Keep Your Gear In Winning Shape
Gear that is worn out, old or damaged can’t help protect you or win a game. Even good quality equipment gets old and weathered and can no longer be counted on to be safe.
A cracked baseball bat can lead to serious injury and a broken glove lave may not stop a line drive without leaving your hand unprotected. Get the best performance from your gear by inspecting equipment before using.
The baseball bats of 2021: Always check bats for cracks or dents and is the hand grip intact?
Gloves for 2021: Are laces tight and unbroken?
Shoes of 2020: Are soles in good condition and are laces properly tied?
Winners Are Safety Smart
After a player has hit, bats should be picked up and returned to a bat rack or a bag. An infielder tripping over a bat going for a foul fly ball could be seriously injured.
Jewelry should never be worn. They can cause injury to you or another player, besides getting bent or lost. So leave these things at home or locked up.
Bases should be properly set into the ground so that no edges are turned up to minimize tripping and sliding injuries.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. It should be part of every player’s standard equipment, even if it’s a cloudy day because skin damaging rays aren’t blocked by an overcast sky.
Finally, special safety equipment makes sense for specific positions. Like sunglasses for fielders and in fast pitch and junior Olympic play, face masks and chest protectors for catchers.
Learn To Be Flexible
The more flexible you are, the more work per contraction your muscles can perform. With increased flexibility comes increased range of motion, which is very important. Throwing, running, hitting and fast pitching are all actions requiring good range of motion for successful execution.
In addition to the benefits of reducing injuries, good flexibility will also help improve your performance on the ball field.
Frequency and consistency are the keys to more flexibility. You cannot stretch too often if you stretch correctly. Consistency means that your stretching must be daily.
Clearly Call Your Fly Ball
Winning teams depend on teamwork and good teamwork requires good communication between players. The player in the better position should claim the fly ball. Call out clearly that you intend to catch the ball, i.e., “I have it” or “mine” and call other players off.
Remember clearly calling your ball prevents collisions while setting up the play right. Also help each other by calling out obstacles such as fences and poles.