Mike Piazza Is Battle Ready for ‘Special Forces’

On Jan. 4, greater than a dozen celebrities will likely be seen arriving within the desert to endure a number of the harshest and most grueling challenges from the playbook of the particular Particular Forces choice course of within the present “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.” One such family title will likely be Mike Piazza.

On this new Fox collection, there are not any votes and no eliminations—simply survival for these 16 contestants—together with Danny Amendola, Mel B, Hannah Brown, Tyler Florence, Kate Gosselin, Dwight Howard, Montell Jordan, Gus Kenworthy, Nastia Liukin, Carli Lloyd, Beverley Mitchell, Kenya Moore, Dr Drew Pinsky, Anthony Scaramucci, and Jamie Lynn Spears. They joined baseball nice Mike Piazza—aka “The Supreme”—as they rapidly discovered the which means of “No Guts, No Glory,” tackling intense training exercises which might be led by an elite crew of unforgiving ex-special forces operatives.

M&F sat down with Mike Piazza to be taught extra concerning the baseball icon’s household ties to the navy, and the way a profession in a crew sport could have labored in his favor.

Mike Piazza’s father, Vince, was a navy veteran who was drafted for the Korean battle however suffered an ankle harm earlier than he was attributable to ship out. Had that not occurred, the baseball Corridor of Famer could by no means have been born, as a result of the overwhelming majority of his father’s crew had been hit laborious within the battle of the Chosin Reservoir. When Vince’s contaminated ankle recovered, he was reassigned to frame patrol in West Germany. Luckily, he made it dwelling and whereas he was devastated that lots of his associates had been misplaced to battle, he was blessedly capable of go on and lift 5 sons. “He talks quite a bit concerning the guys he knew, that didn’t come again,” says Mike Piazza, who spent 16 seasons within the majors, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. “So, that type of impressed me a little bit bit. And, consequently, in my very own private life, I simply really feel like there’s so many military people who actually sacrificed for the liberty, and the chance for us to have a very good life that I type of really feel a little bit responsible, you understand? And, hopefully, that is my very own little manner of paying tribute to them.”

Courtesy of Fox

Mike Piazza says that Nothing Can Put together You for the Particular Forces

Whereas Mike Piazza is participating in a tv present, somewhat than really becoming a member of the navy, describing his tribute as “little” nonetheless could also be thought of  considerably of an understatement. The one manner for Piazza to depart the present is to personal the embarrassment of quitting, by failing himself or his crew, by harm, or by power from the DS. Particular Forces. “World’s Hardest Check” is the last word analysis of the solid’s bodily, mental, and emotional resilience, and the motion begins earlier than they even arrive at base. So how quickly into this ordeal did Piazza start to query his judgment for signing as much as such a brutal present? “Ha, I feel the primary day,” he laughs. “Don’t get me flawed, I did some analysis on the present and I knew it wasn’t going to be a picnic, I knew it wasn’t going to be all craft companies and smoothies, however you don’t actually perceive till you undergo it. I used to be knowledgeable athlete, I skilled laborious at my craft and I think about myself considerably bodily match. Even later in my life, I nonetheless prefer to work out, however nothing can put together you for this.”

At age 53, Piazza proved that he nonetheless has loads of battle left within the sport. However in fact, making a house run is a completely totally different expertise to operating on the uneven floor of a sandy desert. “After the primary few days, I used to be banged up fairly good,” he shares. “Simply from enjoying baseball, my joints had been [already] a little bit sore. It’s the depth. That, for me, was the largest eye-opener. Simply normal issues like athletes’ foot. Carrying the boots and never with the ability to bathe. The dwelling situations had been so brutal. By the second day, I used to be peeling pores and skin of my toes. Man, I assumed I left this behind 10 years in the past!”

Baseball hall of famer Mike Piazza running in the desert for Fox's Special Forces- World’s Toughest Test.”
Courtesy of Fox Leisure

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work for Mike Piazza

Luckily, it wasn’t simply Piazza’s background with being bodily that helped him on the present, as his experiences in a crew atmosphere additionally proved to help him mentally as effectively. “The attention-grabbing dichotomy was; the athletes on the present, those who had been particular person athletes and those who had been crew athletes,” says Piazza. “We noticed straight away, like with Gus Kenworthy, who as a skier, he’s a person athlete, or Nastia Liukin, who was a gymnast, and you would inform that particular person athletes are totally different from people who find themselves on a crew as a result of when you find yourself on a crew, it’s a must to rely upon one another, it’s a must to lean on one another, it’s a must to embrace one another’s strengths and weaknesses and so I clearly gelled with Dwight Howard and Danny Amendola, guys that had been crew athletes. We hit it off straight away, whereas on the present with me and Gus, there was a little bit battle there. I feel he didn’t fairly get me, and I didn’t get him, and in order that’s the attention-grabbing half. After which, to see the evolution of everybody coming collectively as a crew, was actually compelling. We actually turned shut. All of us textual content now and we’ve a gaggle chat. When you undergo some type of traumatic expertise like this, and also you assist one another, and rely upon one another, our pleasure stage and our egos had been fully destroyed. It was actually attention-grabbing to see all these partitions come down.”

Piazza was additionally in a position, due to each his upbringing and his participation in baseball, to take directions from leaders. “I had this respect for authority, straight away, however some individuals didn’t,” he laughs. Whereas Piazza’s sporting expertise was definitely a bonus, the hitting catcher incessantly discovered himself out of his consolation zone on Particular Forces: World’s Hardest Check. “A number of the duties had been terrifying,” says Piazza. “Once we had been traversing throughout the cables, over the crevasse, like 300-feet-down, in fact we had security gear on that train, however then simply climbing up there, and realizing that should you fall, you’re lifeless. It’s known as the weasel stroll, the place we’re strolling and the rock is true in entrance of you, so we had been strolling extra at type of a 45-degree angle, with no security gear. That was terrifying for me.”

So, how did Piazza proper himself every time he began to really feel like he was shedding his grip, mentally talking? “I went again to that interior peace, and praying, and meditating,” says Piazza. “I don’t see how one can get by way of one thing like this with out internalizing and calming your self down, and placing it into perspective, and attempting to re-focus.” Whereas some individuals are terrified of heights, or being submerged in water, Piazza’s largest worry was the concept of failing for himself, and for his crew. With out giving out any spoilers, it’s truthful to say that there have been instances when the Dodgers and Mets legend would come to depend on this new crew to assist him dig deep. “Firstly, this has made me recognize life,” displays Piazza. “Secondly, it’s given me extra endurance. I feel, as an athlete that has achieved a excessive stage, it’s simple for us to be crucial of individuals and anticipate them to do what you had been capable of do and as a participant who achieved some issues. I take a look at different gamers now or the children that I coach and I’m extra affected person. I’m extra understanding, that everybody has their limitations. Attempt to put individuals able to succeed, not a place to fail.”

Particular Forces: World’s Hardest Check premieres January 4 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

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