Softball: Training in the Off-Season

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Softball season is officially over unless of course you’ve chosen to extend it by participating in a fall league. My team considered playing through the fall, but we decided to quit while we were ahead — we took our well-earned trophy and split.

For me, the end of softball season used to mean getting on with more personal items that were difficult to accomplish during the season. But the end of the season also meant slacking off on my strengthening exercises that I diligently performed throughout the season to improve my skills. Bear in mind, however, that now is the opportune time to start setting your goals for improving your skills for next season. Instead of trying to jam in those strengthening exercises one week before the first game, (which we all do) consider performing them in the off-season as well.

Remember, all the major muscle groups are used in softball. (We are reminded of this the day following our first practice). I tend to concentrate on my upper body workout as this happens to be the weakest part of my body (this is apparent when looking at my batting average).

What many people don’t know is that the power of your swing originates in your legs and continues upward.

Lower body strength is important and extra abdominal work is a must for softball players. Most players lose a great deal of power at the abdominals due to lack of strength.

The swing continues to the upper body and ends at the snap of the wrists. Strengthening my wrists was key for me. I combined grip squeezes with wrist exercises performed with light hand weights. Several years ago I sprained my wrist sliding during a game, so my wrist strengthening exercises not only provide me with more power in my bat but they also help prevent re-injury by building up the muscle surrounding the injury. I also continue to run during the off-season to make sure I don’t lose my endurance. In the spring, I like to run faster for shorter distances to prepare for sprinting (in case that bat actually connects with the ball and I might have to run).

So go ahead and hang up those spikes, but consider taking advantage of the off-season to motivate yourself to improve your performance for next season. It’s a great time to set new goals and please, forget about that ground ball you let get through the infield and get on with your life!

Every person should study basic first aid skills. it is difficult to know when you may need it – your loved one and you could be at work, on holiday, at school.