Baseball is one of the most famous sports in the world. As exciting and competitive it is, even professional players sometimes experience the worst hits. Irrespective of how much you have protected yourself, the fear of getting injured is still there. You will not find a single player in this sport that has not been injured.
However, things are a bit different today. A relatively large percentage of kids are joining the game and it is important that safety is optimum. Therefore, before you coach, start a club, or set out to play, consider some safety tips that are going to help prevent some baseball injuries.
The Most Common Baseball Injuries
Baseball is a contact sport. With that being said, it tends to be very rough and tough sometimes. With players running and hitting the ball as hard as possible, things can turn pretty serious within seconds. There are two most common types of baseball injuries. Impact and overuse. Impact injuries are caused when a player comes in contact with an object or another player.
It can also be that the player gets hurt by a ball or bat while colliding with another player. Overuse baseball injuries are mostly due to excessive use of the arm, wrist, and shoulder joints while pitching and batting.
Tips for Playing Baseball Safely
Avoiding accidents and collisions
Although baseball might look dangerous from the outside but it is much safer than many other contact sports out there. Players getting struck by a ball or bat is highly unlikely in professional competitions. Players running into each other or coming into contact with something is more probable in young leagues. If you are a baseball coach or a parent, you can help kids avoid collisions and accidents in several ways.
The first way is to communicate and embed good team communication skills. Another way is to develop good pitching and batting techniques. Furthermore, you should always ensure that the kids are wearing appropriate gear and keep their heads high while running to avoid running into something.
Team communication is amongst the most important factors that enable the player to play safely as well. While hitting the ball and racing to the first base, new infielders and batters might lose track of the ball. Players will get easily confused about who should be fielding the ball. To prevent such situations, teammates should always practice communication skills so that everyone knows how to react when certain signs are thrown up. This will help achieve efficiency during games and reduce confusion.
Batting With Common Sense
Common sense is a virtual protection gear. It is something in your mind that tells you not to play a wild ball, which can otherwise harm you. Apart from stepping up to bat with confidence, you should always use your common sense. Once the ball is thrown at you, keep your eyes on the ball and move aside if you think that the ball is heading towards your body or chin.
Depending on the area where it might hit, you can tuck the chin, turn the face or lower your head. Professionals often suggested that young players should practice such moves to avoid permanent injuries.
Inspect Your Safety Gear
Your safety gear is the only thing standing between life and death. Believe it or not, the history of baseball is full of events where players were saved from life-threatening injuries only because a helmet was in the way. Before you wear your protective gear, you should always inspect it properly for cracks or anything that might make it vulnerable. Additionally, after each game, inspect the entire gear and replace the items that are cracked or damaged.
Keep a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is going to offer some relief when you are going to need it the most. While you cannot escape each crash, scratch, or burn, it is important that you always keep a first aid kit at your side. Your first aid kit should include everything from bandages to sprays or gels that help relieve pain. Moreover, you should also have some tools for stitching if the injury cannot be covered by a bandage only.
Tips for Avoiding Overuse Injuries
According to the American Sports Medicine Institute, overuse injuries involving elbow and shoulder injuries have risen over the years amongst young players. This is mostly due to poor pitching skills, excessive use and not being physically fit.
Youngsters who are new to the game are not aware of how to train in the gym and what muscles to work on and how to strengthen themselves. This leads them vulnerable to overuse injuries. If not looked after, these overuse injuries can lead to long-term muscular pain and limit the movement of the elbows, shoulders, and wrists. Such injuries pop up during the early stages of playing baseball.
However, properly warming up yourself and developing the right batting and pitching technique is going to help prevent all that.
Pitching and Baseball Arm Injuries
Baseball is mostly about pitching. This means that you are going to use several muscles, tendons as well as joints of the pitching multiple times, which puts a tremendous amount of strain on them. Pitching the ball incorrectly, too often or too soon can create trouble for young players. Instead of achieving the perfect throw, the result is stress and fatigue.
When it comes to pitching, the professionals suggest that you should be aware and on the lookout for signs of fatigue and decreased accuracy. If you observe something unusual, you should immediately walk away. Ignoring the problem is only going to create more trouble. In addition to that, you should follow the number of pitchings and innings prescribed by your league while not serving as a pitcher and catcher at the same time.
Preconditioning is another way of avoiding baseball injuries. Many players remain inactive between seasons, which brings the body under stress and strain when it is time to train for the next season. If they were to remain active, their muscle memory would not wipe away. This is why experts suggest warming up before batting or pitching.
Throwing a ball with extreme force without warming up your muscles is most likely going to harm them. Therefore, before stepping up to bat or pitch, make sure that you properly stretch and warm up yourself to loosen the stiff muscles.
Look After Your Diet
Your body needs to heal between games. Part of that is done by exercising while the rest of that is done by resting and eating healthy. If you are really interested in baseball, you will have to develop a healthy eating schedule. Instead of munching on fast food, you should be opting for meals that offer nutrition and essential vitamins. Such meals will help strengthen and repair your body.
Additionally, you should consume meals that contain protein to develop the muscles. The stronger the muscles, the more powerful the throw and batting.
While baseball is a rough sport you can avoid serious impact and overuse injuries. Improper techniques, which are mostly overlooked are the real cause behind such injuries. Therefore, a combination of common sense and the right training goes a long way in preventing the most common baseball injuries.