Foam Roller Exercises To Keep Hitting Homeruns!

Who can afford injuries before a competition? Surely you have been training for that big day, but don’t you know that overtraining can be disastrous? Those who have tried foam rollers for fitness know the benefits of a foam roller. When you have been overtraining those homerun muscles, you know that foam rolling is vital to keep them loose. Together with your baseball stretching exercises, doing a regular foam rolling exercise can help prevent injuries and keep you healthy and strong as you approach the day of competition.

When is The Best Time to Use Foam Roller

When you notice those tight muscles and sensitive trigger points occur when you have been pushing yourself really hard, now is the best time to use a foam roller. Being dense and tough, the roller is particularly suitable if you have deep trigger points. It can reach those deep areas and loosen them up. Since athletes have tougher muscles compared to regular guys, the toughness of the foam roller is also suitable because it can provide a counter pressure to your muscles. When ordinary massage won’t give you the pressure that you need, the roller is the best tool for self-massage. This is the reason why it’s the favorite among athletes. Not only is it cost effective – you just have to do it to yourself – it really works.

What are Trigger Points?

Trigger PointsAlso known as muscle knots, trigger points are sensitive muscles spots that are usually caused by injuries or over active muscles that never had the opportunity to relax. Often times, this happens around the neck, the shoulder and lower back because these are the areas that you stressed out the most. This can happen to everyone from office workers to top athletes like baseball players. When trigger points are not addressed, they can cause a myriad of illnesses like headaches, muscle pain and joint pain which in turn can progress to chronic fatigue, nausea and scoliosis just to name a few. That’s why it’s important to keep those muscles loose and the best way to do that is maintain it with foam roller fitness.

The Best Way to Keep Home Run Muscle Loose

It goes without saying that the best way to maintain a loose muscle is not by taking pain relievers. This will only have adverse effects to your liver and bones. Studies have shown that regular intake of pain relievers can adversely affect the liver and the kidneys and consequently, the bones.† The best way to maintain a loose muscle is through the regular self-massage of foam roller. The all natural muscular manipulation of the hard foam doesn’t have any side effect and that’s why it’s the preferred way to loosen up your muscles and trigger points. Next time when you experience muscle pain and trigger point tension, forget about pain relievers that only have a short term effect but carries long term side effect, go for the natural foam roller exercise and massage.


Why It’s Important To Have The Best Gear

Whether you are playing in a softball league or youíre just doing it for fun, it is important that you have the right gears and equipment to use. Softball is such an exciting sport to play. But before you get your team together, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment ready.

One of the basic and the most important equipment for softball is the bat. Choosing the right softball bat is one of the essential decisions that every player should make. There are many reasons why having quality equipment†is important.

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Softball Bat Specs

When choosing a bat to use, there are certain specifications that should be considered. It should have the right weight, right length and the right feel. Although thereís really no technical gauge to determine the right length, the player should be able to identify if itís the right one by simply holding the bat. The main rule is that, if it feels right, then itís the right one.

When it comes to the bat weight, it would also depend on the type of batter you are or maybe the type of pitcher that you are about to encounter. Itís a choice between a heavier or a lighter softball bat, depending on the power of the pitch and hit.

If you want to buy a softball bat, you might want to ask about the two very common types of bat in the market, the composite and the aluminum ones. Make sure that you check out which one works for you as a batter. Often, the kind of play that you can do will depend on the softball bat that you are using. When looking for information, check out Firstbasecoach.com, they have everything you’ll need as far specs are concerned.

†Why do you need the Best One

Softball players come in different levels. And in most cases, thereís no regular measurement of the bat to use. However, it is more about which one feels right for every player. In that case, why do you really need to use the best one?

The answer to that question is quite evident. If you have the best softball bat, you can perform your best. You can grip and swing in the most comfortable way because you got the best bat on your hands. You will also have the best confidence that you can beat the pitcherís power with the right kind of bat.

As it is called the best softball bat, it would mean itís with the right quality, made of the right material and with the right length and weight. With the right kind of bat, you can be sure that you will become one of the best players on your team.

