Chasing the Dream: Getting to the Next Level (of Sleep) in the Minor Leagues
They call it “the grind.” Long bus rides, late night fast food, hotels of bad and mediocre quality, roommates who snore louder than any hometown homerun crowd noise, and living conditions that can be anything from air mattresses, to stolen motel pillows or even dog beds on a bus floor.
Much has been made of the need for proper and clean sleep in order to perform at the major league level, yet little is being done for those players in the minor leagues who are hoping to make it to “the show.”
This became apparent to me when a Minor League Baseball general manager reached out to me and said that much is being done for major league players now with regard to “teaching sleep,” but nothing is being done for the many minor league players and the coaches at that level. He wanted a few tips that might ease the burden for his 200 players and many coaches in his minor league system.
I had the good fortune and opportunity to touch base with two former minor leaguers to pick their brains as to what they experienced as far as sleep obstacles during their minor league playing days and nights. Nick Lockwood was a multiple position infielder in the Minnesota Twins organization, while Drew Milligan was a 6-foot-6 pitcher drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Both related similar themes of long bus rides and inconsistent schedules that made it hard to get the required recovery sleep needed to excel, much less compete, at their potential.
While getting drafted by a Major League Baseball team is a dream come true, the reality is that, for many, it is the beginning of a battle to perform under very stressful and sleep-deprived conditions. The idea of actually getting nine hours of sleep, as many elite athletes require, is the new dream for many newly minted aspiring major league prospects.
In the rest of this article from the Q4 2018 issue of A2Zzz, Brendan Duffy continues the conversation with Minor League Baseball players on sleep hygiene and education.
This article is one of four designated CEC articles in this issue of A2Zzz. AAST members who read A2Zzz and claim their credits online by the deadline can earn 2.00 AAST Continuing Education Credits (CECs) per issue – for up to 8.00 AAST CECs per year. AAST CECs are accepted by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM).
To earn AAST CECs, carefully read the four designated CEC articles and claim your credits online. You must go online to claim your credits by the deadline of March 1, 2019.
After the successful completion of this educational activity, your certificates will be available in the My CEC Portal acknowledging the credits earned.