Dave Speer is a left handed pitcher in the Cleveland Indians Organization. Last year, in 32 appearances, he posted a 1.81 ERA with the Indians AA affiliate - the Akron Rubber Ducks. Speer was looking to build on that momentum entering the 2020 season before it was put on hold due to Covid-19. Speer’s experience is similar to athletes all over the country and we asked him to share how he is handling the adversity and any advice he has for younger athletes in a similar position.
Keeping up with Training
“Like most athletes, I’ve had to get a little creative in order to keep my body and my arm prepared for whenever the season starts. I have no access to a baseball field or a mound, but there are some relatively easy ways to keep my arm in shape. I bought a net as soon as I got home, and that has been my throwing partner every day of the quarantine.
It’s the same baseball setup that I had when I was 8 years old, but it’s perfect for keeping throwing volume up at the level it would be at in-season.
On the conditioning and diet side of things, it just comes down to being responsible and accountable. You don’t need any fancy weight room equipment to keep getting stronger. There are thousands of Bodyweight/conditioning workouts available on YouTube, Instagram, etc.- you just have to take the time to figure out which kinds of workouts will benefit you the most. For me, that means making sure I’m doing yoga at least 3-4 times per week. Every athlete has different needs. “
Staying Ready Mentally
“In my opinion, this is the toughest thing to handle on a daily basis. I’ve been playing baseball this time every year for the last 20+ years, so it is challenging to wrap my head around how many unknowns there are right now. My best advice for athletes right now is to set daily and weekly goals/guidelines to keep the scope small and block out all the long-term unknowns.
I also think that watching video of games I pitched in last year has helped me visualize and simulate game action. If you don’t have any video of yourself, there are always old MLB games on MLB Network and a few other channels. There’s no better way to learn than to watch the best of the best.”
Staying in touch with Coaches and Teammates
“The Indians have been doing a great job of keeping in contact with us and letting us know as soon as anything changes. We had a Zoom call last week with the entire organization, so it was good to see everyone and hear directly from the front office about what they expect from us. This whole experience is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, so there is a lot of contact between coaches and teammates just checking in and making sure everyone is getting through it together. Communication with teammates and coaches is especially important right now. I know we’re all counting down the days until we can get back out there and play in a safe environment.”
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