Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Practice stretches and warm-ups

We're going to start adding more of a formal warm-up and stretches to our practices. We need to keep things light as our players will get bored pretty quickly.

Here's what I think we'll go with to start:

  1. Our current slow toss warm-up for arms and upper body.
  2. Hamstring, back stretches (see below)
  3. Slow base walk/running (coach sets the pace) for one to two circuits. (May need to work them up to this!)
  4. Faster base run for one circuit.
  5. Practice.

I came across two web sites I thought were interesting (most of the sites target older players of course):

From these I selected this set of stretches to start with. We'll start with 2-3 20 second holds for each and work up a bit depending on how rowdy the gang is. (They are more flexible to begin with than most teen players.)

a. Lying Knee Roll-over Stretch: While lying on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the side and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

b. Elbow-out Rotator Stretch: Stand with your hand behind the middle of your back and your elbow pointing out. Reach over with your other hand and gently pull your elbow forward.

c. Calf Muscle Stretch: Stand a few feet from the fence and put both your hands on it at shoulder level. Step back with your right leg, keeping it straight, while the left knee bends. With both heels on the floor, lean forward by bending your left knee until you feel a stretch in your calf.

d. Groin Stretch: Sit on the ground with the soles of your feet together. While holding your toes, lean your upper body forward, bending from the hips.