Sports injuries are a sad reality. For many pros or aspiring pros, a sport injury has brought a halt to their baseball career, or even shattered their dreams of making it big in the baseball leagues.
And players, such as former Arkansas Travelers star Rick Ankiel, suffer both mental and physical injuries even after they hit that big times. Ankiel is the first MLB player since Babe Ruth to have won at least 10 games as a pitcher (before he suffered an unexplainable loss of confidence) and also hit at least 50 home runs.
Whether you’ve slightly sprained something or suffered an injury as severe as hurting your Achilles tendon, there aren’t many things that feel worse than knowing you could have prevented an injury from happening. Of course, accidents can still take place no matter how careful you are, but having proper precautions in place definitely reduces the risk of injury.
Here are a few basic ways to prevent sports injuries.
Sports gear exists for a reason, and that reason is to protect you. The gear that you need to wear while playing baseball has been specifically developed to protect you as much as possible from potential injuries.
When someone is hurling a ball towards you at incredible speeds, you can imagine the results could be catastrophic if that ball were to hit you. That’s why it’s important to protect your head and face with a helmet and face shield.
Since the aim is to catch the ball, you also need to guard your hand, as the ball will be hitting your hand with extreme force. The harm can be severe if you do not have proper a proper defense against it. A baseball catcher’s mitt, like the one former Hogs star James McCann now wears for the White Sox, is designed specifically for the purpose of protecting your hand and preventing injuries.
Warm up and cool down
You might be so excited for the game that you want to dive straight into the action, but that’s not the best idea. No matter how rushed you are, you should always take the time to properly warm up your body before a game and cool it down afterwards.
Stiff muscles are much more susceptible to injuries, which is why you should always complete a proper baseball warm-up before you start playing. Be sure to cool down properly afterwards as well, even if you might not be in the mood to do it.
Hydration in sport and fitness is a very important factor to take into consideration when you’re looking for ways to prevent sports injuries. If you don’t consume enough water before heading onto the field, you might get dizzy and hit your head or obtain some other form of injury.
Lack of hydration leads to muscle fatigue, which also puts us at risk for injuries. Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your game will also keep your energy levels from getting depleted as quickly.
The saying “rather safe than sorry” is definitely applicable here. It’s understandable to want to push yourself and take every risk you possibly can, but making rash and dangerous decisions will lead to injuries.
Instead, be mindful and listen to your body. Take rest days, and don’t overwork yourself. If you get even the slightest injury, don’t play through the pain. Give your injuries time to heal properly before you get back to it. Otherwise, you could end up hurting yourself even more.