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muscle fatigue

May 18, 2009
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It's starting to get real hot here. The two players that see the field the most, catcher and pitcher, get fatigued out towards the end of the second game. In the break between the second and third game what's the best way to help alleviate the fatigue? Is it acceptable to ice down the throwing shoulder or is it better to keep the throwing shoulder warm?

Do you guys give the girls any ibuprofen between games and does that help?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,749
48
Dallas, Texas
Icing the arm or shoulder is used to reduce inflammation. Ibuprofen is also anti-inflammatory. So, you aren't treating a heat related problem. You are treating them to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a result of damage to the shoulder and arm.

If they have inflammation, then you shouldn't play them because they are hurt. If they are fatigued, then you shouldn't play them because they are tired. (FYI, there is a big debate over whether pitchers should ice their arms.)

So, what is the deal? Why do you play them 3 games in a day? Do you not have enough pitching or catching, so therefore use them every game?
 
May 18, 2009
1,312
38
I should have worded my query differently. Unfortunately the top catcher plays the majority of the games. The pitcher 2 games if all is going well. I'm a parent not the coach. I am more concerned for the catcher. I worry she's going to hurt her arm due to fatigue. The team is trying to develop another catcher but physically there is a huge difference between the #1 and #2 catcher. Her parents ice her arm but I thought ice causes the muscles to tighten up?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,749
48
Dallas, Texas
No, they shouldn't be icing the shoulder between games.

Some people ice the arm after they finish playing for the day. Even that approach is questionable. There is a debate about whether icing should ever be used for arms or shoulders. Icing between games is a no-no.

Icing (and ibuprofen) reduces swelling in the arm or shoulder, which reduces pain. However, as you know, pain is the body's way of telling you to STOP. A normal human being in pain stops doing something if it hurts. So, by icing or taking pain relievers and then continuing the activity, there is a risk of more serious injury.

So, another set of parents and coaches willing to sacrifice kids to win a pool game at a tournament in Backwater, USA.
 
IMHO, whether the #2 catcher is ready or not, she needs to relieve the #1 catcher if she is having problems. We played a girl behind home plate the other night who had NEVER put on catcher's gear. It was awful, but had to be done. For me, as a parent, it is not worth the injury down the road to continue playing a girl who is obviously in pain. Play the #2 catcher and go on about it. She'll never get any better if she doesn't have game time experience! Just my opinion...
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
0
Absolutely need to rotate catchers on hot day's especially. The fatigue and heat of playing that position wearing all the gear isn't tolerable two games in a row, and I would argue if the conditions warrant, you may consider swapping catchers half way through a game to keep that position fresh and performing 100%.

#1 Catcher should be the top physical athlete on the team (occasionally this may be the pitcher, then the catcher should be #2) at a young age especially skill and experience are secondary to strength and athletism. You can't afford to have a player who is not one of your top athletes involved in every pitch on defense the way a catcher is.

If there is a huge gap between your #1 and #2 catcher it is probably because the #2 catcher is not a top athlete on the team, but the only other player willing/desiring to play catcher and the coaches are complacent on this which is not okay.

If a girl said she wanted to play 1B but was short and couldn't catch you wouldn't put her at 1B, but many coaches who are adamant about making their own decisions about who plays where in the infield, seem to resign themselves to allow the players to dictate who will catch especially who will be a back up catcher.

Your stud SS that throws out a whopping 2 runners a game could be throwing out 8 baserunners a game if you can talk her into putting on the gear. Once a strong competitive kid gets a taste of catching, they'll want that all the time.

Once you've got the right kids in the right places, there still may be a gap between #1 and #2, just like there is a gap between #1 Pitcher and #2 Pitcher, for better or worse, that's your team and they need to rotate. The gap isn't going to go away faster if you play #2 less is it?
 
May 7, 2008
8,491
38
Tucson
I have never given Ibuprofen to players, at all.

Yes, I advocate icing - after the athlete is finished.

Do natural type things in between the games. Rest, shade, elevate the legs, take off any tight equipment (sliders, etc.) that you might have on.

Eat something healthy - vegies, subway, etc.

Drink water.

As the girls mature, they will learn to prepare all week long, by exercising, stretching and strengthening and watching their diet - and lots of water.
 
Feb 19, 2009
196
0
Some people ice the arm after they finish playing for the day. Even that approach is questionable. There is a debate about whether icing should ever be used for arms or shoulders.

Icing at the end of the day is questionable? News to me, does it not provide the benefit people thought it did or is it potentially damaging?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,749
48
Dallas, Texas
There is a debate over icing. My DD#1 iced her shoulder and arm. DD#3 (the hoop player) iced her knees and ankles.

Everyone agrees that icing reduces pain and inflammation. However, there is no evidence that it does anything else. So, what you end up with is a pitcher who has an arm with muscle damage but her arm feels fine.

In baseball, it is all academic--because everyone rests a pitcher for 3 or 4 days after pitching them again. So, who cares? As long as the pitcher rests the arm for a few days, the arm heals. (By the way, in Japan, icing is not used. There are many pro pitchers in the US who do not ice, or ice only for a few minutes.)

As you know, softball pitchers live in an alternate universe where they are immune from the laws of physics and physiology, so they end up pitching 7 to 14 innings the next day (and sometimes later that same day).

Anyway, here is the study on icing:

ICE MASSAGE INEFFECTIVE IN RECOVERY FROM MUSCLE DAMAGE
Howatson, G., van Someren, D. A., Hortobagyi, T. (2006). Ice massage does not attenuate reductions in muscle function following maximal lengthening contractions. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2121.
 

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