There’s an old saying that goes “a half an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cures”. This implies that it takes less effort in preventing injuries versus dealing with one. This concept truly applies to the youth baseball community. A good youth baseball coach will cover injury consciousness situations and scenario before anyone takes the field. It is important to note that although the youth community can heal quicker than adults, it’s much more efficient to take preventive measures of stopping an injury before it starts. Since injuries happen by accident, we never know when they hit. Below we feature five effective methods that can assist with injury prevention throughout the season.
1. Encourage At Home Pre-Season Baseball Conditioning
Although the beginning of every baseball season has a set time and date, families should make an effort to administer some routine baseball or conditioning drills prior to the first practice. Aside from the fact that extra practice can help with the first practice jitters, it also gets your player into better shape which dramatically help with preventing injuries, fatigue, and cramping. Make certain that a good portion of pre-season practices includes stretching, running, conditioning drills to get the limbs moving athletically again after some time away from baseball.
2. Exercise and Strength Training
Strengthening muscles, joints, and tendons play an integral part of preventing injuries in youth baseball. The best way to increase your player’s athleticism and keep them in shape year around are the popular indoor strength and conditioning gyms. These special services do have a significant cost attached, however developing a healthy workout regimen within a child will pay dividends in a multitude of ways for years to come. Allow me to use my own son as an example. My boy who plays baseball and tackle football attends a gym like this that provides daily 1 on 1 strength, conditioning, speed, and agility training. Additionally, his gym offers special position training in the sport of baseball, football, basketball and martial arts. Overall athletic exercising and training is a superb way of preventing in youth baseball. A youth that is in shape will be less likely to incur injuries later.
3. A Complete Physical Exam
Many baseball leagues require the participants pass a physical exam but if your league doesn’t, please take it upon yourself as a parent to have one done. Also, it’s imperative to relay all medical information about your child and follow up with his or her physician. There are many programs and tests that can be done in this area. No matter how healthy a youth baseball player may seem, preventative tests can only help. Keeping with the theme of medical exams, coaches should never take any injury lightly. Designating a few parents to volunteer for CPR certification and having a fully stocked first aid kit with ice packs can be the difference between a severe medical situation and just a big scare.
4. Proper Equipment Always
In the sport of baseball, nothing frustrates a coach more than a player who comes to games or practices equipped poorly. If a poll surveyed 100 honest youth baseball players that asked how often they intentionally took the field without proper equipment, the statistic would most likely be shocking to most people. What drives coaches nuts is the fact that some youth baseball players choose to not wear certain protective gear. Although it may not the most comfortable ensemble, the potential for injury must not be underestimated. When a youth male plays a sport like baseball which involves a swinging metal bat and a fast traveling rock hard ball that could reach speeds upwards of 80mph, you would think every boy would WANT to wear a protective cup right?
5. Burning Out A Baseball Player: Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally
Too many times, youth baseball studs suffer unnecessary injuries from selfish coaches and parents who care more about winning a game than the health of their players. Every season, more and more kids under the age are sidelined from surgeries such as Tommy John surgery because they blew out their pitching arm the season prior. Parents need to understand that while a child’s body develops, contorting a pitcher’s arm in throwing curveballs or exceeding pitch counts of 80 or 90 could ruin a youth baseball pitcher’s career. Aside from the physical ailments, over playing your child baseball or any sport could lead to a sudden disinterest within the kid. It’s important for parents to separate their own sports goals for their children from what’s actually best for that particular child. Youth organized baseball is a sport that is usually offered year around which makes it much easier to parents to accidentally burn their kids of the game.