The Sports Doctor/Baseball techniques
Baseball players have many different characteristics and techniques, but it is important to remember that what works for a pro athlete may not work for someone else. It is, therefore, important to learn the basics.
When you are throwing or hitting the ball, proper technique involves bringing your arms in toward the body. The body position is also important in both throwing and hitting the ball as we use the entire body, including the upper body, hips and legs.
Proper technique involves pointing your front hip and upper body toward the person you are throwing to, or the direction the ball is pitched. The motion goes from back to front, as the back motion follows front motion. There should be a 45-degree position of the feet as the front foot is in line with the back foot.
The front shoulder assumes the position of the back shoulder. A good method for developing this technique is visual imagery in which the athlete imagines each part of the technique from start to finish before it actually takes place. Many athletes can use this mental rehearsal procedure as a means of improving their technique to gain improved performance.
Prior to the actual practice session or game, muscles should be stretched or strengthened safely during warm-up. Utilize easy limbering movements until you feel the muscle is ready to go. In addition, a brisk and easy run around the entire field will aid your breathing and heart rate to respond to the all-out running on fielding plays and base running.
Using proper techniques in body position and warm-up stretching and strengthening exercises may save you lost time from injuries.
Dr. Robert Weiss lives in Westport and has a sports-podiatry practice in Darien. He is a former marathon runner and was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and the 1988 Olympic Trials.