Photo: Delaware Technical Community College
Delaware Technical Community College student-athletes interviews are back! Every Thursday, Delaware Sports Blitz will feature interviews with the student-athletes from the Community College.
The next student-athlete interview comes from Delaware Tech’s baseball team, which is third baseman Matt Rodriguez.
Rodriguez talks about everything from the best part of playing third base and how he stays motivated during the highs and lows of the season.
Check out it below!
How did you start playing sports?
“I started playing baseball when I was 9. It has made me who I am today.”
What adjustments did you have to make from the jump of high school to college, regarding the sport you play?
“One of the biggest adjustments is being more independent. Now, since I live with teammates instead of at home, I have to provide for myself.”
How do you keep yourself in game shape in the offseason for your sport?
“I keep myself in shape during the off-season by going to the gym with one of my buddies, who is now a certified trainer.”
What is the best part of playing your particular position?
“The best part of playing third base is you can always have a ball smoked to you, and if you make the play you look good. Also, at third, you get to show off your arm.”
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
“Something I was taught and always stuck with me on and off the field was, play hard because you never know who is watching, and carry that same energy off the field.”
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
“A typical day for me now is I wake up, eat breakfast, go to the gym, get home, eat, go to practice, get home, do homework, play Xbox with my roommates, then go to bed and do the same thing the next day.”
What do you feel is your greatest strength?
“Probably, would be self-awareness. I always realize my role on and off the field.”
What do you feel you are weakest at and how do you work on to improve it?
“I feel like one of my biggest weaknesses was my two-strike approach, but I have improved it by shortening up and closing my stance when I have two strikes.”
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
- Playing varsity for four years
- First-team all-conference
- Playing for Salisbury University and now Delaware Tech
What is the best part of playing on a team?
The best part is the brotherhood that gets built throughout the season.
How do you stay motivated during the highs and lows of a season?
“The main motivation is getting to the NJCAA National World Series at the end of the season. So, if I have a bad game, I don’t bring the negative energy and stay positive around my teammates. Also, if my teammates have a bad game, I motivate them and boost them up. I just let them know that it was one game, we are playing for something big, and have many games ahead of us.”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
“One of the biggest challenges has to be going from high school baseball to college baseball. College baseball is so much more faster-paced, and everyone is there because they love the sport and take pride in what they do. I enjoy being around people like that because it pushes me to be better and work harder. I overcame it by hanging out with the upperclassmen and seeing their work ethic.”
In what ways, does playing a sport, help you with your studies?
” Baseball helps me clear my mind. When I play baseball, it is my break from homework that I have to do. I get to do what I love for the amount of time that we are out there. Then, I come back to do homework with a clear mind.”
How would you like to be remembered by your teammates and coaches?
“I want to be remembered by the guy who comes in and works hard day in and day out. That includes even when no one is watching.”
Why did you choose to play at Delaware Tech?
“I attended Salisbury University, but after Covid-19 hit, I decided to transfer. Coach Madden and the Delaware Tech baseball team welcomed me in.”
What was your experience like throughout 2020 and what does it mean for you to play competitive sports again?
“At the beginning of 2020, I was going into my second semester attending Salisbury University and playing baseball. Then COVID hit, and I decided to transfer, but that process was so stressful. Then, the two-week lockdown turned into like 10-12 months. Our season got cancelled, and that was upsetting, but it gave me time to better my craft for the school I was transferring to. I got to experience what good leadership and hard work looks like at Salisbury. After the off-season, I was so excited to be able to step on the field again.”