The Boys of Summer are getting ready for the Home Run Derby and All Star Game tonight and tomorrow. For those of us playing this summer, we are thinking: “Put me in coach, I am ready to play!” However, if you do not have the luxury of spring training or personalized training rooms, here are a couple of pointers from Dr. Stephen Fealy, Orthopedic Surgeon, to help avoid injuries and keep you in the game for your corporate softball league.
1. Don’t pick up the old baseball mitt and immediately try to throw the runner out at home from center field and make the heroic play. This is a surefire way to injure the soft tissues around the shoulder and wind up in the sports medicine doctor’s office. It is essential to warm up the arm starting with a short toss. Remember the big leaguers: they throw from progressively longer distances, and never more than 45 feet apart to start out with.
2. When beginning to throw, the arc of the ball should begin with a gentle curve. Don’t begin throwing “ropes” or “lasers” with your friends. As you warm up, the ball should trace a gentle arc or rainbow and progressively become flatter or on a more direct path as you get warm.
3. If you haven’t slid into a base in several years, it is not a good idea to try to take out the second baseman on the first play. Sliding into a base is a complicated action that requires diving head first or foot first into an object that is often planted into the ground. This is a common way to dislocate your shoulder or tear a knee ligament.
4. Being a jogger is not the same thing as being a sprinter. We all have seen a batter sprinting to first base and grabbing the back of their leg after they pulled their hamstring. If you plan on running out every ground ball, be sure to run ‘wind sprints’ starting from the left or right field foul pole to center field during your warm-up routine.
Follow these guidelines and you will be in the playoffs!