Steve Bieser is getting used to his new routine.

It’s a pattern Missouri’s fourth-year head baseball coach never could’ve predicted with the disruption of parts of normal life due to the novel coronavirus.

Since 2004, every spring has been spent coaching up players to their potential with the skills they’ve learned year-round.

Hitting their peak this time of year has always been Bieser’s goal for his players. Of course, Bieser went through that same protocol as a player for more than a dozen years before that.

This spring has obviously been different.

The Tigers went from winning seven games in a row prior to their Southeastern Conference opener and flew to Chicago for a connecting flight that would’ve taken them to Alabama for a series against the Crimson Tide.

That plane took off, but landed back in Columbia on March 12 due to an initial suspension of SEC spring sports. That suspension turned into an outright cancellation of the season soon after.

"I'm doing very well, it's just finding that new routine. We got a couple of things that we can control," Bieser said. "It's really just getting to work, trying to build a team for next year and then start preparation of what the summer looks like, what the fall looks like and then moving into the next spring. But right now, everything is kind of up in the air. So, it's just kind of rolling with the punches and basically taking care of things we can control."

The NCAA has yet to rule on the eligibility of spring sports athletes and whether any player can retain the year in which a majority was lost because of COVID-19.

It’s a complicated process and uncharted territory for college athletics. The NCAA Division II and Division III levels have already granted an extra year to the athletes who wish to continue their collegiate careers.

Scholarship limitations make the issue a little vaguer for Division I athletes.

"Those are things we just have to be patient with and wait ... it's not only the guys that are in the program right now, but it's also the guys that are coming into the program next year that you get to communicate with," Bieser said. "... It's a really tough situation but to our players, it's devastating of all the work that they put in and to get themselves in great shape and then not to be able to see their season go all the way through, they've been crushed.

"I would like to see them get an opportunity to especially the seniors. To go out the way the seniors (did), play a handful of games basically, didn't even get very deep in the season. But to see the seniors have that opportunity if they so choose, I think that's very important for them. Some of them can and some of them can't."

Bieser doesn’t expect to be without guidance from the NCAA for much longer, but with the size of his roster under normal circumstances, there’s plenty of turnover each offseason.

There are the seniors who have used up their eligibility and have graduated, a handful of juniors that prefer to test MLB Draft options and a professional career as well as transfers.

To compensate for those losses, Bieser recruits at high schools and junior colleges to fill out his roster, and does so sometimes years in advance.

Bieser expected six or seven Tigers to be drafted this summer by major league teams and even with the NCAA sanctions where MU served a one-year postseason ban, no players transferred out of Columbia for competitive reasons.

Extraordinary circumstances could create a logjam of sorts with only so much playing time to go around when things return to normal.

"That's a tough, tough balance," Bieser said. "You're looking at guys that are coming into your program because they see that Peter Zimmermann's a senior and they see the other seniors you have on your club and they see the (drafted players) that are going to go out after their junior year and they're coming, they're expecting to come in here and have a clean slate and really compete for a starting spot. And then you see those guys return and are successful in the league. And now they're in front of you. There's kind of a roadblock.

"So, I think it's just a really delicate situation and I'm kind of glad that I'm not the guy that has to deal with making a decision on what that looks like, because what's good for one (person) is possibly not good for the other."

Bieser and his staff usually take care of summer placement for his roster in the fall with six guys slated to play in the Cape Cod League and the rest spread around the country.

MLB has spring training, for players to get their bodies in shape so injury risks can be lowered. This is especially true for pitchers, who need to develop a routine for their dominant arm and hand with the torque each pitch puts on their frame.

Baseball will be one of the toughest sports to get momentum rolling back to where it was before the sports world shut down.

"The hope is that they can get some baseball in," Bieser said. "... Every game they're missing out on those opportunities to improve their game is definitely detrimental to them."

Bieser continued: "Right now, the guys can't do a whole lot. So, to replicate the skills and the drills and all those things that they need to do, probably being back home, they don't have the strength and conditioning equipment that they need. They don't have the partner to keep arms in shape. So, if summer ball does take place, you're going to need another month of on-ramping to get guys to where they least don't get hurt. That'll be my biggest concern of how long they lay dormant and not been doing a whole lot to try to jump in at a high level."

Bieser would go case-by-case with pitch or inning restrictions for his players to make sure their process of getting back to their peak can happen in the healthiest way possible.

Until the spread of the novel coronavirus slows down, Bieser tries to get the team together on Zoom to catch up every few days.

He’ll answer any questions they can with information he gets from Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk or other fellow SEC baseball coaches.

"It's just kind of staying informed, and making sure that I keep our players informed," Bieser said. "And I really want that information to be factual and come from me before they hear it, whether that's on Twitter or social media or anything."

Missouri baseball’s long-term needs such as getting new turf installed at Taylor Stadium or upgrading premium seating aren’t at the forefront of Bieser’s mind at the moment.

That’s just part of his new normal as a Division I baseball coach.

"The situation that we're in most important is our players and our families’ health," Bieser said. "So, (those upgrades) I think, as a reasonable person, you have to put that on the back-burner right now. Are those things that we're going to need in the future? No doubt, and we plan to continue to put plans in place.

"But right this minute is probably not the time to roll out stuff like that. So, just being patient with it hoping and praying that everything gets better sooner rather than later."