Biomechanical Analysis

Summarizing the motions that a softball player will perform during a game would be an overbearing task. However, notable movement patterns due occur with frequency include squatting, forward and lateral lunging, running (straight plane and change of direction) and reaching.

Despite popular belief, throwing a softball is a total-body activity requiring appropriate coordination of muscle action and sequencing to ensure optimal power production and to decrease the risk of injury.

Biomechanically it is important to possess full mobility and stability of the hip and shoulder complexes to enable the athlete to reach the postures necessary to throw the softball. Additionally, athletes should be able to reach full thoracic rotation and extension. Even though, full body training is a requirement, the primary focus of training should include lumbo-pelvic and scapular stability, rotational power and lower extremity strength.

Physiological Demands

A typical high-school softball game consists of a 7 inning softball game with most teams scheduling three games a week for approximately a 2-3 month time span. During each game most physical actions will occur in less than 5 seconds. This fact means that for a majority of the time players are operating with use of the ATP-PC system with minimal use of the glycolytic system.

As previously stated, Softball consists of high velocity runs ranging from 0 to no more than 240 feet, rapid rotational power development and transmission of near maximal power from the lower extremities to the dominant shoulder with rest for the athletes is near optimal. The precursor to speed is adequate strength and power, which is dependent on the production and restoration of ATP and glucose. It is essential for athletes to focus on training the ATP-PC system in order to optimize the ability of the body to utilize and replenish glycogen during the game.

Common Non-Contact Injuries

  • Lumbar spine sprain/strains
  • Shoulder and Elbow Strains
  • Knee and Ankle sprains

Softball Programs

Softball Weight Training

Stronger athletes are less susceptible to injury secondary to the improved ability to properly absorb and produce force without the presence of compensation patterns. For softball it is essential to develop power in the lower extremities and core while maintaining optimal mobility in the hips and thoracic region. Muscle development should focus on posterior chain musculature to allow for improved stability with throwing, increased running speed, and to allow for proper utilization of the glutes for stability and power during throwing and hitting. Without an adequate off-season training program loads must remain low (60-75% of max) and frequency should be once per week, until a full off-season program has been implemented.

With repetitive overhead motions especially with those requiring power development in a multi-planar fashion; loss of motion and the development of asymmetries are bound to occur. In attempting to prevent these issues a shoulder protection series was added. These exercises are important to complete 2-3 times per week to combat these issues.

In-season Program

  • 1x wk
  • Run from March-October

Off-season Program

  • 2x wk
  • Run from November-March

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Contact: Coach Mike Dal Molin
P: 860.645.3810 | Email: MDalMolin@IntegRehab.com<


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