There’s always a lot of pressure on a pitcher to throw perfectly every time to retire the batter in front of them. As such, each player adopts their unique way of throwing to keep opponents on their toes. These practices, however, could leave them injured.
Even continuous throwing, despite having the right techniques may cause serious arm injuries, according to a recent study from McMaster University. The paper, entitled “Major League Baseball Pace-of-Play Rules and Their Influence on Predicted Muscle Fatigue During Simulated Baseball Games,” is not only a mouthful to say, but it was also a direct response to the MLB’s proposal to decrease the time limit between every pitch from 22.6 seconds to just 20.
While it may not seem like much time, it increases the risk of injury by seven percent, the paper stated. The researchers used a computer model that simulated baseball games from the 2014 season of the MLB. They found that pitchers were more susceptible to arm fatigue when they added a time limit.
Whether you’re a stalker radar gun-wielding coach looking out for your players or a pitcher who’s looking to up your game, the following will help you avoid fatigue and injuries.
Soreness Means Stop
Though this may be excessive for some trainers and players, you should stop pitching at the first sign of soreness. A study, “Indicators of Throwing Arm Fatigue in Elite Adolescent Male Baseball Players: A Randomized Crossover Trial,” found that arm soreness is a significant warning that a pitcher is tired. Take a break and place an ice pack on the spot where it hurts. It may also help to raise your arm to reduce the swelling, according to medical information site Mayo Clinic. If the soreness persists or it happens as early as warm-ups, consult a doctor.
Hydration is Underrated
If you’ve been an athlete for some time now, you’ve probably experienced the excruciating pain of a muscle cramp. While this injury is usually temporary, you’ll be out of commission until the cramp stops. Apart from overusing your throwing arm, muscle cramps can be caused by dehydration. The Mayo Clinic says that fluids assist in the proper contraction and relaxation of muscles.
Don’t Rush Warm-Ups
While it’s exciting to rush to the field and start pitching, you should never start a game without proper stretches and warm-ups. Do some basic stretching and go for a jog before you start practicing your pitch. These moves increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare your joints for your throws. This way, you won’t end up pulling a muscle during sudden movements.
In sports, continuous improvement is necessary to stay relevant. However, players and coaches alike should learn that tiring yourself out won’t make you any better as a player. It may even lead to career-ending injuries. Give yourself a break, you’ll do better when you’ve recovered.
Get Quality Training Equipment
When it comes to training, you want to have equipment that gives accurate readings every time. Here at Radar Sports, LLC, we offer high-quality baseball radar guns from reputable brands like Stalker and Bushnell to help you track your pitch speed. We also provide other training materials like speed pitch cages and pitching machines.
Contact us today to get the best training equipment for your team.