1. Running Long Distance
It amazes me that many coaches still believe that long distance running is the key in improving stamina for pitchers. Even worse some coaches make there pitchers run poles after a start or outing. Simply put, there is no science or research to prove that long distance running has a positive effect on stamina or the recovery process. What is even more staggering is that this myth has been accepted at almost every level of baseball . Baseball is a power sport. It is a game of quick, short, and explosive bursts. Compare this to long distance running which is very slow and controlled, clearly you an see that there is no correlation between the demands of a pitching and the demands of long distance runners.
Another argument is that running after pitching will break up lactic acid. Sure, maybe this would work if lactic acid actually accumulated after pitching but it doesn’t. Instead the soreness a pitcher feels 1-2 days after pitching are micro-tears in the muscles. I could write for days about why long distance running is not the answer for pitchers but hopefully by now you get the idea. If you want to check out a whole article on Why Pitchers Should Not Run Long Distance click here.
2. Lifting light weights for high reps
Aside from skill, physical strength is the most important attribute an athlete can possess. It is the foundation upon which other athletic skills are built. Speed, agility, flexibility, mobility, power, and explosiveness are components of baseball that can be significantly improved by dramatic increases in strength. Baseball is a ballistic sport that involves quick and explosive movements. In order to increase power and speed, you must have a solid base and foundation to build on. The best athletes have incredible relative body strength. Simply put, strong baseball players who are able to produce forceful contractions will be more successful than weak players who rely on skill only. The combination of skill, power and strength will help baseball players reach their maximum potential.
3. Playing baseball all year around
This is the biggest issue I see in many young baseball players today and a whole article should be written about why young baseball players should not play baseball all year around. In fact, I would go as far and say if you want to become the best baseball player possible, start playing more sports!
Here is a typical high school baseball players year long schedule:
- March 3rd-High school season starts. Chances are the baseball player has been throwing and hitting in the off season.
- Mid June- High school season ends and player jumps right into summer baseball.
- Beginning of August-Summer ball ends (maybe) and baseball players takes 1 month off from throwing or hitting
- Beginning of September-Fall ball starts up and athlete jumps right back in after doing nothing for the past month OR a player jumps right back into it after summer ball.
- Late October– Fall ball ends.
This type of schedule presents a few major problems. First off, where is the skill development? A baseball player cannot work on developing proper hitting, throwing and fielding mechanics if they play game after game. Sure they are getting their reps in, but are they good quality reps? Or are they just reemphasizing a bad motor pattern?
Second, where is the physical development? The biggest mistake a young athlete could make is specializing in one sport at a young age, especially baseball players. The wear and tear of throwing a baseball year roung is detremintal to your body. Ever wonder why so many young kids are getting Tommy John surgery these days or suffer from shoulder injuries?
Of course playing games are important but there needs to be a balance between devleoping the proper skill set and displaying it on the field. Simply put, if you are playing baseball in the Spring, Summer and Fall you will not maximize your baseball potential. If you find yourself in this situation start playing other sports. Pick up a fall sport and make sure you work hard in the off season to develop physically.
4. Performing external rotation stretches
When I use to play college baseball I use to see the athletic trainers stretch my fellow teammates into external rotation. This really ercked the hell out of me. Why the hell would you stretch a baseball player into external rotation when they already have more than they already need? Doing external rotation stretches is a sure fire way to injure your shoulder and in some cases your elbow, please stop doing them immediately.
Instead, baseball players should work on strengthening the external rotators. Doing so will help to decelerate the arm and improve injury prevention. Also, most baseball players suffer from an internal rotation deficit in their throwing arm so focus on improving range of motion of the internal rotators.
5. Doing “ab circuits”
Ab circuits have been popularized by the coaches who realize the core is important for all baseball function but do not understand what the function of the core is and how to truly improve core stability. Instead, many coaches throw together these mindless ab circuits at the end of workouts which usually consist of some sort of spinal flexion like sit-ups or crunches, some sort of rotation like a Russian twist and a bunch of other garbage exercises.
In baseball terms the main function of the core is to transmit the power generated from the thighs and the hips throughout the body and redirect it to the ball. Without a strong,powerfull and stable core, a baseball player will never be able to maximize throwing velocity or hitting power. Check out Core Training for Baseball Players for what type of core exercises baseball players should be doing.
Tags: 5 Fatal Mistakes Baseball Players Make, baseball mistakes, biggest mistakes baseball players make, external rotation stretches for pitchers, fatal baseball mistakes, running long distance for pitchers