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Season 1 on ESPN+: Player Development

Last Updated: April 26, 2023

From “instagram trainers” to wearable tech, the athlete body has become a billion-dollar business off the court. Here, we talk about what that actually means for the players, their data, team analytics and more. We also go on the road with trainer Drew Hanlon.

As sports evolve, so do the training methods and technologies designed to unlock better performance. NBA Hall of Famer and player development consultant Steve Nash, Founder & CEO of measurable fitness company Whoop, Will Ahmed,  NBA forward and Thirty Five Ventures Founder Kevin Durant, and NBA veteran and investor Andre Iguodala discuss how contemporary players look to gain an edge on the field of play with advanced training methods and technology. Ahmed explains how training is just one part of the equation, as 24/7 monitoring has begun to unlock the benefits associated with rest and recovery. We take a look at how individual sports franchises are also investing in technologies to support their players reach higher levels of performance and avoid injury. Nash, Iguodala, and Durant talk through how tech can influence the longevity of sports careers and whether or not youth athletes are using technology correctly or committing to one sport too soon. While new tech brings the advantage of insights for players, trainers, and nutritionists looking to measure the impact of new diets and regimens, it also brings up the question of data privacy: are players comfortable with their data being in the hands of an outside company when the stakes are so high?

Jay Williams inquires about how NBA stars select their trainers and the actual costs associated with individual player development. A field segment takes us to the training ground with Drew Hanlen, CEO of Pure Sweat Basketball and personal skills coach to elite NBA talents. Drew and Boardroom Correspondent Jordan Schultz walk through how fees may be structured for training sessions and how mobile and on-court technology can accelerate skill development for players. Additionally, our guests tangle with how some trainers use the fame and cultural currency of their clients to build a bigger audience and grow their companies. 

Watch this episode, along with all of Seasons 1 and 2 of The Boardroom, streaming now on ESPN+.