Up until a few years ago, load management was a little-known utility industry practice, a way for power plants to maintain output while reducing demand for electricity during peak usage. Then came basketball superstar Kawhi Leonard.
During the 2018-19 NBA season, the Toronto forward sat out certain games to lessen the risk of injury and maintain his stamina throughout the grind of the regular season and into the playoffs. Bench players took his place in the lineup during strategically picked games and kept the team in the hunt while he recharged.
Leonard carefully managed his workload. He appeared in just 60 games for the Toronto Raptors that season, but he put up career-high numbers, led the Raptors to their first-ever championship, and was named MVP of the Finals.
Today, with health, safety, and caution at the forefront of everyone’s mind, load management is built into many basketball teams’ DNA. Coaches rest their stars frequently, leaning heavily on a deep bench to keep their most important contributors at optimal health all season long.
The MLB and NFL have also adopted load management techniques as they gear up to play longer seasons coming out of the pandemic.
Now, corporate America is catching on too.