If I were to tell you that there is something that is more important in baseball than hitting, pitching, fielding, or throwing combined, would you believe me? I wouldn’t have a few years ago, but I have realized that one thing and one thing only trumps all of the physical attributes needed to play the game. Staying healthy and not getting injured are the biggest obstacles to a baseball player. I’m sure every one of us knows a talented player who’s career was stalled or ended by injury.
So far I have played 11 years of professional baseball. I have been extremely fortunate to be healthy for much of that time. Most of those years I was not given the first chance to make an impression. I found myself on the bench early in the season waiting to get my chance to play. In every season I played there was an injury that allowed me to play and get exposure. It is the tough truth with this game. If you are not healthy you are not able to play and get better as a player and it gives another person the chance to take your job. I have seen this scenario happen many times.
Everyone knows they need to stay healthy, and there are many injuries that can’t be prevented. We play this game hard and injuries are part of the game. We put in so much time into our hitting, fielding and throwing. We run extra and lift weights, but after all of that we can’t forget to take care of the punishment we are putting on our bodies.
The Bottom Line: If we can allow ourselves a little bit of time every day to warming up our body by stretching properly, foam roll massage, sitting in a hot tub to warm up, riding a stationary bike, running, eating good foods, icing after the game or whatever our body needs (because everyone’s body is different. Some need more TLC than others), it may keep us on the field for more games and allow us to get better and get to the level we all want to get to. No missed opportunities or regrets over what could have been if we had just taken care of our bodies a little bit better.
I understand that this part of the game isn’t glamerous but it is necessary to give us the best chance to stay healthy.
*Featured image by Frank Lauri
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