CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Nick Guerra works with several baseball players in his academy and with the stay at home order, he has had to quickly adapt. Not just to keep his San Diego Hustle academy going, but also to help his athletes continue to improve.
“I’m not a camera type of person, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a selfie in my life or videotaped myself but I knew I had to let my guard down and get out of my comfort zone to make sure I could give something to our baseball community,” said Guerra. “Really more than anything to teach them that life’s going to throw you this, it’s going to throw you that but we got to keep going, got to stay motivated and keep grinding and so that’s how this little setup came about.”
Guerra grabbed some turf, cables and netting to transform his Chula Vista garage into a small training center where he goes Facebook live four times a week, providing his athletes with baseball training tips and exercises.
“When they shut everything down I knew I had a responsibility to my players but [also] to the game of baseball and the baseball community to give them something,” said Guerra.
Guerra played 10 years as a professional in both independent and Mexican leagues before retiring and starting the Hustle Baseball academy.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to put hundreds of kids into Division I colleges, Division II, 4-year universities, junior colleges and we have a number of kids right now in the minor leagues,” he said.
Danny Yanez, a senior outfielder at Grossmont High School, trains with Hustle Baseball and watches Guerra’s videos daily.
“For example, in high school we had our coaches over the summer, we had Nick being there like physically present and now it’s just you’re on your own, figure it out however you can so it really helps out,” said Yanez.
Disappointed he won’t be able to finish his senior season, Yanez says he’s using this time to focus on San Diego State University — where he’s committed to play next year.
“You know just the fact that we’re not going to be able to finish our season, we’re not going to have senior night and everything but I mean I’m just trying to look on the bright side,” said Yanez. “It gives me three months to prepare for what comes next being at San Diego State next year so I’m really just trying to work hard and see if I can earn a spot.”
Although the immediate future remains uncertain for athletes and trainers alike, Guerra says he’ll continue to create videos, hoping to encourage others.
“Hopefully this interview here and this whole process inspires families at home,” he said. “Whether it’s following me or just be creative on their own to do something great for their family and their community and kind of draw together in this crazy time.”