No matter what you play, there are risks of injuries in every sport and softball is no exception. As soon as you step on the playing field, every element around you poses a significant threat of injuries. This is the reason the number of softball injuries are rising and occur nearly as frequent as baseball injuries.
Years ago, it was considered that baseball entails an entirely different mechanics compared to pitching a softball. However, with softball pitchers throwing as many as thousands of pitches in a tournament, injuries to the shoulder and elbow in softball have grown considerably.
Thus, a smart player should always know all the necessary precautions that can minimize unforeseen injuries. Here, we have rounded up a few pro-active steps you can take as a softball player to prevent injuries.
- Warm Up Properly: Overuse injuries such as the inflammation of a tendon in the shoulder, back or neck pain are the most common injuries in softball. In addition to this, overhead shoulder and elbow problems are also common in softball players. Thus, properly stretching, running and warming up before the game is the best way to prevent injury.2. Rotate Positions: Softball pitchers often have to throw over a thousand pitches during a weekend tournament. Thus, it is always better to rotate playing other positions besides pitcher. It will reduce the possibility of shoulder and elbow injury in this non-contact sport.
3. Run the Bases: Take a vigilant round of the ground with a little jog. This is the best way to not only warm up before the game but to also become familiar with the field. So, you can have a clear idea of any unforeseen dangers that the field poses.
- Ensure Flexibility: Though players usually focus more on strengthening, the flexibility of pitchers is the most crucial aspect of softball. Tight shoulders and inflexible elbows are the main cause of softball injuries. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain flexibility for every softball player.5. Right Equipment is Necessary: Like any other sport, the right equipment is of utmost significance in softball as well. The right gear such as softball gloves, softball bats, helmets and other similar equipment make the game safer and more fun. Until you return to the dugout, equipment like a facemask or chest protector should be worn properly.
6. Don’t Play Year-round: It is always sensible to take proper rests while playing softballs. Rest means no live pitches or batting practice. You may need to loosen up with a flexibility routine for becoming strong enough to prevent injuries. This is especially important for young athletes to not participate in the same sports year round. Breaks allow bodies to recover and also decrease the risk of overuse injuries.
7. Adhere to Obstruction Rule: Fielders should always adhere to the obstruction rule and avoid blocking the runner or base. This is critical when you are not in possession of the ball. Even a minimal collision on the field can lead to serious injury to both the fielder and the runner. Smashing into another player can get the worst of you.
8. Develop Appropriate Skills: The most outstanding way of preventing injuries is to hone your playing skills. When your skills are perfect and accurate, there is less of a chance for injury to occur. Whether you’re a pitcher, a fielder or a catcher, it is necessary that you learn your specific moves. Developing accurate skills for your sport is a proven way of sidestepping the possibility of getting injured while playing.
9. Avoid Pitching on Multiple Teams: Pitchers should always avoid playing for multiple teams at a time. Pitching for more than one team with overlapping seasons has shown to increase the risk of shoulder and elbow injuries.
- Don’t Pitch with Pain: If you are experiencing pain anywhere in your body while playing, tell your coach or trainer. Never hide pain or even a small injury as it can then worsen over time. Whenever an injury is suspected, talk to a medical practitioner and get it treated before it gets worse.
The most important aspect of overcoming the possibility of getting injured is to know your body. Never overlook even the smallest injury. Be cautious! Be safe!
By David Morgan
David Morgan is the editor and co-founder of www.theplanetofbaseball.com. A software engineer by day and a baseball blogger by night, Morgan also participated in the training activities of a youth baseball team in his hometown. He has a passion for baseball, as it pertains to his life from childhood until now. Morgan loves to share what is related to that passion with others.