We all know how Michael Jordan was one of the hardest-working players ever. An anecdote from his personal trainer Tim Grover underlines this.
Jordan employed Grover as his athletic and physical trainer for most of his NBA career. During this time, Jordan went through various phases of hard work and athleticism.
Grover once told the tale of how Jordan improbably increased his vertical leap by a whopping 10 inches. His Airness started working with Grover in 1989 at age 26 and a vertical leap of 38 inches.
Jordan hit the 48-inch mark in 1993 according to Grover, even though the latter says that vertical explosiveness was not the focus of his training regimen for Air Jordan.
When Tim Grover (@ATTACKATHLETICS) was looking for professional clients to train, he wrote a letter to each player on the Bulls except Michael Jordan. The 1 player to contact Grover after that? Michael Jordan. The rest is history
— Jumpman History (@HistoryJumpman) April 19, 2020
Tim Grover narrates how he counted every step taken by Michael Jordan during an NBA game
As the personal trainer for arguably the fittest athlete on the planet, Grover already had his job cut out. The story of how Jordan and Grover began working together is absolutely the stuff of legend.
Grover says he wrote a letter to 14 players on the Chicago Bulls not named Michael Jordan in 1989. As it turns out, all 14 of them rejected him, but Jordan invited him to work together and the rest is history.
As part of his meticulous observations, Grover said MJ asked him to count every step he took in a game. This is much like the player tracking technologies used by front offices today, but human-supervised.
It must be said that this was a fairly new and revolutionary sports training tactic at the time. But it helped MJ understand his physique, his stamina and pacing better.