Hurdle Uses Promise To Players As Motivation, Makes Personal Transformation During Offseason

Hurdle: 'I Needed To Get In Better Shape'

BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) — It was an offseason of change for Clint Hurdle.

The Pirates manager is going for a different look, a healthier look; so Hurdle has spent the last few months dieting and working out.

Cutting milkshakes out of his diet was an important part of Clint Hurdle’s offseason weight loss program. He’s lean and mean now. Hurdle lost about 30 pounds so far.

He told KDKA-TV Sports’ Rich Walsh, “I needed to get in better shape.”

Hurdle had one goal this offseason. It was to lose 40 pounds. He felt overweight and out of shape, and knew something had to be done.

“Carla is 10 years younger than me. I got two young kids. I got a daughter that’s 31. I got young players. I need to continue to find a way to provide energy, provide encouragement, provide leadership and [putting] myself in better physical and mental condition will help do all that,” said Hurdle.

The Pirates manager looked in the mirror and realized something had to change and change fast.

But it wasn’t only cutting out milkshakes. Hurdle also quit eating cheeseburgers and is eating a lot healthier. The Bucs manager also does 30 minutes of cardio everyday.

He told his team of his offseason weight loss plan after the final game of last season in St. Louis on Oct. 2. He started on Oct. 10.

“I weighed 275 pounds,” said Hurdle. “That’s crazy bad… the most I’ve ever weighed. Now, I’m under 250. My goal is 240 by Opening Day.”

Hurdle said his goal was to lose a pound a week.

“I believe the best way to lead is by example, and I told them at the end of the season that I was going to make some adjustments,” he said.

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Not only have the players noticed, some of the guys – like Jordy Mercer – were keeping tabs on Hurdle’s progress.

“I want to see him run,” said Mercer. “That’s what I want to see him do and he’s already jogged for me.”

Mercer said he would text him throughout the process.

“If he is going to say something about it and do it, we might as well hold him accountable,” said Mercer.

For Hurdle, this was about more than losing weight, especially when he stood up and told all his players in the clubhouse after the final game in St. Louis.

“I’m getting pats on the back. I’m getting some slaps… like way to go,” he said.

Hurdle knew it would look bad if he showed up to Spring Training and didn’t lose the weight.

“Because if I showed up and didn’t do it,” he said, “where does that go? There was a lot more on the line. You make a statement in front of 40 men and you don’t back it up, c’mon your words aren’t any good, so I had that noise in my head all winter long. I’m going to see those men again and I need to be in a good place.”

Hurdle wants to lose about 10 more pounds before Opening Day on April 3 against Boston.

More from Rich Walsh
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