The Smart Way to Strengthen Your Pitching Arm

At D-BAT Sports, we know all too well the risks associated with overusing your throwing arm and the motions that make it susceptible to injury. “Tommy John” surgery has been on the rise, and our goal is to reduce that risk to young players. Strength training and repetition are key to improving your game, but how do you do it safely? Here are some tips from D-BAT – the top baseball and softball training facility in the country:

Use Conservative Weight Loads

The more weight, the stronger you’ll get, right? Not necessarily. The elbow – and the UCL within it – are only as strong as the muscles that support it. Strengthen those muscles the smart way by lifting enough that you’re pushing yourself, but not so much that you are overextending your abilities. Manage the risk vs. reward. Gradual improvements in load will give you the strength both your muscles and elbow can support.

Don’t Forget Shoulders and Wrists

Strengthening the throwing arm isn’t just about the arm and elbow. Shoulders and wrists are also a vital part of the strengthening process. Find exercises that focus in on these areas with a good combination of weight, stability training, and endurance.

Get Mechanics Right First

Many pitchers are tempted to get reps in – which are a good thing – but without the intent to keep their mechanics in check. When pitching without proper mechanics, you are more prone to injury and pain. Instead, slow down and get it right. Your body will thank you.

Don’t Go on Low Carb Diets

When you’re perfecting that pitch, your body needs calories! When your body is chock full of calories, it equates to high levels of glycogen. This sugar this is stored in the muscles and gives the energy necessary to perform your best. Without ample calories, your body and pitching arm will feel it.

Ready to improve your pitching skills? Bring your baseball or softball player into D-BAT and be prepared to see the difference the best baseball training facility can make! Find the closest facility to you HERE

The Value of Warming Up: Why Warming Up is Necessary

For most, the warm-up is boring and mundane. Others might find it unnecessary and a complete waste of time. While it may not be your favorite part of the game of baseball, it IS an important part of performing at the highest level possible. Here are a few reasons why a baseball – or softball – warm-up is so important to competing at the highest level:

#1: The Warm-Up Gets Your Brain in Gear.

Throughout the game, your brain is constantly sending messages to your muscles – letting them know when to start, stop, jump, swing, etc. Warm-ups get that central nervous system warmed up so that it’s ready to kick into gear when you need it to. Without a warm-up, your reflexes just might not be as sharp as you need them to be.

#2: The Warm-Up Lubricates Your Joints.

Think about an old door. It can creak and open slowly when not properly lubricated. The same is true of your joints. When you warm up your body, it starts to loosen and lubricate those joints so that everything moves without injury and with greater responsiveness.

#3: The Warm-up Raises Your Core Temperature

Obviously, when you begin to exercise, your body temperature begins to rise. This increase in body temperature gets the blood flowing and the muscles warm, all turning your body into a stretchy rubber band, ready to stretch and bend in whatever ways necessary to make the play.

How Do I Know My Body is Warmed Up?

Warm up for 10-15 minutes, or until your body just begins to break a sweat, and you’ll know your body is ready to perform at its highest level on the baseball field.

More questions on how to improve your baseball or softball game? Call D-BAT Sports today or visit one of our state-of-the-art baseball training facilities located across the United States.  

The Value of Sleep: Why Rest is Important in Baseball

How many hours of sleep are you getting each night?

Chances are – it’s not enough.

Studies show that the average person between puberty and age 26 should be getting about 9.5 hours of sleep a night for maximum cognitive and physical ability. Many within this age group will claim 7 hours, but studies show the average is normally around 6 hours of sleep total. You may not immediately realize the effects of sleep deprivation on baseball, but lack of sleep can affect your game more than you realize.

Afternoon Drowsiness

Most people suffer from a drop in energy mid-afternoon, but for those suffering for lack of sleep, the effects can be greater. For baseball players, this means it may interfere with afternoon baseball practices or games and inhibit your ability to play your best.

Slower Reaction Time

Studies of college athletes have shown that a lack of sleep does in fact affect their reaction time. And in a game of baseball – when seconds count – the ability to think sharply is even more critical. Whether you are throwing a pitch, up at bat, or making a play – reaction times are critical. If you are sleep deprived, you may not even realize how much better you could be with a little better sleep routine.

Lack of Interpersonal Skills

When a baseball player isn’t getting enough sleep, studies show that his teamwork abilities and sense of humor may decline as well. This is not to say that he can’t work well with his team, but again, he may not even realize how much better he could be.

Stress

Our bodies need sleep to fight off stress and reset for the day to come. Whether that stress is induced by physical activity such as a game or practice – or just mental stress – our bodies must have time to recuperate or lasting effects occur.

Sleep is a valuable component for any baseball player, so getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep is key during the baseball season. Talk with your coach or an expert at D-BAT Sports about how to build a well-rounded baseball training plan that incorporates proper sleep, nutrition, weight training, and more. Find a location HERE!

Is Your Child Ready for Travel Ball?

If your child has spent any time around baseball, chances are you’ve asked yourself, “is my child ready for travel ball?”

It’s a big commitment, and one that both your child – and your family – need to be on board with. Here are 3 questions D-BAT Sports recommends asking yourself in preparation for answering this question:

Does Your Child Show Desire and Determination?

At some level, your child has to want this himself. It can’t be something you are pushing on them or burnout can occur sooner rather than later. Many teams practice and play year round with short off seasons in between, so it’s important that your child is on board and ready for the commitment. If he or she is not showing determination and desire to improve on their own, then it may not be time for travel ball.

What is Your Child’s Skill Level?

If your child is currently playing rec ball, is he or she currently in the top half ability wise? Do you believe he or she has what it takes to succeed and add value at the next level? There is nothing wrong with allowing your child to stick with the flexibility and ease that comes with recreational baseball, but if you sense that your child is frustrated because the team as a whole is not performing at the level your child is capable of, then it’s time to consider travel ball.

Can You Afford Travel Ball?

The costs for uniforms, equipment, tournaments, lodging and dining, etc. can add up when playing travel ball. These are all important considerations before committing your child – and your family – to a rigorous year round travel ball schedule.

If you feel it is time to get your child involved in travel baseball, then visit us at D-BAT Sports to talk more about private baseball instruction, area teams, etc. As the best baseball training facility around, we’ve produced major league players and we’d love to visit with you about your child’s potential! Find a D-BAT location near you!