MAY 2018 - Alumni Spotlight with Chad Cooperman
Chad is a graduate of the LVBA Prospects Program, as well as an Allentown Railers alum. He is also a pitcher and infielder for the Bloomsburg University baseball team.
Q: Describe your experience playing for LVBA and the Allentown Railers. How has this experience impacted your career/life thus far?
Playing at LVBA gave me a solid foundation for my baseball career. I learned the basics of the game and played in an organization that provided a platform to showcase my skills at the highest level. My time at LVBA was very instructional and allowed me to build lifelong relationships within the local baseball community. My time with the Allentown Railers was much of the same. I developed as a player and truly learned how to win. The environment in the Railers organization allows collegiate players to experience a professional and businesslike approach to the game, while still honing their skills to excel at their respective colleges.
Q: How did you prepare (individually) for the 2018 spring season? What off-season goals did you have?
Preparation for the spring season is the essence of college baseball. For me, this meant playing with the Allentown Railers in the summer of 2017. While playing with the Railers, I also made it a point to continue working in the weight room, and followed a rigid throwing program. As I moved into the fall, those areas of focus didn’t change. I continually developed strength in the weight room and attempted to translate that into our grueling fall season at Bloomsburg. Then the stretch from November-January becomes very individual. College coaches have minimal contact with players during this period, and development is really up to individual players. During this time, developing velocity on the mound and power with my bat were the key objectives. This time was critical to take all of the strength gains made so far in the off-season and make them relevant on the field. During this time, I basically had a five day a week throwing program, lifted four times a week, and took as much batting practice as possible. College players are only as good as their consistency in the off-season and their ability to train by themselves and hold themselves accountable on a daily basis.
Q: So far, what has been the biggest challenge for you this spring? What has been your biggest area of success/improvement?
Baseball yields many changes. Some physical, others mental, and some emotional. Keeping the body fresh and healthy is always a challenge, especially as a two-way player. Mentally, staying locked in with every rep can be consuming, and attacking every day can be an emotional burden. This year, I feel as though I started in a much better and game-ready spot than the previous year, and have definitely added more to my game from a power standpoint.
Q: What goals do you have for the rest of the spring season, and what goals do you have for this summer?
Win and have fun. If my team and I take care of those two things, the stats and other things will take care of themselves. This summer, I want to continue to develop my game while playing in the Valley League against some of the top players in the East Coast. It’s an opportunity to prove myself against some big school competition, and I am looking forward to the challenge.
Q: What message would you like to leave for any youth ballplayer in the area who is hoping to play college baseball?
You're not that good. The moment you step onto a college campus, nobody cares about what accolades you have accumulated or how good you were when you were younger. It doesn't matter. Continue to develop yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, and see how far the game can take you. Developing off the field (weight room, classroom etc.) will enhance your game more than you can ever imagine. You don't always need to play games to get better; but when you do play, compete to the best of your abilities. And have fun—we tend to lose sight of what’s truly important. Years from now, that error you made won't matter, but the relationships you built and the skills you learned from this game will take you way farther than any box score could.