REST – Every Player Needs It
The off-season is an important part of an athlete’s development. While it can be the time to work on fundamentals and hammer home repetitions, the off-season is also an important time to rest. Especially for the sake of arm health, the off-season should also involve a significant break from baseball. As a parent or coach, it is important to find a balance between working out and ensuring adequate rest during the off-season.
A young athlete (age 4-10) should get a 2–4 month period away from the game of baseball in the off-season. An athlete 11-16 should get 6-10 weeks off during the summer and another couple weeks in the winter (at a minimum).
Typically, the months of August and September provide a solid block of dates in which to find rest. The high school season concludes near the end of May. A typical summer program begins shortly thereafter and can run through the middle of July. Youth league All-Stars can run through the month of June and into July, while most youth summer leagues finish by the middle of August. Take this time to rest the baseball-mind and play other sports!
YES! Athletes should be encouraged to play other sports. This proves both mental and physical relief from the battles of baseball. Most importantly, this gives the arm ample time to recover from any traumas sustained over the course of a full season of throwing. Many throwing injuries are a culmination of many small injuries sustained over a high number of repetitions. A long and continuous break may be the only way to conquer inflammation or tiny muscle tears, helping to prevent more serious injuries.
Many athletes truly enjoy working out and practicing their baseball skills. These athletes should also be encouraged to take time away from the game. A solid break can help to keep the flames of desire stoked, and ensure that the athlete avoids any symptoms of burnout. At the very least, the physical rest can ensure that the body is strong and the mind sound when the off-season workouts begin.
- Do you ever get tired of playing baseball?
- What months do we take breaks from baseball?
- Rest Challenge: When did you last go on vacation? Where did you go?
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