One of my goals this semester is to become more knowledgeable about baseball arm care by researching and helping Kris Johnston plan a daily arm care protocol for our baseball team.
This goal has been going pretty well so far. Kris and I have looked over multiple arm care protocols, throwing programs, and training programs to help pitchers take care of their arm, and hopefully help them be at their best for every game they appear in. We have looked at a couple resistance band and throwing combination programs from Crossover Symmetry and a custom protocol that was created by the Baltimore Orioles Head Athletic Trainer. Kris was able to speak with him at a NATA convention and pick his brain about the Orioles pitching staff and their recovery and care protocol. He gave Kris a copy of his starting pitcher protocol since they are on a set schedule to throw around once every 6 days. Basically on day one the pitchers are on strict orders to not throw anything, or complete any upper body exercises, only lower body. Day two the pitchers have very light recovery training with resistance bands. Day three the pitchers can throw a flat ground bullpen with proper warm up. On day four the pitchers can throw a light bullpen off the mound. Day five is pretty much active rest with very little upper body work, and then day six is of course their start.
Obviously this can be very tricky when talking about relief pitchers, especially closers since there is a possibility that they could throw 5 games in a week. The good news here is that they are normally limited on pitches due to the fact they only throw one inning a game. For these players almost all of their arm care during the season is done on off days, and what is not done on off days is very low intensity and duration.
The crossover symmetry program is much broader and can be manipulated more just due to the vagueness of the program. Basically this program lets the coach or AT decide when it would be a good time to throw a bullpen, and only focuses on the resistance band exercises, and which exercises should be used on what days. There is a recovery exercise set, a warm up exercise set, and a strengthening exercise set for the shoulder. This program also does a good job of incorporating exercises that benefit the muscles around the elbow.
Overall I feel like I am accomplishing this goal. I have learned a great amount of information about how to help pitchers take care of their arms. The only problem now is putting it into action with the baseball team.
Athletic Training is more than just filling up water bottles and checking to see if the “star athlete is o.k.” This week’s journal prompt discusses the NATA slogan. “Your Protection is Our Priority” How does this promote AT? This slogan promotes athletic training an a couple ways.
First, the slogan includes the word protection. The main job of an athletic trainer is to prevent and protect from injury. Whether this involves prescribing someone an ankle brace or doing preventative exercises for back pain this is still the main focus of athletic trainers. Without injury prevention, there would be more athletes hurt, more athletic programs suffering, and multiple unhappy coaches. In my opinion, most coaches and athletic programs have no idea how much athletic trainers do to hold together every team and every athletic program. In my opinion, the majority athletic trainers are not recognized enough for what they do. Overall, protection and prevention are our main focus.
The next part of the slogan “our priority” is pretty self-explanatory. Our job as athletic trainers is injury prevention, injury management, and rehabilitation for the most part. Many programs, athletes, and coaches do not realize that this really is the main priority to athletic trainers. Athletic trainers do help all kinds of athletes in various ways. From what I have seen so far in my clinical experience, the priority of an athletic trainer or student is to protect people.
I believe that this slogan promotes athletic training very well. It gives the community around us an idea of what our goal is. It gives athletes a feeling of peace that we are there for them, and to make sure that they are physically at their best for every contest. It gives coaches the confidence that if anything does happen during a game or match that we will be there to assist the best that we can, and hopefully resolve or diagnose anything that could happen at a game. It gives an athletic department faith in their athletic training staff.
This is a great slogan for the NATA. I feel that athletic trainers and athletic training students can apply this slogan to their clinical practice and hopefully use its meaning to become better clinicians.
This week during my clinical experience, I was able to work with a few of the baseball players on either their rehab, or preventative conditioning. There is one person that stands out to me that I have been working with lately. The athelte has been doing great with his rehab since his ACL surgery and has finally gotten back all of his extension and much of his leg strength. This week Kris kind of put me in charge of the athletes rehab for a couple days because we were scheduled at the same time. I decided that the athlete needed to continue to strengthen his quads as well as his hamstrings and glutes, as well as work on some balance exercises and maybe mix up some of the monotony of his rehab. The athlete’s physician also cleared him to start doing some running work so he was pretty happy about that, which is completely out of character for him! Thursdays rehab looked a little bit like this.
Jog 10 min. treadmill
Wall sit with ball squeeze 5x1 min, 30 second break
Leg extension machine 3x10
Hamstring curl machine 3x8
Leg press 3x8
Squat free throws (will explain later) 2x15
Balance pad ball toss (with baseball) 5x1 min.
Hamstring PNF stretching
With the leg extensions we went up in weight each set as tolerated. The athtlete finished at 120 lbs. and said he was finally feeling like he had most of his quad strength back. Leg curls were the same; we finished at 120 on the machine. For the squat free throws, I made him do 5 deep squats every time he missed a free throw, which he missed quite a few, He ended up doing 60 squats there. The athlete did well with the Balance pad tosses so we will have to progress that some more here this week. I enjoy doing this athlete’s rehab with him because I feel like I know him very well and I know how to push him to just the right point. Towards the end of the athlete’s rehab he sometimes gets to where he is trying to find ways to cheat reps, or he gets tired and doesn’t do them to his full ability. I feel like adding the free throws and baseball toss at the end of his rehab gave him something to push toward and look forward to at the end of his rehab. Overall, doing this and knowing how to change someone’s rehab to help them push themselves harder will help me and my athletes in the future because it may cut down on recovery time.
I completed 12 attempts this week in my clinical packet.