LOS ANGELES — Twice a week, beginning Friday morning, Brandon McDaniel, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of player performance, will stream 30-minute workouts through the team’s social media outlets for everyone to partake.
He wants to help fans stay in shape while they’re stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to help them keep a level head.
“Psychologically, fitness is huge right now,” McDaniel said. “To be locked in a house, or wherever you might be, being fit and having the ability to exercise and release some endorphins and get some hormones going is really good for your mental health right now.”
McDaniel’s episodes will air every Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. PT until the 2020 season resumes, appearing on the Dodgers’ YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.
McDaniel is connecting similarly with his players, who are spread all over the country with Dodger Stadium essentially closed and the team’s spring training facility idle.
McDaniel and three members of his staff divided the 40-man roster and designed personalized workouts for each player based on his position, age, health and role. Some of the players, such as Clayton Kershaw, have the benefit of in-home gymnasiums. Several others don’t even have access to one.
“The workouts that we’re going to provide for our fan base,” McDaniel said, “are literally the same workouts that we’re giving some of our players.”
Nobody can pinpoint when Major League Baseball will get going again, but McDaniel assumes the second version of spring training will be relatively short. He wants his players to take that into account while approaching these next few weeks, but he also wants them to guard against overworking themselves for a season that might be delayed much longer. He referred to the balance as “hovering.”
“The scar tissue that we spent all of spring training breaking through and building up tolerance to — we don’t wanna lose that, even though we’re gonna lose a ton of the intensity and a ton of the volume that spring training brings with it,” McDaniel said.
Both workouts, for players and for fans, might resemble popular home exercise regiments like P90X. Lots of lunging and jumping and planking will be involved; household items like water jugs or soup cans might be utilized in the absence of traditional dumbbells and trap bars.
McDaniel recently challenged his players to invent unique ways to work out in their own homes.
He’s anxiously awaiting the results.
“I fully intend the guys will have some fun with this and probably will show some household appliances that maybe they aren’t really using, but to get a rise or maybe win a prize, they’ll show us something funny,” McDaniel said.