19 Sep 2016

Fall Prep

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How is your ball player preparing for the fall season?

Yes, we realize it’s just the end of July and the Fall season begins in September, but lets take a moment and think back to how your son or daughter prepared for the spring season. Most players began practicing in December or January for a March or April opening day. We have spoken with many players who stopped playing in the middle of June and haven’t picked up a ball or bat since. Many players toss the ball around or take a few hacks over the summer, but they don’t really concentrate on skill development until the middle of August when their teams meet again.

Every September players come to see us for lessons because they have sore arms. We ask if anyone else on the team is experiencing the same issues and the answer is universally YES! This occurs due to players taking a break through June and July, and not maintaining their skills over the summer. We have discovered players injuring themselves due to not warming up properly; not having the strength to throw the longer distances; or they haven’t picked up a ball because of their summer vacations and other activities.

Of course everyone deserves a break, parents especially, but revisit the excessive preparation everyone feels obligated to begin during the winter months for spring games. Just because the weather is still warm since your ballplayer’s last game was played last May, doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared to jump right back in to competition mode. Many programs in the autumn take a more casual approach to fall ball games, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a less serious approach to your preparation for the beginning of the fall season.

The games of baseball and softball are extremely strenuous and complicated, and it is difficult to just jump right into a new season after only a week or a few days of training. Is your ballplayer moving up to a bigger field? Will they be using a bigger bat? Is your ballplayer beginning to sprout since their last game in the spring?

When players begin to hit puberty their bodies grow either up or out and their mechanics inevitably change. Students come to us because they want to throw the ball faster, straighter, and longer. When players are not in mid-season condition to perform these tasks they end up with pains in places they’ve never felt before.

Over the past 10 years we have seen 8-12 year olds playing on multiple teams and different sized fields. Players are jogging back and forth between 46’/60’ and 50’/70’ fields. Conditioning the arms as well as the body becomes necessary to endure the constant repetition of throwing and playing baseball on a regular basis. Adjusting pitching/throwing mechanics to a larger mound or field is very stressful and players need time to adapt.

Don’t wait until the middle of October to ask the questions you should be asking in July, early August. Even though the Spring season has ended and the Summer season is already coming to a close, the Fall season will arrive sooner than you think! Prepare a regular throwing program that will assist in keeping your ballplayer on the field and off the disabled list…….Don’t know where to begin??? Ask questions. Don’t wait until Labor Day to realize that you should have been throwing since August 1st.

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