Amateur and professional athletes have recently seen a dramatic increase in arm injuries. How can we decrease the risk of this happening? At Push Performance, we are constantly evaluating arms and assessing athletes, while providing information to each person that trains at our facility. We are the only baseball specific strength training facility in the state of Colorado, which allows us to focus on the underserved population of baseball players and their strength programs. Each athlete is on their own 100% customized strength, arm care, and throwing programs.
What have we seen with arm care issues increasing? First, coaches, players, and even trainers do not know what proper movement or throwing patterns look like. How can coaches adjust or alter someone’s movements when we don’t know the why or what a true clean movement looks like? Arm care is not just addressing the arm; it is cleaning up total body movements.
A great arm care or body care program will not prevent injuries. There is no such thing as injury prevention, but we can reduce the risk of injuries. How can we reduce injuries? Let’s be honest, not all athletes are training like they should. What do we do about it? Look at it this way, your body is your bank account, if you have more withdrawals (Games, tournaments, showcases) in your bank account than you do deposits (exercise program, arm care, recovery, rest) you will go broke (injury).
The biggest injury problem we see is primarily due to players throwing year around. The player thinks they will develop or increase their arm strength, but, this is far from the truth. Throwing more will not increase your arm strength; getting stronger will. Rest is vital. For starters, the more you throw, the more instability you cause in your arm. Time off away from baseball and proper strength training will allow the athlete to regain stability in their arm. Even during a rest period, we can still work range of motion in the arm through different manual soft tissue work. Second, the athlete needs to work on scapular stability and control. The scapula not being stable and positioned properly on the thorax (rib cage) will not allow proper muscle function. Joint placement dictates muscle function. Moreover, the scapula being delayed when throwing is a major precursor to injury. Usually the scapula becomes delayed because it is depressed. This happens for many reasons but over throwing usually will create the latissimus dorsi to become tight and short. The latissimus dorsi will then depress the scapula. This is where regaining range of motion is important. Our goal is to properly educate each thrower how to work to fix these issues.
The second biggest issue goes hand in hand with the first. Players are sold on playing more, and throwing more, because they need to “be seen”. We tell our guys, at Push Performance, to focus on development. Not the exposure. The average player is not ready to be seen. Most showcases and teams realistically only have one or two players that are ready to be showcased. Unfortunately, the rest of the team is footing the bill for those players and we see time and time again those showcase ready players are getting a “scholarship” on the team and not even paying. It is sad to see the players that are ready are being used as selling points. “Name dropped” to get other families to pay for the team / showcase, even though that developing player isn’t ready. With that said, not all exposure events are bad. We believe in and love to work with Prep Baseball Report, because they are independent scouting service and do a great job.
First thing first, you need to past the eye test. Look the part. Then, DEVELOP into someone that everyone wants to come and see! Make them come to you. Lift heavy weight, crush food, dominate sleep and recovery. If you do these things correctly, good things will happen. You don’t need to play year around, or go to every showcase. For the sake of your arm and your career, take time off and develop your body and compliment that with skill work. When you are ready to be “seen,” have a plan, and then execute it. If your plan revolves solely around being “seen”, that is making your strategy revolved around HOPE. Hope is never a good strategy in anything in life. Invest in your development, not hope or exposure. Put a bet on yourself and be the best athlete you can be, then the exposure takes care of itself.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions for us, or about the information in this article, reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.801.9992.