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Softball

According to National Federation of State High School Associations, softball is the third-most popular high school sport for girls.

It has a low rate of injuries compared to high contact sports, but injuries still occur from overuse and from contact with the ball or another player. Most overuse injuries involve the wrist, shoulder, or back.

 

Get Fit Tips from the NEBH Sports Performance Team

Softball is similar to baseball in that both sports require short bursts of intense activity and mobility. Players should work on improving forearm strength and running reaction drills. Forearm strength will help with batting to assist getting the head of barrel around the ball. Reaction drills are essential as the softball field is smaller than the baseball diamond, leaving less time to react.

Consider the following to improve performance:

  • Practice rotational stability exercises for the core and thoracic spine to improve mobility.
  • Build on the rotational stability with power exercises such as medicine ball toss.
  • Shoulder mobility is imperative to maintain flexibility and strength through a range of motion.
  • Consider sprinting workouts of high intensity for a short period of time instead of long duration cardio.

Stay healthy by taking time to warm-up/cool down properly. Keep in mind throwing progressions and counting number of throws.


Preventing Injuries

To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:

  • Warm up and stretch before you play.
  • Ensure your equipment, such as your cleats and helmet, fit properly.
  • Players under age 10 should not be permitted to slide during games. Older plays should be taught proper sliding technique to ensure safety.
  • Pitchers should follow the guidelines for youth softball, which limit the number of pitches thrown per week. If a pitcher complains of shoulder pain, consult a doctor.
  • Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly ones statistically prone to injury.
  • Consult with your coach or athletic trainer about ways to prevent overuse injuries.
  • Have a physical examination at the start of the season to make sure you’re healthy to play.

Common Injuries

Injury Statistics

Since 2000, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth softball players.1

The most common body regions injured in softball are:2

28% involving the head and neck

35% involving the upper extremities

31% involving the lower extremities

 

Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.


 

1 “Youth Sports Injuries Statistics,” STOP Sports Injuries.
2 “Baseball and Softball: Most Popular and Among The Safest Youth Sports,” Lindsey Barton Straus
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