Buying Ideas

Since there would always be more than one option in the market, you need to know what to buy. It would be necessary if you can do a little research about softball bats and learn more about its types. That way, you know what to ask depending on your needs. Start finding the best softball bat for you and play your best game ever!


5 Uncommon Tricks To Building Athletic Skills

For a soft ball player, there is always room for improvement, whether it be in speed, strength or stamina. To be the absolute best athlete, scientists have uncovered some interesting ways in which an athlete can improve their performance and really be all that they can be out on the field.

Believing in Yourself

This is a proven fact. Athletes will actually perform better when they think no one is watching. Once the crowd arrives, they start comparing themselves to other players and focus on their image rather then their skills. Once you start believing that you are the best athlete no matter who is watching, it will show in your performance.

Step into the Light

Pre-dawn and dusk practices are not helping your performance at all. Research proves that an athlete is at his peak performance when under light. This has something to do with your body clock and wanting to sleep when it’s dark. Imaging that. If you have any control over scheduling, make all of your games at high noon, but just keep in mind that the other team is getting the light benefit too.

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Managing Pressure

Your up, two strikes and the winning run on second. Do you fold under the pressure? Not if you start clenching your left fist. And yes it has to be the left one. Science has shown that this simple act helps an athlete to calm down and focus, even under the most tense situations. Try it the next time you are up at bat to see if it helps you maintain control.

Sing Out Loud

That’s right, singing will not only build your lung capacity, it will help with your sense of balance. Learn to sing online if you don’t want to scare off the spectators, or just practice at home with your online singing lessons. If you are singing a song while waiting for the perfect pitch, there’s a good chance you will hit it out of the ballpark.

Watch Movies

On your next team bonding night, schedule a movie marathon of aggressive, action packed adventures. Scientists swear that comedy and dramas will destroy your athletic prowess, but watching Arnold kick butt will make it come alive. So go get the popcorn and see if this strange study has any merit.

There is no harm or foul or trying out any of these little tricks, either on your own or as a group effort. In any sport and with every athlete, there is always room for improvement, no matter how offbeat the method may seem.


Making a Weekend Retreat out of Your Team’s Softball Practice

Softball requires a great deal of team work, and team work requires like and respect between the players. Coaches are finding that for some teams, this is difficult to achieve. The idea of weekend practices was born out of the success that week long sports camps have had on building sportsmanship. So now, teams from all over Philadelphia are considering the rewards that a weekend camping trip can provide.

Not only do most of the campgrounds around the Philadelphia area boast large fields for practices, they also have a number of activities for the team to work on together to help build the lasting bonds needed.

Jim Thorpe Camping Resort – Located in Jim Thorpe, this is a great camp site for those who are not familiar with sleeping in nature. You and the team can work together setting up the family tents inside of a tranquil wooded environment. In addition to large areas perfect for practice, the team can backpack together through miles of trails and do laps around the free form swimming pool.

Cape Island Resort – This resort is just outside of Cape May, and on the beach affording endless opportunities for a softball team to work together. Once the sleeping bags are laid in the sand, grab your compasses and explore the 175 acres of wooded land around you. Not only do you have the beach, but there are a number of swimming pools, tennis courts and of course the nightly movie. Here your team not only gets a chance to practice together, they get to learn how to relax as a team too.

Hospitality Creek – Sitting on a lake, this campground is located just outside of Williamstown and provides over a 100 sites for family sized tent to be set up. With each campsite equipped with its own fireplace, your softball team is set up for scary stories and s’mores underneath the stars, no need to bring your propane Coleman along.

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French Creek State Park – This is the campground to visit if you have a number of wildlife enthusiasts on your softball team. Located in Elverson, the park offers hiking and fishing, along with the ample sized fields for softball practice.

Lehigh Gorge Campgrounds – This site is better suited for older teams, as they offer white water rafting on the river. Located in White Haven, the park is sitting right on the Lehigh River, with incredible views of the massive waterfalls.

Whichever campground you choose, make sure that you not only pack your softball and camping gear, but also games for the team mates to enjoy together. Decks of cards and checker boards are small, but provide invaluable fun for evenings at the campsite.


Staying Healthy to Make Sure You Stay in the Game

Your body needs an abundance of extra vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy. Working out, practices and games cause your metabolism to speed up, eating away at your muscles once the fat stores have been exhausted.

