Advice From A Gold-Glover
Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is here to help you become a star outfielder.
There’s no luck involved in winning two straight Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove Award. The only road to becoming as great an outfielder as Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is consistent hard work and dedication. Luckily, Kevin is here to give you some great pointers on how you can start on your own path towards defensive greatness.
How To Cover More Ground
“As far as speed on defense goes, you have to put a lot of time and effort into that each day. If you want to be the best of the best, you need to do a lot of things behind closed doors. Spend a lot of time on speed workouts and footwork drills, because it’ll keep you crisp out there and you’ll be able to make the big plays. Like I said, you need to do everything you can to help your team win.”
How To Boost Your Reaction Time
“My time playing basketball and football has helped me react quicker—so play other sports. Another big part of it is instincts. The routes you take on balls, how fast you get there, all of those things are instinctive and factor in to making the big play. You only get that by spending a ton of time during practice on defense.
I’d also say, find little things to motivate you each and every day. Part of why I train as hard as I do is that I never want to come up just short of a ball. I remember moments, like last season in Detroit. I came up a little short, and unfortunately my hand got caught in the grass and I broke two bones. But if I would have been a step quicker, it probably wouldn’t have happened. I let those moments eat at me and push me during every workout.”
How To Throw Out More Baserunners
“I would recommend long tossing. Head to the outfield with a teammate or coach and throw the baseball as long and far as possible. That definitely helps you maintain and increase arm strength. I’ve been doing that for years. Long toss can help every baseball player, not just outfielders.
And I can’t stray away from the fact that my brothers and I played catch with a football our whole lives. We have to be top-10-all-time in passes completed! No joke. I credit my brothers Dan and Steve, because I’m telling you, it’s unreal how much that has an effect. You do that throwing motion so many times and, obviously, throwing a football is heavier than a baseball. I just feel like it really increases arm strength.”