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Warm-up & Stretching to Create a Better Player

Proper warm-ups and stretching before practice and games cannot be ignored regardless of the level of play or the age of the players. This is often neglected particularly in youth baseball and softball leagues because practice time on crowded fields is so limited that many coaches immediately begin practice without much warm-up & stretching time.

Young children generally need to learn proper fundamentals so they will not get hurt while playing the sport. Older children need to learn proper techniques so that they don't hurt themselves while playing.

Young adults require more fitness and training and are generally subject to the same type of injuries as adult athletes. In planning fitness programs for baseball and softball players it should be remembered that these sports stress quickness and skill rather than strength and endurance. Minimum pre-practice warm ups should include stretching and mild jogging as well as gradually increased throwing intensity. Pitchers should thoroughly warm up and not throw hard until they are well warmed up.

Tips for warm-up & Stretching

The aims of stretching are to gently lengthen muscles before and after any form of exercise, and to improve tissue elasticity / flexibility. If done correctly, stretching will help prevent injuries and increase athletic performance.

 

Warm-up
WHY?

 

HOW?

 

Stretching
WHY?

 

HOW?

        Hold stretch for 10-30sec - DO NOT BOUNCE

        Repeat each stretch 2-3 times

        Stretch gently and slowly, keep breathing

        Stretch to the point of tension - NEVER PAIN

        Select the major muscle groups used in your sport and stretch them through their full range of movement

 

This Should take around 10-15 minutes.

 

 

 

1.
Back of the Neck
Starting at your neck bend your head forward so your chin is on your chest. This will stretch the back of your neck. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Back of the neck stretch!

2.
Side of the Neck
Keep your shoulders level then bend your neck with your ear going to your shoulder. Do not shrug your shoulder up to meet your ear. Do each side a few times.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Side Neck Stretch

3.
Shoulder
This one is very beneficial for pitchers. But should be used for all players. Move your arm across your chest and with the other arm grab the elbow and pull the are so you fell the muscle stretching in the shoulder. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Shoulder Stretch

4.
Tricep
Reach back like you have to scratch your back right below your neck. With the other hand reach around the back of your head and grab your elbow and pull down on the elbow. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Tricep Stretch

5.
Waist
Stand Straight up and bend at the waist sideways and run your hand down your thigh towards your knee. Make sure not to bend forward at all this would not stretch your waist. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Waist stretch!

6.
Groin
Take a big step forward then lean towards the front foot. Leaving the back leg at a angle. Rest your forearms on the front leg that is bent. Do this alternating legs a couple of times each. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Groin Stretch

7.
Groin
The reason for 2 groin stretches is that it is one of the easiest places to hurt. This stretch can be done by sitting down and putting the sole of each foot together Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Groin Stretch

8.
Hamstring
There is 3 different positions for this stretch. First on you reach down and touch the ground in front of you. the 2nd you reach and touch the ground between your feet. The 3rd you reach a little further back between your legs behind you. Do all 3 positions twice and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Hamstring Stretch

9.
Thigh
Stand straight bend your leg back so you can reach back and grab your foot. This requires some balancing. Alternate legs. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Thigh Stretch

10.
Leg and lower back
This will stretch your lower back and your some leg muscles. Sit down put one leg straight out and the other leg should be bent in towards the out stretched leg. Take the oppisite hand from the out stretched leg and touch your toes. Do this a few times and rest about 5 seconds in between.
Hold each one about 10-15 Seconds.

Leg and Lower Back