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Once the 2017-18 season concluded, each Barracuda player returned to his hometown or offseason hangout. Moving forward, each week sjbarracuda.com will check in with a different Barracuda player and see what he is up to this summer. This week we catch up with forward Rudolfs Balcers.
Where have you spent your summer this offseason?
I've spent most of my summer in Stavanger, Norway. I did go back to Latvia for a couple of days, but that’s it.
What’s the best part about being back home?
Just getting to see my family and friends because during the season I’m on the other side of the world and I don’t get to see them much. It’s great to just hang out and enjoy their company.
What’s a day in the life of Rudolfs Balcers in the offseason?
I wake up early, go to the gym, relax for a few hours and then go back to the gym. After that, I tend to just hang out and relax. For the first few months, I was training mostly in the gym, but I just started skating again.
What’s the main thing you’re working on to get ready for next season?
Pretty much just trying to get stronger and bigger. I’ve focused a ton on my lower body because as a smaller guy it’s essential to have a strong lower body. I’ve also focused on my hands and shot.
What’s your workout regime been like this summer?
Monday and Tuesday’s are a mix of upper and lower body, along with cardio for speed. Wednesday through Friday tends to be lighter and more focused on recovery. Depending on how the week has gone, I may workout on Saturday too.
Have you been able to go on any vacations this summer?
I haven’t been on any vacations this summer, but the weather in Norway has been awesome this summer. My girlfriend’s family has an amazing house right on the ocean, so we’ve been spending a lot of time there. No need to go anywhere when it’s so nice here.
Where is one vacation destination you've always wanted to visit?
There are a lot of places I’d like to go, but I’d love to go to Greece sometime. I’ve heard it’s incredible.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer when you’re not training?
(Laughs) there’s not a lot to do besides hockey, but I enjoy fishing and anything in or on the water.
Are you an ocean, lake or river type of person?
The ocean. We have beaches back in Latvia too so for sure the sea.
What was the best part about playing in the World Championships this summer?
Just getting to play more hockey. Our playoff run with the Barracuda was short, unfortunately, so it was great to play a little more. Also, getting to battle against really good players and teams. You can learn a lot from tournaments like that.
What’s your biggest goal going into your second year of pro hockey?
I want to come into camp as ready as I possibly can be and give myself the best chance I can to make the Sharks. If I don’t make the big club, I want to have a really good season in the American League and be better than I was last year. Be consistent and get better every day.
When are you getting back to San Jose to prep for the upcoming season?
I’ll be coming to San Jose in the next couple of weeks so I can settle back in and get back into the routine. Hopefully I can workout and skate as much as possible before camp.