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The Hard Facts About Softball Injuries
"Non-contact" Does Not Mean "No Injuries"
- Abrasions—cuts and scrapes
- Ankle sprains
- Strained hamstrings and quadriceps muscles
- Strained Achilles tendon or calf muscle
- Finger injuries
- Shoulder and arm injuries
- Head injuries from player collisions or being hit in the head with a ball
Preparation in the Off-season
Before the Game
- Get the blood flowing. Start with a light cardiovascular warm-up to get your heart rate up and your muscles warm. Try some simple jumping jacks.
- Stretch your muscles. Do several minutes of total body stretching, focusing especially on shoulders and hamstrings. Keep in mind you can stretch every day to maintain flexibility.
- Warm up your arm. Warm up your throwing motion, first without the ball, then with the ball. Throw gently for five or so minutes, gradually increasing speed and distance.
- Practice your swing. Simulate batting motion, first without the bat, then with the bat. Start with a slow and deliberate motion and gradually increase speed and strength of swing.
- Stay loose. Remember that you will be standing still a lot during the game, so try to jog in place and keep stretching to stay warm while you are not in motion.
- Communicate with your fellow outfielders. Make sure you know where everyone is and who is going for the ball, and you will avoid plenty of collisions.
- Have a good glove. You do not want a glove that is so old or so small that it does not stay on or the ball pops out of it.
- Do not block the base. You will avoid collisions with runners if you give them a clear path to the base.
- Use breakaway bases. If you are setting up the field, make sure to use bags that give when a runner slides into them. It might make the field less tidy, but they can save many a sprained or broken ankle.
- Use kneepads and sliding pants. You'll avoid a lot of cuts, abrasions, and bruises.
- Wear an ankle brace. If you have a history of ankle sprains and you're playing on a field that's not in great condition, you'll need a little extra support.
- Wear protective goggles over your glasses. You don't want lenses shattering in your eyes.
- Be alert. Know where the ball is and make an effort not to let it hit you in the head.
- Treat your injuries. If you do suffer a softball injury, take care of it. Respect a sore arm, and rest it so you don't get seriously injured. If you suffer a contusion, ice the injury and apply compression to prevent excessive swelling. And if you're seriously injured, don't try to buck the statistics. Get to the emergency room.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/
Healthy U http://www.healthyalberta.com/
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/
Baseball Injury Prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons OrthoInfo website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00185. Updated June 2011. Accessed December 19, 2012.
Softball Injury Prevention. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Stop Sports Injuries website. Available at: http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/files/pdf/AOSSM%5FSoftball.pdf. Accessed December 19, 2012.
Softball Injuries. Sports Injury Bulletin website. Available at: http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/softball.php. Accessed December 19, 2012.
Softball—What Should You Do in the Fall? Softball Performance website. Available at: http://www.softballperformance.com/softball-what-should-you-do-in-the-fall/. Accessed December 19, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 12/2012
- Update Date: 12/19/2012