There are many players in the world of sports whose work ethic and attention to detail sets them apart from others. In most cases it improves their health, longevity, and of course skills. There are several players like this (Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods...well at one point anyway), but in many ways, Ray Allen sets himself apart.
It is a ritualistic nature in the Celtics star that has helped make him one of the best pure shooters of all time. Natural ability can only take a player so far, and Ray has not neglected his gift.
Allen admits to an undocumented case of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), which has resulted in some small altercations with teammates. Allen has sometimes felt uncomfortable when he sees other players with inconsistencies in their routines, or merely sitting in a different seat on the plane. As a teammate, he has learned to temper these issues and instead use them to his advantage.
As with most great players, the preparation does not start at game time or even in practice, but it is an entire choice lifestyle that Allen commits to.
Allen doesn't drink. During their 2008 championship run, The Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullan noted Allen saying to Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis, “You have all summer to go out. Do it then. Not not with so much at stake.”
“Ray says he always packs light,” Perkins says, “because he leaves his nightclub clothes at home.”
Orlando SF Rashard Lewis began following Allen's routine in Seattle and Rajon Rondo has followed suite in Boston, showing up three hours before the game.
After Allen's ankle surgery in 2007, he decided to develop a new diet plan and workout routine. His new workouts are engineered to help build his core strength, condition his joints, and strengthen his lower body. Every move is a position used to simulate game play. He uses jumping resistance bands to focus on his glutes, standing on one foot while throwing a medicine ball for balance,
According to Celebrity Diet Doctor, Ray's home game day routine is as follows:
8:00am- breakfast consisting of blueberry pancakes
10:00am- morning shooting practice at the Waltham training facility
noon- lunch of lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
1:30pm- two hour nap
3:30pm- baked chicken, rice, and broccoli
4:00pm- more shooting practice, 200 shots in an hour
5:00pm- stretching exercises for one hour that particularly focus on the hamstrings followed by PB&J sandwiches and water
7:00pm- game time
10:00pm- a 15 minute foot soak in a tub of ice
After Allen missed two straight free throws in game four against Miami last season, was back at it, shooting 145-of-150 from the line at the practice facility, according to The Boston Globe.
It is this discipline and drive that keeps Ray in shape, fresh, and locked in.
At age 35, Allen is still able to run defenders all over the court in order to get an open shot. Similar to Detroit Pistons SG Rip Hamilton, Allen's tasking training repertoire enables his abilities on the court.
Allen has lost a bit of quickness over time but with a solid supporting cast he has at least a couple more years of very effective play ahead of him. He is a model of a how a professional athlete should conduct himself both on and off the floor.