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Guest lady_express_44, June 18, 2004
Posted June 18, 2004
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Posted March 18, 2006
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I must say that I agree with you stretching is probably THE most important thing in youth sports today. I've come to the conclusion that most of this is over looked do to ignorance on the coaches part,it's tough to teach what you don't know yourself. I would suggest you to ask the parents of the league or your local health clubs someone should be willing to show you or maybe even show up at practice to show the team proper stretching exercises.It worked out to our advantage last year and it turned out one of my parents also managed the local health spa.While that may not be possible all the time I'll bet you might have some parents who do work out on regular basis and may be able to help out. Until just make sure to warm the girls up first with a couple of laps around the field to warm up thier muscles then proceed to stretch out thier hamstrings and calves for lower body(very common injuries in this sport) then work on thier arms and shoulders and try to keep it to 4-5 exercises on each for two reasons,practices aren't very long oyu dont want to take too much time on them,and it is easier for them to remember the routine so they can do them at home as well,even give the girls homework of sorts to stretch every time they practice at home too.The more they do it the more speed and power they will develop without even realizing it. I hope this helps some GOOD LUCK
Posted March 20, 2006
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I hate to be the one to burst bubbles but many studies done recently suggest that not only is stretching not the answer to these things but that it might even be the problem in some cases. It seems that some sports medicine people are now saying that sport specific training is the answer. What that means is that if the activity is throwing something then the warm up and stretching needs to involve throwing but that it would be done in such a way as to exert little force on the joints and that the movements be exaggerated to cause stretching.
An example is the one-knee throwing. If your players are going to be throwing, then this is an excellent exercise. They all get down on one knee, opposite a partner, and make long, sweeping, exaggerated motions to throw whatever kind of a ball they are throwing. Being down on one knee takes the lower body out of the picture and allows the upper body to stretch out. All motions that will be involved later in the game will be warmed up in the same manner.
I have coached for over 25 years and the number of injuries started dropping when I started getting smarter about the stretching.
Athletic stretching is done by my players when they get up in the morning, not before games and practices.
Posted March 21, 2006
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Your not bursting any bubbles, because for every study you show me that says stretching is bad I'll show you four that contradict it. The bottom line is that stretching if done properly will GREATLY REDUCE injuries not cause them.While i like that throwing exercise and hope to try it out in practice this year because that is probably the hardest part to get loose through stretching ignoring stretching is ludicrous there are so many hamstring and other leg injuries today you can't ignore that either and those are risks everytime a runner leaves the batters box or changes direction to chase down the ball."STRETCHING IS IMPORTANT IN ANY SPORT."A quote I belive you will find in most sports health magazine on the market.GOOD LUCK
You're kidding aren't you? Have you not ever watched any professional sporting event? Tell me any sport where a professional athlete who has a vested interest in keeping his body healthy does not perform stretching prior to engaging in his or her activity. I can see it now...the finals of the 100 meter dash in the summer Olympics and the contestants enter the stadium. They immediately go to their starting blocks and get set...after all, they stretched that morning when they get out of bed!
Not only is stretching mandatory for my team BEFORE practices and games, but also AFTER practices and games. In 13 years I have not ever had any team members suffer from pulled muscles. Also, if an injury like that were ever to happen, under no circumstances would I want to find myself in court trying to explain why I did not feel that stretching should be an integrated part of our team philosophy.
I'm sure you can find studies where water consumption is deemed unnecessary, but I wouldn't alter my stance that my players are to stay hydrated at all times.
Posted March 22, 2006
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Trust me, you won't find yourself in court for not stretching your players. On the other hand, if you stretch them wrong, you might.
I've watched a lot of team do their stretching and I have yet to see it done properly.
I have coached at the college level and I can assure you that there are alot of teams that don't do stretching in the traditional way. It's not that stretching doesn't work but standing on one leg and holding on to your foot is not going to help your athletes stay away from injury. On the other hand, a slow jog and some slalom exercises might. Besides, if you hold your foot wrong, you're going to put some nasty stresses on that knee joint.
