Pre-Season Conditioning: High School Baseball and Softball Teams Prepare for Upcoming Season

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 8:15 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - It doesn’t look like spring in Northern Maine, but High School teams are preparing for the start of spring sports season. Baseball and softball players were able to begin working on conditioning and arm strength last week. Rene Cloukey talks to a coach and athletic trainer about the importance of getting the arm ready for the season.

The Presque Isle Wildcats and other teams around the state began arm strengthening exercises and conditioning last week. The Maine Principals Association allows a one week period to work on conditioning to help prevent injuries. Andy Helstrom of County Physical Therapy is also the Wildcats Athletic Trainer.

(Andy Helstrom):”We start with a little bit of stretching and then go into the resistance band more of a strengthening exercise for the muscles involved in throwing mechanics.”

(Derrick Kinney):” There’s a lot of muscles they use doing the bands that they normally wouldn’t use during regular workouts. The bands are specific to throwing and it really helps”

During the first week the Coaches and Helstrom put the focus on stretching on conditioning. The MPA bulletin says that during the designated conditioning week they can not work on plays or on game situations, but concentrate on getting the players conditioned

Helstrom:” There is not a lot of time between basketball and baseball to get ready so it is very important for the kids to keep up iwth the conditioning and the programs the coaches do here are fantastic.”

Helstrom feels that this sort of stretching helps keep the team more injury free

Helstrom:” The stronger the kids are the better they seem to do. Baseball is a very repetitive sports and you can get those injuries. So the stronger they are the better outcome.”

Kinney:” A lot less arm injuries and elbow injuries.”

Kinney says that even with all of the work they are doing now, once they had to Southern Maine for exhibition games and during the first few days of the regular season he will not allow his pitchers to throw the maximum number of pitches

Kinney:” Just because we can do 100 the first weekend we wouldn’t do that. It all depends on how much we can do before we get out there, but when we go to Southern Maine we are normally on a 50 60 pitch count for that first week and be able to wok our way up.”

Now it’s a case of everyone wanting the snow to melt so they can get outside and play ball. Rene Cloukey Newssource sports.