Monday, June 6, 2011

Recovery from Baseball Activities

Recovery from a baseball game is easy. Let’s take a look at the facts. How long is the typical baseball game, at the pro level 3 to 3.5 hours, college 3 hours, high school 2 to 2.5 hours, little league 1 to 2 hours. These are just rough estimates but for the most part pretty fair, how much time minus the starting pitcher is there activity? Let’s break that down. Typically a player will get 3 to 4 at bats per game, and let’s say that each player will see on average 7 pitches per at bat. That gives the player 21 pitches to focus, swing and potentially get a hit. If that player gets just one hit in the game they will be batting .333. This player will now only have to run the bases once and the chances the player gets all the way around and scores are slim, considering that most baseball games are in the single digits. The maximum the player will run around the bases is 360 feet or 120 yards, basically the full length of a football field. How about running on defense? In the infield, if the player can cover 5 to 7 yards on either side of the position, the defender is doing good. That means the player covers 40 total feet. In most cases a player will get 7 or fewer balls hit to them per game. So, if they covered the total area just to one side of their position the player may run 140 feet in a game, or about 40 yards. Outfielders, on the other hand, must cover more space so we will go as high as 50 feet either side of the position. Again, if the player makes 7 plays, the player would potentially cover about 350 feet or about 116 yards. Let’s put this in context, on average let’s say the outfielder will be asked to run at 100% 240 yards in a typical game, the infielder will be asked to run 160 yards in a typical game. In most cases not even half of a lap on a track. So is the game really physically grueling, meaning energy expenditure and calories lost from activity high? The truthful answer is no, but why is the game so exhausting.

I’m going to throw something out there that not many coaches that I have been in contact with talk about, mental recovery. What is mental recovery? The ability of the mind to come back to a resting state is the best way I can describe this mechanism. Training a player to calm the mind,rest the thoughts, and allow the body to recover and heal from day to day activities. All the physical recovery is still very, very important. The body needs fuel and hydration and with out them the mind cannot focus. But, there is a lot of information on this type of recovery. I just want to get this concept out in the open and if anyone has been doing any work on this please let me know, we have started to do some work with this concept and so you may be hearing more from us in the future.

Brian Niswender MA, CSCS

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