Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Viper Blog

Hello everybody my name is Patrick Kivlehan, Chris from Viper Bats approached me about doing a blog about my story and the life of a professional baseball player.  I look forward to sharing my stories and hearing back from you guys throughout the season. For my first blog I will just tell you guys my story and my unique path to professional baseball.

I was born and raised in West Nyack, New York.  It is about 20 minutes north of New York City.  I was a die hard Mets fan growing up and a big New York sports fan in general.  My two favorite sports growing up were baseball and football.  I played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football all the way up until it was time to go to high school.  I chose to go to a private all boys catholic high school called, St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey instead of my town high school in New York.  This decision was made so I could hopefully get more exposure to colleges than I coulde at my town high school.  I live right on the boarder of New York and New Jersey so it was only a 15 minute drive back and forth.

In High School i played football and baseball all four years and received All County and All State honors for both sports.  Heading into my senior year I knew the biggest question that needed to be answered was whether I was going to play baseball or football in college.  I spent my summers going to football camps instead of showcases for baseball so my name was not really out there for baseball scouts to find me.  I had a good senior football season and once the season was over took all my visits to colleges and on the night before the National Signing Day for football I received a full scholarship offer from Rutgers University to play defensive back. I had received some Divison 1AA scholarships but Rutgers was my only Division 1A scholarship.  The next morning I signed my name on the line to play football and defensive back at Rutgers. I knew this meant I would have to give up baseball but the full scholarship was impossible to pass up.  I played my senior season in baseball and put up really good numbers and had to hear it from my coaches all season that I should play baseball in college instead of football.  I knew they were right but there was nothing I could do at that point, I was already committed for football.

I attended Rutgers where i played football from 2008-2012. Lets just say my career did not go the way I had hoped it would.  I was mostly a back up with a few starts here and there and a special teams player.  After my senior season was complete I wanted to get back into baseball.  I approached the Rutgers baseball coach over the winter and asked him if I could try out for the team.  I made the team and with an injury occuring on the first day of practice I was now the starting 3rd baseman.  I ended up putting up good numbers this past college season and was named the Big East Player of the Year and was named a 3rd Team All American. I was the first person in Big East history to win the league Triple Crown.   All of a sudden there was talk of me getting drafted in the upcoming draft.

I was drafted in the 2012 draft by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round and was sent to Everett, Washington to play for the Everett AquaSox (Mariners short season A team).  This is where I was introduced to Chris and the rest of the Viper Bats staff.  They gave me some models to try out and I loved them and ordered some for the rest of the season. Our team was eliminated in the 1st round of playoffs and I was named the Northwest League MVP.

It has been a crazy year to say the least but I am excited to be playing baseball again and cannot wait for spring training to come in March.  Right now I am just working out and hitting.  Mostly working on my hitting because being out of the game for as long as I was there are tons of things I need to work on and get better at. I am looking forward to updating you guys on my off season as the weeks go on and sharing some more stories.

If any of you have any questions about baseball, my story, or even football (if we have any football guys reading) feel free to ask.  I love talking sports especially baseball so don’t be afraid to ask!

Working Hard

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope everyone has had a good first half of the week, and for the younger guys on here a solid Halloween last night!! Helpful hint, pick out your favorite one or two types of candy, save them and get rid of the rest! We don’t need all that candy, it doesn’t help our bodies stay in top shape. The season is a lot closer than you think!  Speaking of which, I thought today would be a good day to write about just that, staying in shape and building for next season.

At the end of the season each Padres player was given an individual username and password to the online strength and conditioning website. We were called in to a meeting with Dan, our head Strength and Conditioning Coach during which we were given our log in information and a goal sheet to help guide our work through the off season. Dan explained to me that when I arrive at Spring Training in February that the club expects me to be lighter, quicker and leaner.  All three of these things were expected, and are necessary changes to help me to progress through the system.  I was told I need to get my weight down to around 200 pounds, while losing roughly 5% of my body fat.  These two changes to my body will in turn help me achieve my lifelong goal of being faster. Working toward a specific defined goal is extremely important because it allows me to create check points along the way and make sure I’m progressing.

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My workout binder. On the left is the active week, on the right my completed sheets. All of them come with our logo in the middle, which serves as a cool little motivator, reminding me what all the hours in the gym are for.

With that in mind, this week is considered Week 6. Our workout program is set up to work Monday through Friday and comes on a nicely set up worksheet. I’ve printed all of the workout sheets out and put them into a binder so that when I go to the gym every day I can track my weights, reps and any other notes about how I’m feeling during the workout.  This week is a long week because all of our sets are either 10 reps, or 8 reps.  Monday is the worst, we start the week off with a workout that gives us a sample of all the fun for the week.  We have a big leg section to kick it off, followed by chest and back and finishing off with a core program.  We cap off the day off with a half an hour of cardio and stretching to keep our bodies loose so we can pick up the next day.  Tuesday we have a conditioning circuit in addition to our lift, but the workout itself is just upper body so it isn’t as difficult as the full body Monday.  Wednesdays are the day that bring one of my favorite terms to life, recovery cardio.  Yes, you read that right. Recover by doing cardio.  It’s one of those terms that coaches use to make things sound a lot better than they actually are, recovery cardio, active rest, or cool down.  Sounds easy, but these can’t be neglected as they do serve an important purpose. Today is another long lift, a different set of full body exercises, a core series with the physioball and as always a half hour of cardio and stretch.  We finish the week with another upper body only workout on Friday and add on our core series and a program to strengthen our hips.  By Friday evening my entire body is sore, but that is a good thing, it means I’ve pushed myself yet again.

The most important thing for me is to make sure this all is done in as enjoyable a way as possible.  How do I do that, given that I’m throwing weights around 4 days a week, doing cardio every day and also making sure I hit as many times a week as I can?  I’m hyper competitive, so I try and make each week a game.  Each week I try to beat my previous best, I go for more weight, a longer distance during my cardio sessions and try to come out of it feeling better than the week before.  I know that if I continue to push myself to beat last week that by the time Spring Training rolls around I will be ready mentally and physically.  I will be ready to attack practices, lifts and games with the same mentality that I attack a 2-0 fastball! I can’t wait to get started, only 150 more days until Opening Day!

Get to work!