The Running Doctor: Proper Baseball Techniques
By Dr. Robert F. Weiss
Special to the Greenwich Sentinel
One day, while back riding my bike, I met up with my neighbor, who was at the time playing Little League. When asking him how he played that day, his answer was that he hit into the outfield and it was the best hit of the day.
Having been a past Little League coach whose team finished one season with the All Stars, we discussed some proper techniques.
When you are throwing or hitting the ball, proper technique involves bringing your arms in toward the body. The body position is also important in both throwing and hitting the ball as we use the entire body including the upper body, hips, and legs.
Proper technique involves pointing your front hip and upper body towards the person you are throwing to, or the direction the ball is pitched. The motion goes from back to front, as the back motion follows front motion. There should be a 45-degree position of the feet as the front foot is in line with the back foot. The front shoulder assumes the position of the back shoulder. A good method for developing this technique is from start to finish before it actually takes place. Many athletes can use this mental rehearsal procedure as a means of improving their technique to gain improved performance.
Prior to the actual practice session or game, muscles should be stretched or strengthened safely during warm-up. Utilize easy limbering movements until you feel the muscle is ready to go. In addition, a brisk and easy run around the entire field will aid your breathing and heart rate to respond to the all out running in the field plays and base running. Using proper techniques in body position and warm-up stretching and strengthening exercises may save you lost time from injuries.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathon and has a practice in Darien, affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle. For info visit his Web site at Stamfordhealthmedicalgroup.org.