Spring Sports Prep – Phase One: Indoors
Spring is here!
Not only does that mean more daylight into the evening hours and some warmer temperatures, but outdoor sports!
The unpredictability of spring weather means that you need to be prepared for anything. Many sports teams will hold pre-season or early season practices indoors. It presents a few challenges.
One thing to keep in mind is footwear. When you play baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, or run track (serious/competitively) outdoors – you normally wear cleats or spikes of some kind. Indoors, you’re obviously not going to do that. Why am I even pointing this out?!
When you dress for your sport, it sends a message to your brain and body what’s going on: “Get ready to play softball.” Cleats and spikes offer lots of extra traction, causing you to push off and stride differently than you would if you wore regular sneakers. While training indoors, it is helpful to remind yourself you aren’t running the bases on your normal “turf.”
For the baseball, softball, and lacrosse players, gym drills can be a pain for practicing ground balls. The gym floor is very different than dirt, turf, and grass. Just be mindful and watch the ball all the way into the glove, pocket, etc.
Throwing and catching drills will probably feel the most natural, with the exception of extended distances or heights. Florescent lights may blind you, instead of the sunshine.
Once you do get outside, remember that the infields and outfields will be wet and traction will be tough. It’s best to make sure your muscles are warm before making any athletic moves.
One of the biggest keys to pre-season is to master your warm up.
Begin by moving around and getting your blood flowing. Get a sweat started. Think light aerobic.
PLEASE DO NOT START BY JUST HOLDING STRETCHES WITH COLD MUSCLES!
Next up, warm up your soft tissue by foam rolling. A tennis ball or lacrosse ball can also help with rolling out tight areas….especially glutes and shoulders. (Hurts like crazy!)
Once you’ve begun to sweat and warm up, add in some dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches (a dynamic warm up) continue to warm up the core body temperature, wake up the nervous system, and prepare the body for sport with sport-specific movements. Instead of holding the stretch, you move through it.
Here are some examples of dynamic warm-ups:
-walking high knees —> jogging high knees
-walking butt kicks —> jogging butt kicks
-straight leg forward kicks
-side to side shuffle
-windmill arm swings
Spring sports seem very throwing arm dependent, so PLEASE, if you do any pre-season prep, take care of your throwing arm.
Here’s what that can look like:
-foam roll (don’t forget to roll out your lats and chest!!)
-tennis ball/lacrosse ball massage (sandwich the ball between your back, shoulder, chest and the wall or floor. Apply pressure and roll in small circles until you feel a knot. Hold the pressure on the knot and breathe for a few seconds)
-band work (anchor band in a door, or around a pole, arm at 90 degrees, holding back in hand, hinge at the shoulder, pull away from anchor point, then switch body to the other side)
In conclusion: start slowly. As excited as you are, don’t overdo it in the beginning. Take your time with each skill. If anything, spend MORE time with warm-ups and stretching. Care for your body so it can be ready for all the elements of your sport throughout the season.
ABOUT MICHIGAN SPORTS & SPINE CENTER:
We’re innovative leaders utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as musculoskeletal ultrasounds, PRP, stem cell treatment, and other innovative procedures. Michigan Sports & Spine Center is committed to resolving your pain, not simply masking it. We treat the whole body, not just the injury, and perform preventative treatment so your injury doesn’t come back. Our studies prove that Michigan Sports & Spine Center has patient success rates much higher than the national average. We treat everyone from high-profile athletes to your neighbor next door. Our primary focus is getting our patients back into the game of life!