Preseason Prep Part 1
General Tips for Injury Prevention and Staying Healthy
Get yourself Ready for 2020
Now that the shock and disappointment of not being able to start preseason training has sunk in, let’s continue our “Above the Line” thinking and take responsibility for our own individual preparation so we can still have a fantastic 2020 Winter Baseball season.
One of the great things about Baseball is that you can take the field even when you aren’t in the best shape. However, the main problem with doing this is the increased risk of injury, which is the last thing anyone wants. So we are thinking outside the box to help our players start the season in the best possible mental and physical condition, in these trying circumstances.
The most common injuries for Baseball players are:
Muscle Sprains & Strains – e.g. quad, hamstring & calf injuries – when have you ever seen someone stroll between the bases? Hopefully never. We SPRINT, right? But this is something we never really do in our day to day lives, so we need to deliberately condition those fast twitch muscle fibres for this part of the game, especially at the beginning of the season when those first few sprints can be a bit of a shock to the system!
These articles outline some great exercises for SPEED work and STRENGTH training to build those fast twitch muscle fibres which will help you be faster between the bases and reduce the likelihood of injury:
Shoulder injuries – particularly Rotator cuffs in Pitchers. J-Bands are brilliant for strengthening this complex group of muscles that allow us to rotate, accelerate and put the breaks on during the throwing or pitching action.
J-Band warm up routine for Pitchers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cNN2hxN3-U
And if you don’t have any equipment, here are some quick & simple exercises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj_HoT-KGNc
Knee Injuries – specifically the ACL & MCL which can be injured when we run, stop, change direction or land with a bent knee. While both Men and Women can suffer an ACL injury, women are more prone. This YouTube clip shows a great workout that will assist to strengthen all of the leg muscles, particularly those that support the knee.
Club Coach Rowan Johnstone has sent 3 of his favourite workouts to share:
The first one is put together by Dominic Puttick from Evolve Health & Fitness in Dromana:
The next two, by Robby Rowland, a professional pitcher:
Supporting our health and fitness through eating well and exercising should be a priority for all of us, all year round but particularly in Winter when we are more susceptible to bugs like the common cold and influenza. There are many bugs that have the potential to wipe us out for a few weeks if our bodies aren’t capable of mounting a strong immune response but on top of that, add the threat of COVID-19 for Winter 2020! So what are the best ways to build our immune system?
Exercise – but don’t go starting a new, high intensity workout routine with the intention of being in top shape in 3 weeks time. You know your body and the kind of injuries you are prone to, so select a few exercises from those that are listed above and ease into them slowly, allowing ample time between exercise days for the muscles to recover before stressing them again.
Stretch – DAILY! Static stretching is a fantastic way to ensure your muscles are flexible, have efficient blood flow, is a great way to calm your mind and also prevent injuries. This is a great article on how to get started: https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-stretching#benefits
EAT WELL – Now is a great time to increase your intake of whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.
Drink Water – 2 Litres of water a day is the average amount required to maintain hydration for optimal health. Drinking enough water will ensure our body can flush toxins, maintain concentration and focus, keep the muscle cramps at bay and more!. Every cell in the body requires water to function: https://www.nutritionaustralia.org/sites/default/files/Healthy%20Hydration.pdf
Reduce Refined Sugars and White Foods – the ironic thing about people stockpiling packets of pasta and bags of flour is that these foods are so low in nutrients that if you had to eat them in high quantities you’re on the road to ill health anyway! Avoid excessive intake of white rice, pasta and bread and avoid soft drinks, concentrated juices and ‘sports’ drinks altogether if you want to look after your immune system.
Another consequence of excessive amounts of sugar and refined foods (apart from the obvious weight gain) is increased inflammation so if increasing fitness and preventing injury is the goal, focus on whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods like fruit & vegetables, nuts & seeds, wholegrains, beans and lentils.
Other Helpful Hints – There are many natural ways we can keep our immune systems strong, like taking at least 1000mg of vitamin C a day (spread it out into smaller doses over the day), having ½ tsp of Manuka Honey when we feel the beginnings of a scratchy or sore throat, keep some immune boosting herbs in the medicine cupboard and cook with garlic, onion, ginger, chillies and other spices like turmeric and paprika.
COVID-19 SPECIFIC INFORMATION – There have been guidelines put in place by the Government to protect the population and slow the spread of COVID-19, so also follow those – practice social distancing (1.5m apart), no shaking hands, hugging etc. other than close family, avoid inside gatherings of 100 people or more and outside gatherings of 500 people or more, do not travel overseas, avoid nursing homes (2 visitors at a time), keep your kids in school unless they are unwell, etc. etc.
Let’s all stay safe, healthy and calm and do what we can to get things back on track!!
Written by Jo Schutt – Naturopath | Sports Coach | Mum | Mornington Baseball Club Committee Member!
PRESEASON PREPARATION PART 2 – Includes Playing catch for VERY new parents, Tips from the Team and Online Resources