Training baseball-specific mobility is one of the most important things a young player can do. If you are an experienced trainer or coach, you already know this and its old news. However, I would venture to say that most parents, players and even on-field coaches don’t really understand how critical having proper, baseball-specific mobility is for performance enhancement and preventing injuries. Pitching, hitting and position fielding all depend on proper mobility.
I perform an assessment on every single one of my baseball players before they do any kind of training. Starting way down at the “bottom”, we look at the mobility of the foot and ankle and work our way up to the shoulders, and neck regions. We look at everything. It soon becomes obvious that most guys who come in do not have very good general mobility and more so, proper baseball mobility.
In over 20 years of doing these assessments, I tend to see the same things; overly tight ankles, immobile hips, immobile thoracic spines, and tight shoulder complexes. I see these in players as young as 12, and as old as 22 years!
I always explain to the player how just improving their mobility can increase their running speed, throwing velocity, bat speed and improve numerous other things that kids struggle with on the field. The sooner we deal with these issues, the sooner their on-field performance sky rockets!
Working on baseball-specific mobility is easy to do and something that can be done each day as part of a warm-up, part of a post workout cool-down, or as a training program itself. No matter how the athlete attacks it, it’s a must for players and both parents and players need to learn the value of proper mobility.
Areas that need more mobility in most young players:
· Thoracic Spine (T-Spine)
· Shoulder Complex