One of the biggest complaints surrounding serious summer baseball is that it the schedule is too demanding on the players’ bodies and that kids need to rest after their high school season ends. While it is true that a full summer travel ball schedule can be rigorous with the week long tournaments and double headers, but just taking a rest is not the answer and will not keep you healthy. Just about the worst thing you can do is go play 7 or 8 games in a week then sit on the couch playing XBOX for a week until it’s time to play in another tournament. This is especially true for pitchers. You have to stay active in some way between your games and tournaments, simply taking a “rest” may help you get over your soreness, but it will not help you put your body in a position to be at full performance the next time you step out on the field.
Most of the time player’s are most worried about their throwing arms and the amount of throwing they do over the course of the summer. Pitchers may be pitching multiple times a week, and positions are out throwing everyday, which they may not be used to. Also, just the pure amount of games played can take a toll on a players body, which means they will use more of their arm when they throw, leading to more stress and soreness. Once again, just taking time off will not keep your arm healthy, and will definitely not allow you to perform at your highest level all summer, which you need to do if you are hoping to get noticed by any scouts or college coaches.
Every player needs to be doing some form of an “arm care” routine several times a week to keep their rotator cuff and other supporting shoulder and arm muscles strong and healthy. This includes stretching, bands, forearms, light weight lifting, etc. This is a case where less is not more, these exercises need to be done regardless of how many games you have played or innings you have pitched. The more you work on taking care of your arm you will not only prevent injury and soreness, but you will also increase your arm strength and stamina. You don’t need a gym to get this done either- it can be done at the field before or after a game, in the living room while you are watching TV, or in the hotel room. The baseball season can be a grind, especially over the summer, and it is crucial that you do what you can to stay strong and perform to your potential each time out. This won’t come from just purely resting your body, you need to work for it.
Here is one of the best arm care programs around called the Thrower’s Ten, developed by Dr. James Andrews: