Baseball Season: How to Prepare Your Child
Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
Parents often ask me what their children can do to prepare
for their baseball season. Because training is specific, they
should be training for baseball 12 months a year. There are
very few kids who are so gifted that they can be very good
in several sports. Many children start training in one sport
when they are about six years old and specialize in that sport
for the rest of their competitive careers.
It's hard to get in shape in one month, but there are
several rules of training that they should follow. First it's
background before peaking. Before you can throw a baseball
or hit a baseball hard, you have to throw and hit easy. If
you try to throw hard in the beginning, expect to injure yourself.
First you do background training by increasing the volume
of your workload gradually for several weeks and when you
are ready to start peaking, you decrease your work volume
and increase your work intensity. So you should go out with
your son or daughter and play easy catch each day and let
him try to hit the ball is a specific place, rather than trying
to hit the ball hard. He also has to jog slowly before he
can start running fast. So every day, he should jog slowly
for up to 30 minutes.
After a few weeks, he or she is ready to start training.
The next rule, he must follow for throwing, hitting and running
is stress and recover. On one day he throws harder, hit further
and runs faster. On the next day, he should take the day off,
or jog slowly, throw easy and hit short. He continues to have
easy days for all three specifics until his leg and arm muscles
feel fresh. If he is training properly, he should take two
days of easy training. Then he throws hard, hits far and runs
fast, and this is followed by a couple of easy days again.
On his hard days, he may throw every fifth pitch hard, followed
by four easy throws, and hit the ball hard once every five
hits until his muscle start to feel sore. Then he must stop
for the day.
Since baseball players almost never run hard more than 100
yards, his running training should be to run 40 yards fast,
rest until he recovers and then run 40 yards again short of
all-out and repeat the cycle until his legs start to feel
stiff or hurt. If he can do these hard workout days once or
twice a week, he can expect to improve dramatically. If he
takes easy days every day or just plays baseball each day,
his improvement will be minimal. Slow jogging will not prepare
him for baseball and trying to run fast more often than twice
a week will just injure him. You prepare for all sports by
following two rules: "background and peaking," and
"stress and recover."
Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years
and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board
certified in four specialties, including sports medicine.
Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports
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