How to Swing a Bat Without Injuring Your Back

Do you love baseball? But are you also suffering from poor back health? Chiropractic services in Vancouver have been receiving patients lately who are baseball players.

Although not exactly a contact sport, baseball has been known to imperil the back greatly. The extreme motion of pitching and swinging the bat puts the player at great risk of back injury. This is mostly caused by wrong mechanics in delivering the motion.

Baseball and its Relationship to Back Pain

As already mentioned, baseball has been associated with back pains. The swing, which is done at high speed causes tremendous strain to the back leading to spasm and other injuries. This motion can also cause strain to the tendons which connect the back muscles to the skeletal system. This injury can be exacerbated by poor warm up and conditioning and wrong mechanics.

Muscle Injury Caused by Strain

So what are you to do if you experience injuries associated with batting? If it happens, you have to inform your medical provider or a chiropractic care practitioner. Allow your muscles some rest and time to heal itself and avoid activities that will only worsen the injuries. An ice pack is always a good idea to relieve some of the pain and your doctor may prescribe some pain medications. After several days, if you feel like your injury has healed a bit, you can gradually increase your activities.

How to Avoid Back Muscle Injuries Associated with Batting

Being in good condition to play baseball is key to avoiding injuries to your back. Your back must be ready or strong enough to withstand the stress that you’re about to subject it to. Here are some tips:

  1. Know your physical condition

Consult your doctor to see if you’re in the condition to engage in an activity as strenuous as baseball. If you’re not fit to engage in this activity, forcing the matter will only cause a lot of injuries.

  1. Strengthen your core

The core is your center of gravity. To prevent damage due to repetitive motion, it must be strong enough to withstand the stress that it will be subjected to. Ask your fitness instructor for some ab workout program and start working.

  1. Start swimming

Swimming is a gentle, low-impact sport that has been known to be good for the back. Even a short time at the pool will already go far to condition your back and your core. Swimming is also a good aerobic exercise and that you can use as part of your cross training program.

  1. Warm up and stretch

To avoid pulled muscle injuries, you have to be properly warmed-up and stretched. Some of those who immediately engage in any sport forget to warm up only to suffer injuries later on.

  1. Proper posture

Improper posture has been known to cause injuries in the back. When you bat at an awkward position, expect to pull a muscle as a result.

With these tips, you can be sure to avoid potential injuries.

Upper Body Injury Prevention

When it comes to baseball, or any sport for that matter, you’re only as good as your body allows you to be. If you’re not 100%, it will be difficult to achieve your goals and show your true potential. Many elite baseball players are now placing a larger focus on injury prevention in order to gain an edge, as staying healthy will not only maximize exposure, but it will also allow you to get the most out of your training sessions, whether it be batting practice, or taking some grounders during warm-up. Coaches have caught on to this as well, encouraging their players to learn more about anatomy and engage in discussions with teams doctors.

So why are we focusing on the upper body in this article? Of course, your legs are essential for baseball, but the sport is somewhat unique in that it places a tremendous amount of stress on your arms and shoulders. Overhead mechanics combined with sprinting, sliding, and jumping, all lead to baseball being one of the most physically demanding sports, especially when we focus on the joints of the body.

Upper Body Injuries in Baseball

If you’ve played or watched baseball before, you may be familiar with the term “Tommy John Surgery“, which is one of the most common injuries in baseball, especially for pitchers. Briefly, this surgery consists of repairing the ligament on the medial (inside) part of the elbow with tissue from a tendon somewhere else in the body. It’s called Tommy John surgery, as it was originally developed for the pitcher Tommy John.

Given the amount of torque that pitchers place on their throwing elbow pitch after pitch, it’s really hard to see this one coming, making it difficult to avoid. However, if you have suffered from this injury once before, then there are many things you can do to ensure a proper rehabilitation process, as well as methods you can employ once you return to training that can help prevent injuring the ligament again.

For the former, this just involves being patient and taking proper care. You may have to wear a pretty highly supportive elbow brace at first, and lots of players avoid these due to the immobilization that can make them antsy, instead opting for a sling. However, these days, many of these braces have functions that allow you to gradually incorporate limited ranges of motion, so you can really ease your way back into things. Once you’re back to training, arm sleeves that provide some support, albeit minimal support, can also provide a little bit of added stability, as well as therapeutic heat in case the joint becomes painful. Developing a maintenance routine with the athletic trainer, whereby you essentially commit to a small training program based completely on your elbow’s health, can also help prevent further injury. These aren’t set in concrete, but rather, can be developed through discussion with your trainer or physiotherapist.

Shoulder Impingement

Baseball players with poor posture, or those who do not adequately strengthen and stretch the shoulder joint to the degree they should, often risk developing impingement of the shoulder joint. There can be many different ways that this takes form, but often times it results from inflammation of the shoulder muscles, particularly the rotator cuff muscles, as they pass through the shoulder joint, leading to decreased flexibility and a high level of pain.

