Aside from baseball and basketball, softball is now getting more popular among kids and teenagers. However, like other sports, there are also possible hazards you might encounter once you step into the field. This guide aims to highlight some of the most important steps you can take to become a smart softball player.
Because softball is a very active game, the rapid motions, quick stops, base running and sliding increases the likelihood of you getting injured. Likewise, wrong throwing of the ball and too much pitching can lead to severe arm problems. Also, running at full speed increases the risk of collision among fielders and base runners.
Young athletes are very prone to softball injuries which usually involve their shoulders, back, wrist, hand and forearm. The top most common injuries either in games or practice are as follows:
- ANKLE SPRAINS - occurs from sliding into base and quick stops
- KNEE INJURIES - ACL or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament
- SHOULDER INJURIES – also refers to overuse injuries or the inflammation of the tendon which commonly affects pitchers.
- BACK PAINS, NECK PINS AND WRIST TENDINITIS
Position players and infielders usually suffer from the same injuries such as knee problems and overhead shoulder injuries while pitchers usually experience injuries in their back and shoulder because of the windmill motion they have to perform with a softball bat. Take note that overuse injuries developed over time. This is due to stress on joints, muscles and soft tissues that are not properly healed hence, the condition worsens.
These injuries usually start as nagging pain or ache in small areas that can grow and become debilitating injuries when not properly treated. Sudden impact or force can also cause traumatic or acute injuries that catchers usually experience despite wearing softball glove.
If you are interested in playing softball or are currently playing it, there are tips and tricksthat you can follow to protect yourself against pains and injuries.
HOW TO AVOID INJURIES IN SOFTBALL
The most effective and proven tip to treat or reduce further injuries is rest, especially for overuse injuries. Ice or cold compress is also advisable to use to reduce inflammation and soreness of the affected area. According to softball guide, there are necessary precautions to follow to lessen unforeseen injuries.
- Stretching and warm-up – Every sport and physical activities require warm-up for both games and practice. Stretching will help loosen the muscles to prevent sprains and can also aid you in treating sore muscles. Make sure to include brief jogging, arm circles arm pull-over, and arm extensions in your routine before playing softball.
- Playing softball requires explosive and erratic motions thus, ample stretching is needed so your body can withstand the impact of throwing, running, diving and sliding and avoid cramps.Softball Injuries.
- Conditioning is also a crucial part of playing any sports. Softball can take a heavy toll on your body so make sure that your mind and body is properly conditioned as it will increase your endurance and control your breathing.
- Stay hydrated as well to sustain your optimum level of performance during games. Constant drinking of water will prevent you from feeling fatigue between innings, practice and actual games.
- Take plenty of sleep and rest as possible as you can. It will help you to stay alert, healthy and energized. Softball can be an excruciating activity for you and proper rest helps you prevent exhaustion.
- Strengthen your muscles through weight training, conditioning and exercising. Building muscles in your legs, back and shoulders will resist you from getting injured.
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS
The RICE regimen is a very common and effective method used by trainers in treating injuries. This is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. If you endure an injury, rest immediately. Playing after acquiring injuries will only worsen your condition. Put an ice on the affected area for at least 20 minutes.
Next, use a compression bandage to wrap the injured part but ensure to loosen the wrap after every 30 minutes to assist the swelling. To decrease swelling, elevate the injured limb that should be higher than your heart. The RICE method is also effective in lessening the pain.
Nonetheless, the most important aspect to pre-empt injuries is to know and take care of your health and body. If you feel pain in certain areas, have it checked by a professional. Always remember that no injury is too small to treat. Make yourself more in tune so you will easily detect discomforts and avoid impairing injuries.