Diet

Athletes need more calories than non-athletes to ensure that they maintain their muscle tone. The best way to get those is not from burgers and fries, but from lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. With a high calorie, low fat, well balanced diet, your athletic body will not go out of shape.

Physical Exams

If you are an avid athlete, you should be visiting the doctor more often. Not just when you feel pain in the arm or knees, but for regular physical exams. An assessment of your heart and lung function will help determine if you are pushing your body too hard.

If you do  suffer an injury, you should never delay in seeking treatment. Softball players are susceptible to both shoulder and knee injuries which can turn serious quickly if not treated. Shoulder pain can be an indicator of a torn rotator cuff which will require surgery to repair if left alone. The same is true for knees if one of the tendons becomes torn or damaged.

mexicanamericanTo ensure that you don’t spend the softball season on the bench have any pain, no matter how slight, looked at immediately by your physician.

Dental Health

The phrase “never look a gift horse in the mouth” has real meaning. With horses, like humans, you can get a good assessment of the overall health by the way the mouth looks and smells. By taking care of your teeth, you are making sure that your entire body is taken care of. Invest in a strong whitening toothpaste like Crest and electric toothbrush. These will help to clean your teeth more effectively like they teach at www.waterflosserhq.com and protect them during the day. A water flosser is a good investment as well, as it is able to clean in between the teeth more efficiently then typical flossing products.

Rest

It is important for both your mind and body that you rest from all of the physical activity once in a while. Engage in other activities like reading or going out with friends that give your body a break from all of the physical strain it is under.

You want last through one softball season if you are not taking care of your physical self. Eat right, have regular exams and take care of your mind and you are guaranteed many years of softball off of the bench and out in the field.


Recreational Sports That Can Improve Your Softball Skills

As much as you love pitching a ball during your off time, even an avid softball player has to admit it can get tiresome. There are other ways in which you can practice on those skills needed, that don’t involve your bat and ball.

Softball requires precision throwing, patience and great eye-hand coordination. Check out some of these other, less intense games, that you can play in between practices that will work on helping you build those skills.

Frisbee

When you are playing catch, your partner is basically throwing the ball right at you. Out on the field, that same ball hit off a bat can, and will, go just about anywhere. To help prepare for the unexpected, put down the ball and pick up your Frisbee. The Frisbee has a mind of its own, causing you to have to pay attention and anticipate its target, just as if you were in left field.

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Archery

Archery, like softball, is a precision sport. It is just not as fast moving. With a recurve bow and arrows you need to have patience, focus on the target and take your time in making your move. As you improve, push yourself to make those moves faster. Have a buddy time you on how long it takes to load your bow, take aim, and release. Work on improving on that time while watching that you still hit the target. Make sure you read some good reviews before picking your bow and arrow to ensure maximum possibilities.

This will help you in finding your target when throwing a softball into the infield and there is no time for making an error. We have all been there, that panic throw when the guy on 2nd may make it home. If you have built on your skills to get focus fast, your throw will make it to the catcher every time.

Golf

Golfing is not just for your dad. Not only will it help you relax in between your softball practices, it will help with your eye hand coordination. What better way to learn how to control a ball, then with an object that gives you very little. Golfing forces you to pay attention to all of your surroundings to make a winning shot.

Like with archery, you should be trying to build up your speed as you golf without compromising on your precision. Once the ball is hit, softball becomes much faster paced than both golf and archery combined. Speed things up to create that same sense of urgency that you feel when on the softball field.

Bowling

Bowling teaches a softball player how to think outside of the box. By forcing you to look at a target from a different angle, you can learn the skills to compensate for that. There will come a time in your softball career where you will be making a throw from the ground. Bowling will help you see quickly in which way you are most likely to make it to your target.

As much as we all love softball, it is important to stay well rounded in your sports ventures. This not only gives you an opportunity to love a new hobby, it can help you reinforce those special skills you need to become an ace softball player.


Does Boxing Increase Softball Performance?

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In one word, the answer is “probably”. I know it seems like a stretch, but boxing is amazing cross-training for most sports, but I had to stop and think about it when someone asked me if it helps with softball. After much deliberation, I felt it was worth writing this article to outline some of the general cross-training benefits, as well as my own personal experience.

