Training Like the Boys of Summer.
This includes 10 to 15 minutes of warm up exercises and pre-
and post-game stretching activities.
"This stretching doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it
needs to be done," says Werner. "A lot of people don't put enough
effort into pre- and post-game stretching. But these stretching exercises,
especially post-game, are really important to keep those stressed areas
flexible and strong. That's some of the best protection against injury you can
Again, like the stretching, this is the same type of strength
training that anyone would do for an overall, total-body workout.
"Baseball players concentrate on upper-body strength for
throwing power," says Woodall. "But just like anyone else in training,
they usually lift weights three or four times a week with a day off between
sessions to allow the body to rebuild and rest."
Good nutrition and hydration are
critically important to safe sports, says Werner.
"If you start drinking when you're thirsty, you're already
behind the curve. Here in Florida, we have to contend with extremely hot
weather, so hydration is something we focus on, but it is important for sports
in all climates."
Just as important is a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, he
"Our teams has pre- and post-game meals together to get
good nutrition, and we work with nutritionists to make sure the players are
getting the kinds of foods they need."
Protect That All-Important Shoulder
"One thing we do is plyometrics to improve shoulder
strength in players," says Goodall. This involves throwing a 4-pound ball
against a large net rebounder, which returns the ball to the player.
Werner's players, including the position players, add a special
series of exercises to their general workout. This is called the "Jobe's
Rotator Cuff Series," and, as the name suggests, the exercises are designed
to protect the shoulder structure known as the rotator cuff, which consists of
the muscles and tendons that surround the top of the upper arm bone (humerus)
and hold it in the shoulder joint, according to the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons. There are common signs of a rotator cuff injury, or