Offseason Baseball: How not to track next season

Offseason Baseball: How not to track next season

Baseball has gone from a spring / summer sport to year-round play. With almost 25 million young people participating in various leagues and game levels, the time for the season has decreased. The one equipment that remains constant from year to year is their body.

Episodes of arm injuries have been reported as high as 25% of the youth baseball population each year. These rising numbers have caused great unrest among health professionals and representatives of Little League baseball.

As with any offseason program (and seasonal program), the best form of exercise is prevention and education.

# 1: Offseason / In Season Education

As with our youth, it is of utmost importance for parents / guardians to be active advocates. They discuss any problems / injuries (past or present) in advance with the coach. Withholding information can increase the risk of injury. It is also important to know if the athlete is participating in other leagues, either baseball or different sports, at the same time.

Pitch counters were developed to protect the arms of our youth. Currently, there is no way to track the number of scores across different leagues. This must be done individually by athletes and parents.

Another variable in the number of counts is the total throw volume. Pitch only counts the account for places thrown in the game to a batter. This ignores the total throw volume, such as throws for warm-up, bullpen courses, mid-inning pitches, throws in the field, and does not take into account the stress level of pitches (example: 2 pitches with base runners, close games and against the opponent’s better hitters) .

There is a need for rest. Appropriate rest can be 3-4 months of downtime without throwing, more specifically throwing off a bunch. This time can be devoted to another discipline or sport, and avoid early specialization model. Different sports may require similar structures, but often develop other energy systems, coordination and motor systems’ long-term development. During this downtime, it is crucial to work with a pitching / baseball coach to solve mechanical problems (non-throwing) and a strength and conditioning specialist. Discussion to follow about strength and conditioning in the next section.

# 2: Training out of season

Every year, athletes spend thousands of dollars on new equipment while ignoring the equipment used season to season; their body. Working with a strength and conditioning specialist (or physiotherapist / athletic trainer who specializes in performance training) provides a complete assessment and individual programming.

Evaluation:
The initial assessment should include a history intake, current screening and health questionnaire, movement assessment (for example, functional movement screen) and performance calculations (running speed – 40 yard dash, vertical jump and agility test).

Movement hierarchy:
The Functional Movement Screen is a systematic approach to basic movement patterns. Each test is scored on pass / fail while taking into account painful movement patterns. The first hierarchy that clears up is any painful movement pattern, which will require referral to a physiotherapist / chiropractor / orthopedist – next to resolve mobility limitations. Impaired mobility will lead to incorrect movement patterns, hindered sport-specific tasks and increased likelihood of injury. If a movement pattern gets a pass mark, these movement patterns have the integrity to be loaded. The strength and conditioning specialist will then design the training program.

Training program:

  • Aerobic capacity / endurance
  • Movement economy / integrity / mobility
  • Strength
  • Power
  • Speed ​​/ sport specific / anaerobic capacity
  • Mental endurance
  • Recovery

Each component listed above has a time and place in the training program. There is often a need to establish a basic movement awareness and aerobic capacity to handle exercise. Follow the general rule that soreness does not equate to a good workout. This can actually be caused by overtraining or poor programming / movement prep. If an athlete misses a training day due to excessive tenderness, it is a lost opportunity for them to improve. Generally, the soreness should be relieved with proper recovery, including, but not limited to, proper nutrition and hydration, stretching, and adequate sleep.

# 3: Conclusion

An out-of-season exercise program should better prepare your body to handle sports and seasonal demands, provide faster recovery and make your body more resilient to sports stress through strength, mobility, agility and endurance. Below is a 3-day selection of an exercise program that covers each aspect mentioned above.

Most movements have either a progression or a scaled alternative.
Day 1:

Warm up:

  • 5-minute light jogging / walking / cycling
  • Calisthenics

Strength:

  • A1) Cup squat 4 x 8-12
  • B1) 4 x 15 push-ups
    • The tape is pulled apart (horizontal abduction) 4 x 15
  • C1) Low jump
    • A-skips over
    • B-hopper
    • Power Skips
  • 50% running base x 3
  • 75% running base x 3
  • 90-95% base running x 3
  • (use distance of 60-90 feet base road)

Day 2:

Warm up:

  • 5-minute light jogging / walking / cycling
  • Calisthenics

Strength:

  • A1) Deadlifts – with ball / sandbag / kettlebell 4 x 8
  • B1) Arm care:
    • Flex T’s (arms in field position / pinch shoulder blades together): 3 minutes while walking
    • Flex Ts alternating external rotation / internal rotation
      • Quick ball grip: palm forward
      • Curveball grip: palm neutral (facing the ear)
    • Change grip: palm rotated outwards
  • Flex T (alternating karaoke instructions): 3 minutes
  • Arm circles:
    • 10 small / 10 medium / 10 large each position / each direction
    • palms neutral / palms rotated upwards / palms rotated downwards

(LACTIC ACID build-up in the shoulders is normal – should remain painless, soothing after the exercises are stopped)

Day 3:

Warm up:

  • 5-minute light jogging / walking / cycling
  • Calisthenics

Plyometric day:

  • A1) Walking Lunge + Overhead Range 4 x 10 / Leg
  • B1) Low jump
    • Power jumping
    • Boundaries
    • 4 x 30 feet
  • C1) Wide jumps 4 x 5
    • With Ball Chest Passes 4 x 5
  • D1) Vertical jump 4 x 5
    • With Ball Overhead throws 4 x 5
  • E1) Skater hops 4 x 15 / page
    • Alternating jump lunges 4 x 5 / side

Choosing weights for exercises can be the most challenging part. Choose a weight that is both challenging and provides the right movement pattern.

When you choose a Med Ball weight, you want to ensure that the participant can maintain good shape and create a quick movement to generate power. Using a too heavy weight will reduce the movement pattern, and thus not challenging for a power system.

# 4: Insider Trade Secrets

After an appropriate movement assessment, they often discover limitations in both mobility over the head, especially the shoulder’s external and internal rotational movement range (ROM) and thoracic mobility. Thoracic spine mobility is severely impaired due to poor posture, increased sitting time, increased screen time and less play / activity in our younger generations.

Both of these limitations correlate with underlying problems that occur in our baseball / softball players who have developed arm pathologies or are at risk of developing arm pathologies.

Weighted ball programs have gained popularity in recent years. While there is time and place for weighted ball programs, there is a greater need for basic mechanics, strength and education. Focus on the correct throwing mechanics before entering the throw. Make sure there are no underlying movement restrictions before implementing a throwing program of any size.

Always remember: The best ability any athlete can and will have is AVAILABILITY.

Place youth health before athletic success, and we will set them up for a bright future.

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