Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions (Recommendations)

Welcome back and happy New Year!

Every year we all make New Year’s resolutions or try to make personal goals leading into the new year or the new season. At this point I am hoping it’s not to start training for the season sooner – because you are getting ready to report back to class much quicker than you think. I will make a couple suggestions if you are looking for a couple goals for the upcoming year and season.

• Have a mental routine prior to your baseball activity – there are very few good athletes that just show up to the ballpark and turn it on. Most of them are preparing hours before they show up to the ballpark – mental preparation can help in many aspects of the game.

• Have a physical routine for your baseball activity – I know most people think runners and track athletes are pretty much crazy, but they have a set routine before they line up for a race.

• Get a massage – most parents are going to kill me for suggesting this, but soft tissue quality has an effect on your overall performance. There is a reason that massage and other soft tissue treatments are so successful and popular. Self-massage can be very beneficial – a golf ball, tennis ball, baseball, PVC pipe, and foam roller can help your legs out in the long run and can be an aid in the recovery process.

• Stretch your arm when you get done throwing – the benefits and effects of stretching have been debated and argued for as long as I have been around this profession. When, How long, mobility work, PNF stretching, etc, etc etc. Studies have documented the range of motion lost during an outing that a pitcher puts together. If you neglect to take care of this before you throw again, you are putting your shoulder in an awful position – a simple way to put it is to take care of your assets.

I can’t say that these things will give you the ability to throw 96 mph with sink, or give you the ability to hit .400 over the course of the season. It will help you feel better in the long run. Good luck this season it’s right around the corner.

Chris Ham, MSA, ATC, CES
Athletic Trainer
Vanderbilt University Baseball

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