Whether you've played sports your whole life or are just wanting to try something new, playing recreational sports is a great way to enjoy your summer with friends whilst still being active. The problem with recreational sports though, is that most people don't take it seriously...or take it too seriously and hurt themselves. Here is a very simple way to dramatically decrease your chance of injury; WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR GAME! I'm going to write that three more times now because for some reason people don't get it..WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR GAME! WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR GAME! WARM-UP BEFORE YOUR GAME!
I'm going to target slow-pitch/3-pitch/beer league baseball because the number of people that tear their hamstrings is astronomical. This is a conversation I've had multiple times this summer:
Injured Person: "Hey Cory, do you have any good hamstring stretches? I think I tore mine playing slow-pitch this weekend."
Me: "Did you warm-up beforehand?"
Injured Person: "I drank a beer..does that count?"
The reason there is an increase in injuries in recreational baseball is because people who have been inactive for a long time step up to bat, hit the ball, and then sprint to first base when they haven't sprinted in 10 years. Without warming up, your muscles are tight and unprepared for the stress that comes with sprints, long throws, jumping, stopping on a dime etc. By simply taking 5-10 minutes before the game to warm-up, you're saving yourself a lifetime of potentially repeating that injury and missing the game that you love playing.
Here is a quick dynamic warm-up that should be done before every game you play;
High Knees - Butt Kicks - Toe Touches - Hip Swings (side/side&forward/back) Arm Circles - Arm Swings - Mini Sprints
Perform 10 repetitions for each exercise and 3-5 repetitions of the mini sprints.
Taking the short amount of time to prepare yourself will keep you playing longer and more likely better too!
- Coach Cory George