MVP Training Article
Volume 5, No. 7 - October 2010
End of Season … Or Is It Just the Beginning?
It is now fall and you just finished your spring season, so what do you do when the baseball season is over? And, if it isn’t over, it may be a good idea to take some type of break before jumping into a brand new fall ball or travel ball season. Here are a few points you may want to consider before moving forward to your next season or level of play.
- Evaluate your season
- Set new Goals
- Create a plan to obtain your next set of goals
- Stick to your plan
Rest and enjoy a month or so off. Regardless of what level you play, all athletes need a physical and mental break from a sport. This is particularly important for athletes who play on a second traveling or tournament team that “fills out the calendar” with practices and tournament play. Playing one sport year around increases an athlete’s chance of getting repetitive stress injuries, so take some time off. Or, better yet, mix it up with a different sport. Most top coaches will tell you that playing more than one sport will make you a better athlete, and more importantly, help keep a player healthy.
Evaluate the season:
After the season, think about your strengths and weaknesses. If you are not sure, take a look at your stats and/or simply ask your coach how he/she feels you did this past season. An honest answer will be most helpful. Also, get their opinion as to what they feel you need to work on to become a stronger player. Personally, I prefer well-rounded players who are solid in all areas. If you are weak in one area, spend a little more time there, but don’t neglect the other areas you are doing well in. They still need maintenance.
Set new goals
Goals are an important factor in keeping a player on task. Before you make a goal, be sure it is somewhat realistic and achievable. Also, make sure that you allow time to achieve the desired outcome. Far-fetched goals have a greater failure rate and often times end in frustration.
Create a plan to attain your next set of goals
Once your new goal is set, break down a plan as to how or what will be the best way to achieve it. Will you need outside assistance? Will a private instructor be needed? Whatever it will take, be sure to really think it through and possibly discuss it with a friend, fellow teammate or parent. Depending on your plan, a parent may have to contribute financially, thus making them part of the investment. Remember, your desire and hard work will only help gain more support from your parent(s).
Stick to your plan
When sticking to a plan, one should keep four words in the back of their mind: Desire Determination, Persistence and Commitment. Each of these words must be part of the plan in order for it to succeed. And sticking to the plan doesn’t mean that you skip a day and think you can double up your next practice session to make up for it. Things just don’t work that way.
Still not sure where to start? Remember, it all starts when you pick up a ball
In addition to the desire to improve in a specific area of the game, each and every player should focus on building arm strength and core body strength in their off season. And once this is done, you must (at the minimum) maintain this base during the entire season. Our MVP Band Program has gained tremendous accolades through both the ASMI clinical study, Little League officials and with every user of our program. Although our studies placed focus on the benefits of improved arm strength, range of motion and velocity, we must note that in our clinics, we spend a great deal of time reviewing and correcting throwing mechanics while emphasizing core body strength. Due to the fact that your arm and body must be in complete sync with one another when throwing a baseball efficiently, both areas are equally important if one wishes to become more effective. This is especially the case for a pitcher. I also recommend that a player review a slow motion video of a professional player or pitcher throwing a baseball. Rather than merely looking at the arm mechanics, which are extremely important, we ask them to pay close attention to the entire body during the throwing motion. Generally, for our younger players, this tends to be an eye opener to see how much the entire body is involved in throwing a baseball. So the next time they are asked to do a push-up, sit-up, lunge, sprint, etc, they will know that all of these exercises contribute to the improvement of their throwing.
Build arm strength and protect the most valuable asset on the field...your ARM
The MVP Band and program is an official licensed product of Little League Baseball clinically tested and proven by the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) as an effective way to improve arm strength and velocity. For more information on the product/program and upcoming clinics visit www.mvpband.com.