeisler advises players to sleep 8.2 to 8.4 hours a night, which
requires about nine hours in bed. Coaches also need to account for the
time it takes players to wind down after a game.
"The general principle is that if you are going to prioritize anything,
you should prioritize sleep, " Czeisler said. "Right now it's being
taken for granted that you're never going to have a problem, that you
are somehow going to be able to function without sleep."
Over the past 20 years, professional sports teams have become
increasingly attentive to fitness and nutrition. Czeisler, who has
also advised NASA, called sleep "the third pillar of good health."
A key function of sleep is to restore neurons in the brain, a process
that is critical to learning and mastering new information, he said.
If players practice a new play, then get a sound night of sleep, they
will be 20 percent better at performing it, Czeisler said. But with
insufficient sleep, he said, "you simply never get that improvement."
Doctors at the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic have come to
similar conclusions. Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich cited their work when
he moved the Spurs' off-day practices to 3 p.m. He dropped morning
shoot-arounds two years ago.
Rivers dropped shoot-arounds in the second half of each of the last two
seasons, including in 2008, when the Celtics won the championship.
This is the first season he has eliminated them altogether, with happy
"You can visibly see it in practices, " Rivers said. "We've had better
practices this year."
The typical morning shoot-around is nothing special. Most last about
an hour and involve a walk-through, some light shooting, a review of
that night's opponent and perhaps a film session. Players may be
"Shoot-arounds seem to be very tedious and nonenthusiastic situations,
" Nuggets Coach George Karl told The Denver Post last week, when he
announced the elimination of shoot-arounds.
Yet 24 teams still religiously gather between 10 and 11 a.m. on game
days. Even Phil Jackson, the Lakers' famously nonconformist coach, has
stuck with the tradition, which he considers necessary to get his
Jackson sometimes pushes back the start time to let them rest, but he
does not consider the shoot-around an imposition.
"I think that people get used to a wake-up time, " he said.
Everything a team does at 10 a.m. could just as easily be done at 4
p.m., a few hours before a game - which is what the Knicks, the Blazers
and the Celtics now do. (The Spurs review their shoot-around material
at the previous day's practice.)
Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni cited a variety of concerns, including rest
and commuting time. The team's trainers also wanted players to have a
healthy pregame meal, which is now part of the Knicks' home schedule.
They are required to be at Madison Square Garden by 3:30 p.m. for a
"I just don't like being in the gym for that long, " said Knicks guard
Larry Hughes, a 12-year veteran. "I'd rather go in the morning and do
the hour in the morning and come back ready to work."
Some coaches cling to the morning shoot-around as a means to force
players to rise early, presumably to discourage late-night partying. A
lot of players, who are night owls by necessity, dread the morning
session. As the Celtics star Kevin McHale once remarked, "It was a
dark day in the N.B.A. when Bill Sharman came up with that idea."
According to N.B.A. lore, Sharman invented the shoot-around to get Wilt
Chamberlain out of bed. Sharman said that was not the case.
He actually began holding shoot-arounds in 1962, when George
Steinbrenner hired him to coach the Cleveland Pipers of the American
"Some of the players looked at me kind of funny, " Sharman said, but
the results were good. The Pipers won the championship that year. In
1970, Sharman coached the Utah Stars to the American Basketball
The shoot-around actually began as a personal quest to calm his own
nerves. As a young player for the Celtics in the 1950s, Sharman was
too wound up on game days to sit home. With nothing else to do, he
began practicing jump shots at a nearby junior high school gym.
"I didn't want to overdo it, but it kind of made me relax a little bit
more, " Sharman said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where
he remains a Lakers consultant. "Just the idea to loosen up and get
more confidence in a game."
It worked. Sharman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player
and a coach, said his shooting percentages began to climb after he
adopted the morning routine. As a coach, he thought his players would
In Los Angeles, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich welcomed the new
practice. Chamberlain was wary but told Sharman he would go along with
it, if it helped the team.
But, Sharman recalled Chamberlain saying, "If it doesn't help the team,
I'd like to stay in bed."
Fate took over from there. The Lakers won 69 games, including an
N.B.A.-record 33 straight, and claimed their first championship in Los
Angeles. Soon every team was adopting the morning shoot-around.
"The players realize that the money they're making, the opportunity
they have, they'd be an idiot not to do everything they could to help
themselves and help the team, " Sharman said.
In 1971, that meant dragging a weary body out of bed to get to the
gym. In 2009, it may mean a few more hours of dream time.
From the 1944 film Gaslight the term "gaslighting" acquired the meaning of ruthlessly manipulating an individual into believing something other than the truth.
