On the field, Philadelphia Philly outfielder Kenny Lofton is known for his fly glove and hot feet. But in the clubhouse, dugout and cage, Lofton plays it much cooler. His pre-game routine has nothing to do with superstition or habit. Instead, he warms up with a soak, chills out with his teammates and occasionally does a little dance.
The key is to be loose—at least for me. First I get in the whirlpool—it helps loosen things up. With a higher body temperature, I am able to stretch my muscles better.
Stretched muscles give me better flexibility, so when I am on the field I can get a better jump on balls, swing quicker at the plate and get a better jump off first base.
Stretching is followed by a leg workout. My leg workout helps with flexibility and strength. I wear cuff weights and do a series of exercises that work on motions of the hip and knee joints.
On the field
We then have batting practice, which lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. I begin my BP by taking fly balls in the outfield. One of the coaches will hit balls to me and I run them down.
In the dugout
After that, I come in the dugout, check out my bats, get my helmet and hit the cage.
In the cage
As a starter, I’m usually in one of the last two groups to hit. The routine helps with eye-hand coordination. Sometimes I work on things like hitting the ball the other way—whatever I think I need to work on that day.
In the mindset
I also chat with other players, get their insight on opposing pitchers and stuff like that and joke around with them. It all comes back to staying loose.
I put on my headphones to relax my mind and pick some music to get loose. I generally listen to hip-hop/R&B—nothing specific, whatever I feel from day to day. Then I do a little dancing.
I’m not really a creature of habit, which I guess may be rare in this business, but I have no certain food that I must eat or a time that I must eat on a game day. I will eat fruit.
I don’t have any particular technique. I just try to relax my mind and clean my head.
The film room
I’ve been around a while, so I know a lot of my opponents, but I do watch videos of them. I watch the upcoming pitcher—his moves and tendencies.
I do make sure I eat right and work out. It’s a long season and you got to have energy to get through it.