Too often, kids arrive at baseball practice, grab a baseball and go out and throw in the outfield to warm up.
For Little Leaguers, this may actually be ok, because rarely does a player under 12 pull a muscle.
It’s important, however, that baseball players of all ages get used to warming up properly to develop good habits for later on when they are bigger, stronger, and more prone to injury.
Players need to run to warm up their muscles, then stretch to further loosen up the muscles used in baseball, especially those involved with throwing. Then, finally throwing drills to adaquetely prepare for the practice.
Talk to the guys about “R-S-T.” It’s an easy way for them to remember that their job when they arrive at practice is to run, stretch, and throw. In other posts, we’ll talk more about the specifics involved in each of these warmup drills.
Then, as the season progresses, make the players do the warmup drills on their own prior to the start of practice. Have the captains get on any guys who just grab a ball and start throwing. Get the players to take responsibility for their own warmup routine and find out what works best for them, regardless of their ages. It will prevent injuries when they are teenagers and adult players.