Boxing is hands-down the best workout I have ever participated in. It’s amazing how quickly you can be whipped into shape, ultimately cutting fat mass while simultaneously building lean mass. In other words, you can get ripped. Most of this is due to the structure of the training. Boxing works on a “round” system (e.g. rounds in a boxing match). At most gyms, you will perform exercises in three minute rounds with 30-60 seconds rest in between, and many different exercises are covered, allowing for a full body workout. Additionally, weight lifting is kept to a minimum, with most of the work being performed under your own body weight.

Boxing is both accessible and affordable. Most cities and towns have at least one boxing gym, but if not, you can always find equipment for your own home. This may be a little more expensive, but you won’t be paying a membership fee. For more information on what may be necessary for your home, we recommend the site www.tomatocanchamp.com. If you’re thinking of joining a gym, we would encourage you to visit them first, as most trainers are more than happy to provide a tour and any other information. Also make sure to check if there is any communal equipment, like boxing gloves, as that can help decrease the number of items you will need to buy. Again, for a better sense of what equipment is good and bad, check out tomatocanchamp.com.

Pure fitness benefits aside, I found boxing to be surprisingly helpful with my swing. This is all subjective information, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m quite certain the reason is because I was able to focus on the pitch better and adjust my swing speed accordingly. One thing I found most difficult with boxing was remaining focused when on the receiving end of combos during sparring. With practice, I was able to calm my mind, focus on the key aspects of what was happening, and before I knew it, it was like everything just slowed down for me. It was when I started seeing these benefits that my batting average increased drastically (that and I’m a bum to begin with). I cannot conclude cause-and-effect, but it makes sense and it definitely didn’t hurt.

So if you’re playing softball, feel a little sluggish, and want to be in amazing shape, try boxing. It’s fun, challenging, rewarding, and the benefits can extend to many other sports.


Restoration of Legendary Sweetbriar Field in Philadelphia

Charles Dangl, referred to by his friends as “Ole Charlie,” has fond memories of the legendary Sweetbriar Field in Philadelphia. Located in what is now known as Fairmount Park, Charlie recalls watching his wife Loretta (at the time his high school sweetheart) play some heated softball games there. “She played a mean second base,” he reminisces as he gazes through the fence at the field that has seen a lot of fantastic softball action over the years.

sweetbriar fieldSweetbriar Field was originally built in 1942 and accommodated mostly softball games, and some little league games, for several of the surrounding schools. Although the layout of the field remains the same, there have been some changes over the years. The fencing has since been replaced and a makeshift press box was built behind home plate in 1987. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the original wooden bleachers that were put in only a few years after the field was opened.

The ball field has seen better days and has been run down over the last several years. It is still used occasionally, but not like it used to be. A restoration committee has been formed recently and they are committed to getting this field fixed up and back in the condition it was known for in it’s hay day. You can imagine how thrilled Ole Charlie was when they asked him if he’d be willing to help out. As a retired carpenter, a project like this is right up his alley.

“Boy was I excited,” exclaimed Charlie after he learned that he would be involved with the restoration. One of the main projects that Charlie will be working on is restoring the original bleachers. The metal framework is intact and still in pretty good shape. But the wooden planks were people rest their rear ends have seen better days. Replacing the seating planks will be a fairly easy project for an experienced woodworker like Charlie.

“I spent many hours sitting on those bleachers back in the day,” said Charlie. “It will be an honor to fix them up for the next generation.” And speaking of the next generation, Charlie even got one of his grandchildren involved. His second oldest grandson Trevor visited on a Saturday and started helping Charlie plan out the project.

As if the project itself wasn’t exciting enough, Charlie’s excitement for the opportunity to purchase new tools was almost just as evident. “Taking on a project like this is a perfect excuse to buy some new tools,” said Charlie as he winked towards his wife. Even buying tools is different than it was in the old days. “My grandson Trevor showed me how to read reviews on the internet before making a buying decision. In my day, we would just stick with brand loyalty or recommendations from friends.” The purchase Charlie is most excited about is his brand new miter saw which Trevor helped him pick out after reading through several miter saw reviews on the internet. “Having a good miter saw will be critical for this bleacher project,” explained Charlie. And his old miter saw was barely in working condition anymore.

