Yoga helps ‘NCIS Los Angeles’ star Chris O’Donnell ease his ‘Batman’-battered back



It’s not easy being Batman’s sidekick: It can cause a lumbar disk blowout, like the movie franchise did for Chris O’Donnell. Nevertheless, some yoga thrown into the fitness mix keeps him mobile and relatively pain free.

It’s not easy being a kid playing sports these days either. As a father of five who coaches and referees, O’Donnell sees a lot of poor sportsmanship. So the costar of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which has its season premiere Monday, became part of a program to bring fun and positive play back to fields, courts and rinks.

You’re big into coaching children’s sports, but did you play them much?

I played everything as a kid: baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey and swimming. I was the little guy on the end of the bench barely getting any playing time, to be honest. I loved hockey and wished I’d been better at it, but when I went to high school I was able to use my smaller size to my advantage: I was the coxswain on the rowing crew for four years. I look back on my experiences with sports and some of the best were fourth-grade intramural football. We had such a great coach that year. There were certain coaches that made an impact on you. Even if you weren’t a big contributor, he made you feel like you were an integral part of the team.

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