Fortunately, this is a common problem in many sports (whereas Tommy John injuries are a little more baseball-specific). Athletic trainers and physiotherapists alike are all well-versed in dealing with these sorts of shoulder ailments, but like anything else, getting it treated early will provide the best results. Sometimes you may need to limit the movement of your shoulder between treatment sessions while it heals, so some players opt to wear a sling or other type of shoulder support to help them maintain a neutral shoulder position without compromising comfort.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the main thing you can do to prevent injuries is to listen to your body and actively engage in discussions with the team trainer or your physiotherapist. These professionals are highly knowledgeable and can provide you with some additional tools to help keep you on the field and performing at 100%.

Tips for Rookie Baseball Coaches

Tips for Rookie Baseball Coaches

Baseball is considered America’s favorite pastime. Being the new baseball coach on the block is a daunting task. Coaching a team is not the easiest of tasks. You have to deal with a lot of pressures such as parents, referees, game decisions etc.The list goes on and on. However, do not despair as coaching a team has many benefits and you can propel your team to success if you follow the steps mentioned below.

Be An Expert

Your players will look to you for guidance. Learn everything there is to Baseball, be a Baseball geek. Read as many books, blogs, articles and videos you can on baseball. This will help you develop a strategy and give you an advantage over other teams as you can utilize your knowledge to win the game. Learning more about Baseball will help you know better training practices for your team and other points that will improve your team’s performance. Knowledge is more useful than money.  Here is some help with that.

Seek Guidance

Asking experienced coaches will help you avoid rookie mistakes and pitfalls that many new coaches fall into. The knowledge that you gain from them will help you in your early career. Avoiding rookie mistakes will save you some headaches and not have to learn some things the hard way. Some of their advice might help you in the many years to come of your coaching career. You don’t have to ask hundreds and thousands of coaches but around three or four. This will help you get different ideas and see different types of attitudes when it comes to coaching. All of this will help you become a better baseball coach.

Have A Positive And Confident Attitude

It’s going to be tough out there. You will face hardships and setbacks. However, being positive and confident will not only increase your morale but also your team’s morale. Having a positive mindset will make you work harder and find solutions faster. You will not dwell on the small stuff, but focus on what is important. Your behaviour will affect your teams as being positive and motivated is contagious. If you go out and give 100% each day, your team will be motivated to work harder. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Your thoughts become your actions”.

Work Harder Than Everyone Else

All of the people that are best in their profession or field work harder than everyone else in their profession or field. What makes excellent coaches excellent is the fact that they put in more hours of training than the average coach. If you work harder than the average coach then you will be better than the average coach. Spend more hours on the pitch than on the laptop surfing the internet or watching reality shows on television. Your team will also be affected by this. If they see you working hard, they are more likely to work hard as well.

The path to a successful career as a coach is not a walk in the park. However, it can be achieved and if you follow the above steps and implement them, you are fast on your way to becoming a successful coach. Also, remember to have fun whilst you are coaching. Baseball coaches have a fun and rewarding job. It can really pay off if you work hard at being a better coach and driving your team to success.

4 Things to Consider When Buying Used Baseball Equipment

4 Things to Consider When Buying Used Baseball Equipment

It’s totally easy to fall in love with the game of baseball, from little leagues to championships. You know, it is one thing to love baseball and entirely another when it comes to getting the right equipment. I know nothing comes close to buying new sports gear. So here are a few points to consider just so nothing goes wrong while you shop for the new to you baseball items you need.

Safety First

The first thing you should consider when buying new or used sports equipment is always to think about your safety. Baseball is a unique sport and like many other outdoor games there are special features designed specifically for safe and fun experience. Don’t get too excited with the fun, splendor and love of the game you forget safety. Be very sure to verify all safety features in your equipment are in good shape. Be safe

Evaluate Quality

The main tools are the bat and ball, a good bat is very important and as such there are five major things to consider in evaluating a baseball bat: the handle, grip, barrel, knob and end cap. Of these five three main features need to be checked properly, that’s the grip, knob and barrel. Without a proper grip on the bat everything just won’t fit. The grip is designed from rubber or leather and sometimes synthetic leather, the latter material helps in absorbing shock wave when batting and the former feels comfy to some batters. The know helps in keeping your hand from sliding off when striking, and lastly a smooth barrel is key to a homerun.

Pricing

The whole reason you’re buying used instead of new is because you can’t afford it, so make the very best of your situation. Compare best retail prices for whatever your needs. If you’re looking for just the regular bat and ball, compare prices. If you want to surprise a friend with cool batting glove, batting helmet, or a full catcher’s gear. Whatever it is, first compare prices, read reviews and even coupons. Just because you’re buying used don’t mean you lower your standard and taste. Get the best value you can afford by buying equipment you’ll enjoy.

Look Around

If you’re buying online then seller reputation is something consider too, look at reviews and feedback from other buyers, reputation of your seller. Are the items fully described in terms of condition, and are any parts of showing signs of excess wear. And make sure you check the little things like tethers and zippers as well as any part that’s often used. Feel free to ask questions and clarification where needed and don’t forget to ask about the return policy and warranties.

Finally, when buying used baseball equipment make sure you don’t compromise on some of the features mentioned above as a terrible firsthand experience could emerge from having a wrong combination of equipment.