With the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of players’ preparation for the season was cut short, which means everyone is home waiting for the baseball season to start. While there is merit to allowing your body to recover, having to do so right before the spring and summer season is not the most ideal time. You should be ramping up your intensity during this time to prepare your body. So, while everyone is practicing social distancing, here are three things you can do right now to reduce your risk of injury this spring or summer.
- Don’t stop training
- Maintain your strength and mobility
- Eat plenty of protein and vegetables
1. Don’t stop training
Throwing a baseball, hitting and sprinting are some of the most aggressive and powerful demands we place on the body. Make sure your body is ready. The reason most injuries in the MLB occur during spring training and April compared to any other month is because baseball players too often are not prepared for the demands of a baseball season early on.
Grab a bat, find a tee and some balls, and go out to an open field to train. You can hit into a fence or hit out into an open field. If the fence is big enough, you can throw into it just as you would do in long toss. If you have someone quarantined with you, have them flip you side toss. If you have a mirror at home, record or watch yourself taking dry swings. If you have a wall, practice taking grounders. If you have cones or water bottles, grab a few and practice sprint drills outside.
The point is that there are plenty of options to get your work in and have fun doing so. Jumping right into your spring or summer season without the proper preparation is a recipe for disaster. Be as ready as you can be.
2. Maintain your strength and mobility
You can do both at the same time. For example, many baseball players have both a weak core and tight hips. With purposeful programming, you can improve your body’s core strength and improve your hip flexibility simultaneously.
Following is a sample workout using your bodyweight that addresses a lot of hitter’s needs. Be creative with what you have in the house to increase resistance. Adjust the reps based on your training experience. All video credits go to the YouTube channels linked.
Superset 1 (power development): 3 sets
- 1A: Broad jumps (8 reps)
- 1B: Lateral Heidens 6 times each leg
- 1C: Medial/Lateral Hurdle Hops 4 times each way
Superset 2: 3 sets
Superset 3: 3 sets
- 3A: Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats 10 times each leg
- 3B: Side Planks 30 seconds on each side
- 3C: Bear Crawls 30 seconds forward and backward
3. Eat plenty of protein and vegetables
The same rule applies as if you were training for a normal season. If you cannot train as you would, do not let your nutrition fall behind as well. Make sure you are eating enough protein to maintain your muscle mass. The less you move, the more your body will think it no longer needs its muscles. Do not forget your fruits and vegetables. This is the area you can make big improvements during this time.
Above all else, remember to stay safe. The above are a few ways for you can take advantage of this down time we all are struggling to fill.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to help. You can find more about me here.
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Paul Jinho Yoon is a physical therapy student at Mercer University, where he recently was awarded the Leslie F. Taylor Leadership Scholarship.