Preventing the Most Common Softball Injuries
Your position on the softball field will help determine the kinds of common injuries you could run into each season.
Pitchers usually deal with shoulder tendonitis, back or neck pain and elbow, forearm, and wrist tendonitis. Catchers will have some overhead throwing shoulder issues, along with back and knee pain, while position players also deal with overhead shoulder and elbow problems.
Look, we get it – taking time to warm up properly isn’t the most glamorous activity, but it’s worthwhile because it helps keep you on the field. The first things you should be doing upon getting onto the field are stretching and running.
Once that’s done, then you can think about getting your arm loose, but there’s no need to go hard right away. Take it easy at first with some gentle throwing and gradually work your way up to game speed.
Take a Break
It’s easy to think that the only way to get better on the softball field is to be constantly playing, but that’s not entirely true. Playing year-round isn’t actually the best idea because your body really does need a break.
Taking a break is easier to do if you live in an area where snow comes every winter, but even if you don’t, it’s something that should be done. We’re not saying don’t do anything for a month or two – a general fitness routine to at least maintain the progress you’ve earned is perfectly fine – but taking your foot off the gas and letting your body recover will make a huge difference for the upcoming season.
Focus on Flexibility During the Season
In this day and age, it seems like the focus is always to be getting stronger every time we get settled in for a workout. During the season, though, that’s a lot harder to do because of all the energy you’re expending each day at practice or games.
So, leave the goals of gaining strength for the offseason when you can focus most of your energy on it. With so many games and practices in a short period of time during the season, it’s crucial to keep your muscles flexible.
Emphasize Good Mechanics
Most of softball involves repetitive motions over and over again that are eventually committed to muscle memory. Some players will sacrifice their mechanics to hit the ball a little farther or add a couple miles per hour on their fastball, but if you end up making that a habit, you’re opening yourself up for an injury.
Staying committed to having proper form and doing things the right way will eventually bring those few extra feet to your base hit or those couple extra miles per hour to your fastball. Just trust the process.
Don’t Play With Pain
It’s easy to want to be a hero and stay on the field for your team. After all, you’ve worked so hard to prepare for this season, why would you want to miss it because of a little pain?
The thing is, if you let that little pain just linger, it could get worse. And then all of a sudden, instead of missing a game or two, you’re on the shelf for a much longer period of time, and nobody wants that. Make sure to listen to your body and tell the trainer when something doesn’t feel right.
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