Today’s guest is Mike Irr, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Atlanta Hawks. He previously served as the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for the Golden State Warriors and the Charlotte Hornets, and served as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago Bulls. Mike received his BS in Exercise Science at the University of Connecticut and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
We dive into Mike’s background as both a strength and conditioning coach as well as a physical therapist, and how he incorporates elements from those two worlds into his work. He talks about load management and his experience training NBA players. A common theme Mike goes back to is the idea of identifying each player’s empty buckets and filling those respective buckets to make sure their performance is maximized and they stay healthy over the long haul.
Listen in as Mike shares his advice for those who are deciding between becoming a strength and conditioning coach and a physical therapist, considerations around load management for the longevity of a professional athlete, and how he approaches training professional athletes today compared to when he first started out as a coach.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
[03:12] How Mike came to be the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Atlanta Hawks
[08:14] Mike’s thoughts on going back to PT school as a strength and conditioning coach
[17:31] Working with NBA athletes
[25:15] “Onboarding” a new player and leading them along the first few weeks of training
[30:21] Red flags that Mike looks for to know whether he needs to scale back a player’s regimen
[32:07] The evolution of how Mike coaches athletes over the years
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