Getting your college’s baseball team ready for the spring season is a big responsibility for athletic trainers. A lot of that preparation centers on strengthening and conditioning your players, not just for increased skill but also to reduce the risk of baseball injuries during training and throughout the season.
What’s your game plan to keep your players out of the dugout and on the diamond? Check out these five tips, along with the surprising role accident insurance can play to keep your student-athletes healthy and hitting the ball out of the park all season long.
5 Ways to Prepare Student-Athletes for College Baseball Season
With a typical college baseball season lasting around 56 games from the middle of February to the middle of May, it’s important that players build core, leg, and upper body strength to play and perform over a long and fatiguing season. This is achieved through:
1. Building the foundation .
Training starts with high volume, low-intensity unilateral bodyweight exercise and workouts. These strength and conditioning exercises address general fitness and help to gradually build functional strength and endurance without putting stress on major muscle groups and helping to avoid over-straining and injuries. (And don’t forget the right stretching. The seventh-inning stretch is appreciated by players and fans alike for good reason. Stretching post-workout keeps muscles flexible and boosts joint health.)
2. Moving from full-body workouts to upper and lower body split workouts.
During this phase, players switch from full-body workouts to upper and lower body split workouts. Players alternate between heavier with multi-joint, core exercises and lighter workout days with single-joint exercises. This allows recovery time after higher intensity work.
3. Starting plyometric training .
Plyometric training is done at high speeds to adapt to the game’s high speeds, improve power and agility, and develop explosiveness. These exercises and speed and agility training drills include:
- Forms of running
- Jumping rope, squat jumps, depth jumps, jumping lunges, and skater jumps
- Kettlebell swings and medicine ball throws
- Line hops, small hurdles, mountain climbers, and more
4. Incorporating hitting, catching, fielding, and pitching skills development into the training.
When it gets close to the start of the season, the ratio of strength training, conditioning, and skills work will start to even out as your players become game-ready and concentrate on training for their positions. They’ll draw from the strength of their conditioning to increase velocity and accuracy in their skills.
5. Preventing injuries.
Using the proper strength training and conditioning throughout all phases of your baseball student-athletes workout and game-play can help reduce the risk of contact, non-contact, and over-use injuries that are the major injury causes of the sport.
As an athletic trainer, your primary responsibilities during this time are the health and welfare of your student-athletes. You oversee the correct use of equipment and exercise, and provide therapies for recovery. And, with your extensive sports medicine background, you specialize in musculoskeletal conditions and injury and illness prevention. It’s vitally important responsibility that has player health and team success riding on your shoulders. Did you know that A-G Administrators can help you reduce the risk of baseball injuries ?
A-G Has Risk Management for Pitcher’s Elbow, Thrower’s Shoulder, Dead Arm, and More
As part of our claims research, we have access to thousands of insights to make your job easier and help keep your student-athletes healthier. For example, we routinely examine if teams have specific injury risks and talk with them about program solutions that can help reduce overuse injuries. We can even help address poor techniques that cause injuries when players slide into base.
This is one of the risk management services we offer over 675 colleges and universities that have participant accident insurance with us and trust us with their program and student-athletes’ welfare. The insurance is valuable because of the financial help it gives student-athletes and their families. It lets them concentrate on treatment and recovery instead of worrying about money. But the entire insurance/risk management package is invaluable to your athletic department because of what else it can do for you .
- Pharmacy programs
- Cardiac screening
- Sparta Science to speed effective rehabilitation
- Maximized medical partnerships
With all these benefits, working with A-G is a home run for you, your players, your athletic department, and your school.
Now, as baseball season gets underway, it’s the perfect time to talk to us about how our participant accident insurance and risk management can help you strengthen your program. Contact us or have your insurance agent reach out so that one of our insurance specialists can tell you more. We look forward to connecting soon.