In this episode of Orreco’s ‘Optimized’ podcast, Marc Cleary is joined by Charles Ashford, Performance Nutritionist for the Dallas Mavericks. The Episode is packed with first-hand information of transitioning from collegiate to professional leagues, supporting the unique and individual needs of NBA players, and where monitoring provides the necessary information to keep players healthy and performing at their best.
The conversation opens with Charles’ speaking about his background, where his interest in sport performance developed, how he got started in a career of performance nutrition and his move to the US from the UK in 2014.
Charles talks about his roles in collegiate sports, from an initial position at Texas Tech working on their Football Program and his move to the University of North Texas, overseeing the nutrition program for 350 student athletes. He outlines the demands of resourcing, such as time and funding, and how this environment supported a positive transition to the NBA last year with the Dallas Mavericks.
The two discuss the critical differences of the professional league compared to the collegiate environment. Where the athlete’s priorities are different and the nutritional periodisation becomes a detailed individualised approach for continual support around not only performances, but also the incredible travel schedules, sleep schedules, individual tendencies and personalities. Leaving the rigid collegiate environment to the fluid and dynamic professional league.
Later, Charles outlines his typical work day and the challenges he has to overcome in order to provide the best quality support to the players at the Mavs. Every detail is considered from the layout of the facility to monitoring to training and how those manipulated to prepare for the upcoming game and ensure the athletes are appropriately prepared and recovered. They also discuss how the data of external and internal load act as markers to positively impact the athletes.
Finally, the conversation turns to the individual differences of the athletes and their responses to certain monitoring and intervention strategies and how at the end of the day communication is the key to success for these elite level athletes.
Enjoy the episode.
To discover more about Orreco and our cutting-edge work at the frontline of elite sports performance, listen to ‘Optimized', you can listen to it on our podcast page or you can download it from wherever you get your podcasts.