Softball Workout – Simple Flexibility Exercises For Pitchers

Flexibility is important to pitchers because of the number of pitches she executes in a game. Having a lose and flexible arm will make her pitch easily and thus avoiding unwanted injuries.

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Scientific Proof – Effect of Visual Training on Batting Performance and Pitch Recognition of Collegiate Softball Players

Nicholette - Power HitterThe study was conducted to investigate the effect of preseason visual training on bat velocity, batted-ball velocity, and pitch recognition. Twenty female NCAA Division I softball players were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups 5 weeks before the season began. Group 1 was the control group and received no vision training. Group 2 completed 18 vision-training sessions over the span of 6 weeks. Vision exercises consisted of visual flexibility, visual recognition, and visual tracking. Each session was performed with a game pad controller on a computer and lasted between 10-20 minutes. Prior to the beginning of the 6 weeks, all subjects were tested on body composition, grip strength and vertical jump  to assess leg power. Instantaneous bat velocity was recorded and for batted-ball velocity, subjects were directed to hit softballs between a zone away from the back of home plate and set up on the softball field while batted-ball velocity was measured by a radar gun set up behind home plate. Softballs were delivered at a mean velocity from the automated pitching machine 13.1 m or 43 ft away from home plate. Subjects also performed pitching recognition where a softball was delivered from the same pitching machine and called out “ball” or “strike”. An official NCAA “strike zone”, adjusted for each player, was set-up behind each hitter. The number of correct responses was recorded by the pitch recognition score. Both groups were also assessed by a commercial visual training program on their depth perception, eye flexibility, visual recognition, and visual tracking. Once the 6-week training program was completed, all subjects were re-tested on the same parameters previously listed.

Comparing Group 1 from Group 2 revealed significant difference in convergence percentage, visual recognition response time, visual tracking response time, and level 4 depth perception. There were no significant differences in BV, BBV, PR, or other visual components.

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Scientific Proof – Study on the Biomechanics of Youth Windmill Softball Pitching

ALLEN2011_02-26-11_135732__02_153_5x7_webThis study used a three-dimensional, high-speed video and stride foot force plate data were collected on fastballs from 53 youth softball pitchers. Movement parameters related to pitching mechanics and measurements on the throwing-arm elbow and shoulder joints were calculated. These were compared to those reported for baseball pitchers.

Results showed that elbow and shoulder joint loads were similar to those found for baseball pitchers and college softball pitchers. Shoulder distraction stress averaged 94% body weight for the youth pitchers. Stride foot ground reaction force patterns were not similar to those reported for baseball pitchers. Vertical and braking force components under the stride foot were in excess of body weight.

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Scientific Proof – Survey on Injuries to Pitchers in Women’s Collegiate Fast-Pitch Softball

OuchiesAn injury survey of eight college softball teams ranked among the top 15 during the 1989 women’s NCAA tournament championship by their athletic trainers found 26 injuries and complai

nts in 20 of 24 players. There were 15 grade injuries, all musculotendinous except for a leg contusion and an ankle sprain. The 6 grade II injuries were also musculotendinous except for 2 sprains to the hand and wrist. The 5 grade III injuries were some what more varied in type and resulted in an average of

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Softball Workout – Body Weight Workout

Strengthening is important to any softball player who wants to improve even without equipment. Here are several exercises you may do when the unavailability of equipment arises.

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Scientific Proof – Systemic Review of Literature on Interventions to Prevent Softball Related Injuries

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Several authors reviewed literature identified from six electronic databases for studies on softball related injuries. The search was published between 1970 and 2002. Intervention/prevention papers were evaluated further and described in detail. This review was done to examine the published evidence on interventions to prevent softball related injuries among adults, and to encourage more research on prevention and control as a foundation for future softball injury prevention efforts. The search strategy identified 39 studies specifically related to softball. Most studies were case reports/case series or descriptive studies only four were analytic or intervention/prevention studies.

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Sports Psychology Tips: Watch Your Body Language

Why Sports Parents and Coaches Should Watch Their Body Language
by Patrick Cohn
Sports Psychology Expert

*note: while this article is written primarily for sports parents, it can easily be applied to coaches too

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Sports Psychology Tips: Communication is Key

sports psychology and communication
Why Good Communication is Key for Sports Families
by Dr. Patrick Cohn
Sports Psychology Expert

After you read this article, you might be a little more careful about how you talk to your sports kids.

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Mental Game Tips: How Labels Hurt Players’ Confidence

Article by Dr. Patrick Cohn
Sports Psychology Expert

softball confidenceWhen sports kids start calling themselves “losers,” “chokers,” “wimps” or other negative names, it’s a bad sign.

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Scientific Proof – Analysis of the Kinematic Motion of the Windmill Pitch of Young Softball Players

The Making of a WinnerThis study examined the joint motions and movement patterns of the kinetic chain in the ballistic skill of performing the windmill pitch. Seventeen healthy girls who were currently playing competitive fast-pitch softball volunteered for the study. Subjects were instructed to perform 5 successful fastball windmill style deliveries. We selected 1 pitch for analysis based on the velocity, accuracy, and subjects’ input.  Six digital camcorders placed at 60-degrees apart was used for analysis.  The subjects were divided into groups based on skill level: novice, intermediate, and advanced. Sequential progression of kinematic variables that resulted in increased throwing velocity and the contribution each segment (upper arm, forearm, and hand) possessed toward ball velocity with descriptive statistics and path analysis were assessed. There was evidence of sequentiality among the arm segments in the intermediate and advanced groups. The patterns of the shared positive contributions made by each of the limb segments were similar among the 3 groups of participants. The novice group tended to rely on more of the upper arm and forearm than the other 2 groups. From this study, it is evident that all emphasis should not be placed on the shoulder, but training and conditioning methods should focus on the entire kinetic chain including the torso and the full arm segment, not just the shoulder in an attempt to gain the greatest velocity while performing the 360-degrees arc of the windmill softball pitch.

Coaches and Conditioning specialists should understand that the windmill pitch’s power not only comes from the pitcher’s arms but from lower ligaments and the torso. This information should help on any modification to help increase pitcher’s execution.

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