The jist of the movie is that a husband tries to make his wife seem insane in order to get her out of his way by getting her admitted to a mental hospital. He does this in subtle ways that cause her to doubt her own ability to interpret reality.
Understanding and influencing how your affluent prospect interprets their reality is an intregal part of persuasion.
There are five main strategies employed in the technique of gaslighting and you can use each one to your advantage when persuading your affluent prospects.
The first is repetitive questioning and this is used to plant the seed of doubt in a person.
Game shows employ this tactic in order to heighten anticipation by causing the contestants to doubt their decisions - asking and reasking, "are you sure?"
As you can see, gaslighting isn't necessarily a nice practice. It is designed into trick someone into doubting themselves and their own sanity.
With MAXpersuasion.com, my goal is to teach you exactly how to persuade your prospects, and not just any old prospect. I want to teach you specifically how to persuade the affluent, because when you focus your energy on those with money you will be handsomely rewarded with more money in your bank account and more time with those you love.
The affluent think differently than the rest of the population. That's why they are millionaires, deca-millionaires, and multi-deca-millionaires. In order to persuade these affluent prospects, you must think like they do.
Documents in sweat lodge case show past problems
By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press Writer Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 31 mins ago
PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Documents released in the investigation of a fatal sweat lodge ceremony show that people lost consciousness and others suffered broken bones at past events led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray, but Ray largely ignored the medical problems that arose.
Three people died after an Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony that was the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event at a retreat he rented near Sedona. The Yavapai County sheriff's office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray, who has made millions of dollars by convincing people his words will lead them to spiritual and financial wealth.
In documents released Monday, a man Ray hired to build the sweat lodge told investigators that he was hesitant to assist with the ceremony for a third year because participants previously had emerged in medical distress, and emergency help wasn't summoned. Theodore Mercer said the latest ceremony was hotter than in years past, but Ray repeatedly told participants, "You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you're not going to die."
Mercer's wife, Debra, told investigators that one man emerged from the sweat lodge halfway through the October ceremony believing he was having a heart attack and would die. She said that instead of summoning medical aid, Ray said "It's a good day to die," according to a search warrant affidavit.
When Ray was advised that two participants were unconscious near the end of the two-hour ceremony, Debra Mercer said Ray did not appear overly concerned and said they would be OK until the end.
A message left Monday at a phone listing for the Mercers was not immediately returned.
No charges have been filed. The investigation, including hundreds of interviews, is expected to be turned over to prosecutors next month. Sheriff's officials said they would have no further comment until then.
Ray has hired his own investigative team to determine what went wrong. Brad Brian, an attorney for Ray, said in a statement Monday that Ray's representatives have been working with Arizona authorities to determine the facts, and he urged people not to jump to conclusions.
Brian said he believes the investigation will show "that the Sedona tragedy was a terrible accident that no one, including James Ray, could have seen coming."
Authorities and participants have said no one was forced to remain in the sweat lodge, but they were highly encouraged to stay inside.
Sheriff's officials said they found nothing to explain how the three people — Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y.; James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn. — died other than the extreme heat inside the pitch-black sweat lodge — a 415-square-foot makeshift sauna covered with tarps and blankets and heated with hot rocks.
Authorities have interviewed most of the more than 50 people who attended the event and detailed about a dozen of the interviews in documents released Monday after a judge ruled last week that they be made public.
Some of the people told investigators that Ray responded to cries for help from a man who was burned and warned other participants not to leave the sweat lodge during eight 15-minute rounds so they wouldn't also be scorched by the hot rocks in the center.
Others who were interviewed by investigators described suffering broken bones at other Ray-led events after being instructed to break bricks with their hands. Others said they vomited and slipped into altered states of consciousness.
Mickey Reynolds, who attended Ray's 2005 "Spiritual Warrior" event said it was implied the sweat lodge was safe since Ray had done the ceremonies before. Reynolds told investigators there was no discussion of safety procedures or a plan if something went wrong.
The owner of the Sedona retreat, Amayra Hamilton, said she told Ray in 2005 that he would have to change his ceremonies after a man became severely ill and she saw improvements the following year.
Richard Wright said he took part in the latest sweat lodge as a test of courage, enduring seven of eight 15-minute rounds. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident told The Associated Press participants never were asked to provide emergency contacts or answer questions about their health, and they never were given a clear picture of the effects of a sweat lodge.
Instead, they took Ray's word that vomiting and passing out were normal, he said.
"We all chose what we did," Wright said. "But again, if you make a choice with only having half the story, have you really made a choice?"