If read up on some of the newer exercise books you'll find that some sports doctors are saying that stretching can actually weaken a muscle and they recommend doing it several hours before any stength tasks are expected to be performed. That's why my guys stretch in the morning.
Most of arm injuries I have seen were done by players who were "properly" stetched out. It would be something like the SS going deep into the 6 hole and try to throw out their lead off batter from there. There's no way he was prepared for that; particularly early in the season when it's getting cool at night.
Sorry for the long winded response - this is a passion of mine.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center:
"The single most important aspect of improving performance is stretching before and after you step onto the field, court, ice, or golf course."
ESPN The Trainer:
" You can prevent many sports injuries by properly stretching before and after you exercise."
UC Berkeley Foundations of Wellness:
"Stretch before exercising or playing a sport to improve performance and perhaps prevent injury."
"Stretch after exercising to prevent muscles from tightening up."
The Mayo Clinic:
"Many experts believe that stretching may also reduce your risk of injury in sports. "The more prepared your muscles and joints are for an activity, the more protected you are against injury," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
University of Michigan Health System:
"It is especially important to stretch before and after weightlifting, running, or participating in any sport. Stretching before an activity improves flexibility and reduces your risk of injury. Stretching after workouts helps to relax the muscles and reduce soreness."
The Center for Young Women's Health, Children's Hospital Boston:
"Proper stretching before and after exercise is important for preventing injuries in all your muscle groups (upper, mid, and lower body). It also decreases your risk of back injury."
The John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition:
"Stretching decreases the risk of injury. In fact, most sports injuries stem from not stretching and not warming up and cooling down properly. Done regularly, stretching can also increase flexibility to allow for easier movement and better balance. Other benefits of stretching include relieving low-back pain, reducing muscle soreness, promoting relaxation, and improving posture, agility and athletic performance."
Dr. Freddie Fu, one of the world's leading sports orthopedic surgeons and a medical adviser to the Pittsburgh Steelers (from USA Today):
"Fu suggests that athletes do some fast walking or easy jogging, followed by stretching, before they hit the tennis court or softball field."
I also add plyometrics and activities such as skipping, running and jumping to the dynamic and passive stretching that we do. Sure, you'll find people telling you to stretch in the morning, but you're wrong to say you won't end up in court if one of your players gets hurt and their family doctor attributes it to your laissez-faire attitude toward the wellness of the children who have put their faith in us.
Posted March 24, 2006
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It must have taken you a long time to get all those quotes. Nobody (including me) is suggesting that you put athletes into action without some form of warm up and stretching. The dispute is simply over the kind of stretching that is done. The traditional stretching calls for elongating a muscle and holding it in that position for 30 seconds or more. That weakens the muscle and can play havoc with the joints if not done properly. If, on the other hand, you perform the athletic movements from your sport in a slow and exaggerated fashion, you will be stretching the appropriate muscles in the appropriate manner. This, naturally, is preceded by some activity that warms up the muscles.
When a 2nd baseman on my team takes his warm up between innings, he stands behind 2B and his movements to pick up the ball and to throw the ball are very exaggerated. We're not really "warming up", even though that's what we call it. In fact, we're stretching the muscles that most need it. The warm up is the hustle that gets them on the field. (By the way, they have learned that if they don't hustle on to the field, their replacement will be hustling out to their position before the next pitch.)
Please warm up and stretch your athletes but please do it in a way that actually helps them perform the tasks you are hoping that they are about to perform.
By the way, I have been coaching this way for the past several years and we haven't had an injury that didn't involve a collision with something (bats, balls, ground, bases, other human beings, fences,etc) since we started doing this. If this all sounds evil, I suspect it's only because I'm not explaining myself well.
By the way, if you're teaching pliometrics, I sincerely hope you have the training to do so. Now there's one activity that can cause long term injury if done incorrectly. It's also an extremely effect means of training that we use in the off-season.
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