Charlie and Trevor can hardly wait to get started. “Maybe Trevor will spend some time on those bleachers just like I did. Perhaps even watching his future wife play a mean second base,” said Charlie as reminisced about the past once more. “Ahh yes – those were the days!”

 

Image Credit: alamodestuff via Flickr


Relaxing After a Softball Practice

You gotta chill after the game

You gotta chill after the game!

Everybody knows how popular softball is nowadays. More and more individuals get involved with this sport and are hoping to be one of the famous softball players of all time. However, playing softball can surely be an exhausting activity, adding up the game that you will have to play later on.

If you were to practice playing softball, you will find out that even just the basic skills that you need to practice, or the thought itself is already quite exhausting.

Let’s say for instance catching, if you want to make sure that you are performing this activity correctly, you must be able to catch the ball without hurting yourself and at the same time being in a position where you will be able to throw the ball in a precise manner. This can only be perfected through practice which may need your full physical effort and mental alertness to perform the task correctly.

Another, basic skill to learn is hitting. Although, more likely you will have to use hand-eye coordination in performing this skill, it is still one of the most challenging activities in softball. Apart from this is fielding and base running. Both of these skills require speed and defense. You run and slide which can be both physically draining for a beginner.

We all know that all certain type of sports may be both mentally and physically draining that is why you shouldn’t allow your body to endure that much stress and know when you should relax. If it is the end of the season and you are just practicing, you should at least give yourself some time to rest.

Well, you don’t really need to go to some spa or anything like that. If you prefer to stay at your own home and relax in your cozy bedroom then you should do that. One of the best options you can consider if you want to have an added relaxing ambiance at home is making use of essential oil diffusers. These diffusers allows you to enrich your life through bringing aromatherapy to your very own home. Try the Riverock by Deneve (review here) for the best experience.

All you need to do is to sit back and relax after turning on the diffuser and you can now enjoy that relaxing aromatic experience without having to go to a spa. It is important that you give your body some rest even before the big game. There is no way that your body can regain the energy level that it needs without getting enough rest and relaxation. So, if you really don’t have time to go to a massage parlor or spa to take some rest, you can relax at home taking just a few minutes of your time.


Men’s Grooming Tips Before Playing Softball

Are you a softball enthusiast and you play the sport as well? You probably are aware on how this sport is being more and more popular to men nowadays and you want to be part of this particular manly fad going on.

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You have probably considered a lot of tips when it comes to playing softball as to how to handle playing ball the right way and of all of the techniques and the playing strategies available out there, but have you ever considered looking better in front of the public while playing softball? Although, we know that this is an outdoor activity that does not require grooming at all, but if you want to look your best before playing at a softball game, you should take note of the various mens grooming tips that help.

You don’t really have to set aside grooming when you are an athlete. Keep in mind that you are also facing people in the public and you definitely want your softball fans to see you at your best. One of the best grooming tips that you can start with is grooming your facial hair.

Your facial hair is one of the most noticeable things that people will look at when you go out the playing field to hit your first ball. To make that first good impression, you can at least start with trimming or making your beard or mustache look more presentable in public. Take note that this includes having to trim down unnecessary hair that can affect your playing performance in the field.

Long beards and mustache should be trimmed at all times. You don’t really have to go to a parlor to have this don, you can perform some do-it-yourself steps in trimming excess facial hair through using a beard trimmer. If you want a different image and you opt to have a clean face, you can use the same trimmer to shave off that beard or mustache safely.

Aside from trimming and shaving facial hair, you should as well keep in mind that overall cleanliness should be considered before playing softball. You should as well consider personal hygiene, the usual. And don’t forget to keep your body clean before and after playing softball.

Some may say that men are supposed to be dirty especially when they are athletes, but this doesn’t always have to apply to everybody. If you can make yourself standout from all the softball players on your team because you don’t only look handsome but you appear to look clean every time you appear in the public. Who knows, you may even gain that first good impression that can lead you to obtain a good reputation.

 

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