August 2020 ENewsletter: By The Way, Have I Told You About Injuries This Year? : By Jim Wagner
As also mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I said this would be the year of injuries. Remember? I said it enough times that some people even said to me, “Yes, you did say that, and your point?”
Now, let me clarify something regarding all my talk about injuries. I may have written about it last month, but I’ve been telling everyone about it since APRIL. I’ve been screaming about this.
Does this make my predictions even more powerful given there have, in fact, been a number of injuries since the MLB season and youth travel ball began again? Maybe, but there was a rhyme to my reason.
The mind is so powerful; it can will us to do great things. The mind is also powerful enough to make us do things that can bring us pain and injury.
Ever since March, when every sport had been cancelled, players could not wait to get back to playing games and for good reason.
Schools had children staying home all day. People like Dr. Fauci, Dr. Ferrer, and others were telling us what we could and could not do. We were told “no” time after time. So baseball players quarantined, just like the rest of the nation, and became very sedentary and lethargic. Video games, Netflix, and television made us lazy. To be honest, I watched all nine seasons of “The Office,” which I’d never have done if we’d kept on going. But our emotions and thoughts around baseball never left our minds.
So when the state started opening up again, numerous coaches immediately had their travel teams start practicing up to three times a week, while other coaches took their teams to places like Arizona to play from 3 to 6 games over one weekend.
The coaches needed to coach, and the players were SO ready to play again. Mentally and emotionally at least, they were so ready to play.
But a funny, well not too funny, thing happened. Their sedentary bodies weren’t ready for the physical part of the game. Oblique injuries appeared, groin and hamstring tightness became very real, and, most importantly, elbows and shoulders got tired, hurt, and, in some cases, injured to the point where players are still on the mend.
It’s a sad state of affairs in baseball when injuries occur. But how could they not? Young bodies were not, and are still not, ready for the rigors these coaches are placing on them. It became a matter of, “Hurry up, because we have a game next weekend.” It’s shameful coaches had their teams playing game after game when their players weren’t anywhere near the level they needed to be at to play a game, let alone win.
I know of one coach who had one of his star pitchers throw for 6 innings so they could get to the championship game of a tournament.
It’s disgusting, and they wonder how a kid could get hurt. That coach said, “His arm should have been ready while we were all in quarantine.” Needless to say, I advised the parents of this player to immediately leave this type of environment. When the goal is winning instead of development at such a young age, then that coach is doing a great disservice to the entire family. In fact, you could argue it’s a form of child abuse, but that’s for another time.
When the MLB voted to play an abbreviated season, I told Warren at class that the injury bug was going to get those players. They only had three weeks of summer training, and in less than a week a whole slew of pitchers went down: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander (as well as 8 other Houston pitchers, 7 of whom were called up and had never pitched in big leagues before), Cole Hamels, Dillon Tate, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jordan Zimmerman, Mike Montgomery, Alex Wood, and Jimmy Nelson. The list goes on and on.
This doesn’t even include the Angel’s Anthony Rendon (out with an oblique injury). If you look at the MLB injury list, it must have at least 180 names. Some are COVID-19 related, but a vast majority are from injuries from training or from the first several games of the season.
My final point on this subject is to say that ALL players must be careful while getting back into shape. The MLB is different because these are grown men taking responsibility for themselves. However, we must take responsibility as parents, and myself as a teacher, to make sure our players are training accordingly and not just going out to the field at full speed.
When we began our summer training, our players weren’t allowed to use the radar gun if they hadn’t been throwing for a period of time. Fortunately, a number of our campers are players who had already been working with us so we had an idea of where they were with regard to their workload. But if I just had players throwing immediately to a radar gun, then shame on me. However, I had an idea of who had trained accordingly and who had not.
As schools go back online this month (on a personal note, I hate that the social development of young and healthy kids is being put at risk, including the isolation my daughter goes through every day), it’s going to be imperative that your player is getting in the repetitions he needs so as to be ready when games start up again. I constantly remind players that games WILL begin again, and they need to be ready.
Here’s where we can help:
Our weekly training sessions are ongoing. The 7:30pm Advanced Training Class (ATC) begins on Wednesday, August 12th. Our safety protocols are still in place and strictly enforced. Throwzone Academy is functioning with the safety of our players and their parents in mind.
Allow us to be part of your son’s development. In fact, we can be utilized as part of your child’s physical education portion of the day, and I can sign any paperwork you need as proof. Allow us to put your child in the best possible position to avoid the risk of injuries.
Not all injuries are alike and while we can never say players won’t get hurt, working with us WILL LESSEN the risk. We can proudly say that, and the proof is in our years of experience and in the number of players who have moved on to the next level, staying healthy and on the field all the while.
We have several opportunities available and can start working with your son today. Call us at 661-644-2147 and begin a journey toward getting your son to the level he expects and needs to be at in order to reach his goals in his baseball career.
Until next time…