Imagine a young player waking up and seeing his coach sitting next to his bed. "I just wanted to make sure you had a good night's sleep." That was a real possibility for Davis Bertans and Bogdan Bogdanović while playing in Belgrade for Dušan Vujošević.
If you were a young talented player, Dule as they call him would make you give him a copy of your apartment keys. If the player was living with his parents (which happened a few times) Vujošević would talk to the parents about it and got their permission. Every once in a while, unannounced, he would show up at a player's apartment to make sure they were living an athlete's life.
You could say Dule was ahead of his time, particularly in sports science. Before millions of dollars were invested in apps and tests, Vujošević somehow deduced that getting a good night's sleep was important for athletic performance.
“It was me, Milutinov, [Bogdan] Bogdanović. He had our keys just to check up on us. If you wanted to go out to a club or somewhere if it was after midnight we had to ask for permission, and we had to be home by 3 a.m.; call him that we were home.”
There's one thing that immediately popped into my head, and probably yours. What if I have someone over and the coach walks in on you? There was a system in place for that as well. As it turns out, Dule ran a very tight ship.
“If one of us would want to have a girl over, then we would have to ask permission. There were rules in place - none of that the night before a game. That's a no.”
Bertans himself said that was next level, but that it was justifiable. At that age, a lot of guys can lose focus. They start making serious money, and if you ever went to Belgrade, you'd understand how easy it is to end up in a bar or club after midnight with an alcoholic beverage in your hand.
Why did players take up with that? They trusted Vujošević had their best interest at heart, and that he will turn them into better basketball players. Just looking at Bertans' and Bogdanović's success so far, his record speaks for itself.