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 pitcher Brandon Schlabach.
Schlabach talks about everything from working his way back from a partially torn ACL and some of the highlights of his athletic career.
Check out it below!
How did you start playing sports?
“I started playing sports at a really young age. It all began with my parents buying me the Little Tikes baseball and basketball sets to play with as a kid. As I got older, I started playing catch and shooting around in the backyard with my dad, which turned into playing in rec basketball leagues and playing Little League baseball.”
What adjustments did you have to make from the jump of high school to college, regarding the sport you play?
“The biggest adjustment I had to make in the jump from high school to college was probably mentally reminding myself that I am here for a reason, I got recruited for a reason, and I have a scholarship for a reason. That reason being that I am just as good as everyone else out here, and I am dominant at my position as a pitcher. Also, realizing that doing my high school workout routine was not going to cut it at the college level, so I find new and better workouts to constantly improve my game both in season and during the off-season.”
How do you keep yourself in game shape in the offseason for your sport?
“During the off-season, I make sure I’m working out six times a week, only leaving one day of rest. Every week, I do three days working my legs and core, one day chest and back, one day explosive work, one day mobility/balance, and finally, one day of rest. I also make sure I am doing some sort of cardio throughout the week to make sure my endurance and stamina are high.”
What is the best part of playing your particular position?
“The best part of being a pitcher is the satisfaction of getting the best of every hitter on the opposing team and getting them out in some way. Also, the satisfaction of perfecting hitting a spot, painting corners, and throwing the perfect breaking ball.”
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
“Fundamentals are the roots and the foundation of every great player regardless of position. If you watch any professional athlete, you’ll notice that they perform fundamentals and the little things perfectly.”
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
“A typical day for me during the season starts with waking up between 7 and 8 a.m., making breakfast, doing schoolwork until about 12:30, eat a small lunch, hit the gym for a good workout, have a protein bar and protein shake, and go to practice. Then come home to eat dinner with family, next get a good mobility/arm care stretch in right before bed, which usually around 11 p.m.”
What do you feel is your greatest strength?
“My greatest strength is most definitely my work ethic. I am constantly looking to make myself better as a person and as an athlete year-round.”
What do you feel you are weakest at and how do you work on to improve it?
“Sometimes I have a tough time with my time management. Occasionally, I decide I want to do something that leads to me having less time to do what I need to do. However, I am working on it by making my daily routine a habit and not letting myself get sidetracked.”
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
“When I was 14 years old, I was playing for a showcase baseball team called the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox. While I was playing for them, I pitched a perfect game and a complete game no-hitter in the same year. In my senior year of high school, my high school team played in the bistate challenge at the Shorebirds Stadium in Salisbury, Md., and during that game, we played four extra innings, making it an 11-inning game. I pitched the last six of those 11 innings, hit in the go-ahead run, and earned the win on the mound. To this day, that is still one of the best games, I have ever played in.”
What is the best part of playing on a team?
“The best part of playing on a team is the team becoming your family. Being around the guys on our team for me is my home away from home. I love every one of them and love the bond I’ve been able to create with all of them.”
How do you stay motivated during the highs and lows of a season?
“I always look on the positive side of things. Even when it seems like nothing is going right for me or the team, I always do my best to find the silver lining and focus on that in every situation.”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge I had to face was partially tearing my ACL during my junior year basketball season in high school. I was honestly lucky enough to come out of there with just a partial tear, but it kept me out of physical activity for two months which was absolutely torture for me. I overcame it by just looking on the bright side, which was I didn’t have to get surgery. That meant I could go to physical therapy to strengthen my knee, which I would be getting a knee brace that would help prevent it from fully tearing. At that point, I would still be able to come back on March 1st that same year to play baseball, which ended up being one of my best seasons during my high school career.”
In what ways, does playing a sport, help you with your studies?
“Playing a sport forces me to get my schoolwork done early. With practice every day and games every weekend, it forces me to make it a priority every morning and get it done early in the week. Then, I won’t have to worry about it later and just focus on baseball.”
How would you like to be remembered by your teammates and coaches?
“I would like to be remembered as the hardest working, most encouraging, and the most never-give-up guy on the team. Someone who will always give you and the team maximum effort regardless of the situation.”
Why did you choose to play at Delaware Tech?
“I chose to play at Delaware Tech because I knew by going there first, it would allow me to get myself to where I want to be as an athlete by allowing me to play right away. Also, I could make up any time I had missed when I tore my ACL, before transferring to a four-year college.”
What was your experience like throughout 2020 and what does it mean for you to play competitive sports again?
“Well, 2020 had started great. As a team, we were at the top of our game while it was still early in the season. We were steadily climbing the rankings and were sure to break the top 10 in the nation within the next two weeks. Then, it all suddenly came to an end without any warning. I was devastated and didn’t really know what to do the first month of not being able to play or go anywhere. It means the absolute world to me that we can play competitive sports again. For as long as I can remember, my world has basically revolved around baseball, so now that it’s back and we’re playing again, there’s no better feeling. This year more than ever, I am soaking in every single second of it because who knows when it will get taken away again.”