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So Your Baseball Season is Done Now What

So Your Baseball Season is Done….Now What?

by Zach Kirkpatrick, PT, MPT, SCS1 Comment

If you know anything about youth baseball, the season seems never ending as kids go from one team to another and never seem to have an offseason. Most youth baseball players and parents don’t realize that the offseason is equally if not more important than the regular season. It is a chance for the body to recover and adapt to the changes that were imposed on it during the regular season. Now the offseason does not mean it’s time to sit around and do nothing; it’s a great chance to improve your strength and conditioning and address asymmetries as well as faults in your throwing motion.

Offseason Strength and Conditioning

During the regular season, an athlete’s body can take a beating from the repeated use of muscles and joints and repeated motion patterns. The offseason is a great chance to let your body rest “actively” from the sport the athlete just completed. I recommend athletes take 1-2 weeks off before starting a strength and conditioning program. Now, this isn’t just sitting in front of the video games; this is active rest which can look like going for family walks, riding your bike, and getting in the public pool before it closes for the season. After this active rest period, it’s time to get in the weight room to rebuild the body from the previous season. I highly recommend working with a trusted professional who can work with you and your specific goals. The offseason is also a great chance to get into another sport. I highly recommend getting into basketball for my baseball players. It’s great for cardiovascular conditioning, gets the athlete moving in different planes of motion and causes little strain through the throwing arm. If a baseball player chooses to play another sport, the athlete can also follow their strength program to continue their strengthening.

Assessing Asymmetries

The off-season is a great chance for baseball players, especially pitchers, to assess any asymmetries which may have occurred during regular season play. During the regular season, throwing, especially pitching, can cause overuse changes in the body which, if unaddressed, can lead to injury. Some of these asymmetries can be thoracic rotation, internal and external rotation of the shoulder and hips, and stiffness in the latissimus dorsi muscles, limiting overhead reaching ability. If your state allows, this would be a great chance to go to physical therapy to address your asymmetries and have a professional create a treatment plan to improve your specific strength and ROM deficits.

Addressing Throwing Faults

As part of the off-season program, it would be in a pitcher’s best interest to address any faults in their throwing motion that could lead to injury. This could be through a physical therapy clinic or a sports performance facility in the form of a video throwing analysis. In this process, the evaluator will break down the video of the athlete’s throwing motion and be able to point out specific faults that could lead to injury. Once this is completed, the information could be used by a physical therapist or pitching coach to develop specific drills to correct these faults. Since this is taking place during the off-season, the athlete has plenty of time to practice these drills and correct these faults leading into the pre-season. If the athlete chooses to do physical therapy at an Athletico Physical Therapy with one of our overhead athlete specialists, the throwing analysis would be part of their care plan after their strength and range of motion deficits and asymmetries have been addressed.

What is your next step?

Take charge of your off-season, the choices you make now as an athlete can set you up for success in the next season and make you a better athlete. The best part is physical therapy can help you. If you have questions about managing your offseason plan, please contact your local Athletico Physical Therapy clinic and schedule a free assessment. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Zach Kirkpatrick is a physical therapist and clinic manager with a passion for treating various athletes ranging from football to baseball players and Olympic lifting and CrossFit. Follow Zach to receive advice on how to recover from injuries, prepare for upcoming sports seasons, or strength and conditioning topics, so you don't feel lost when it comes to returning from sport or getting into a new fitness adventure.

1 Comment

  1. Tale Wilson

    Great article, Zach! Your insight into the importance of the off-season for youth baseball players is spot on. I appreciate your emphasis on active rest, strength and conditioning, and addressing asymmetries and faults in throwing motion. Your recommendations for assessing asymmetries and addressing throwing faults are especially valuable. Keep up the great work!

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