Health & wellbeing
There is a risk of injury in every sport and Softball is no exception. The common causes of injuries in Softball include:
- Lack of fitness and conditioning
- Falls, overuse and over exertion
- Poor technique and skills, for example, when sliding or throwing
- Lack of concentration and awareness of what is happening and being hit by a bat or ball
- Sub-standard equipment, gear and playing surfaces.
Common types of injury include:
- Sprains, strains and fractures
- Injuries to the knee, lower leg, wrist, hand, fingers and face
- Shoulder and elbow injuries, often as a result of poor throwing technique.
The risk of injury can be minimised by:
- Performing a comprehensive warm-up before every work-out, practice session and game, followed by a cool-down at the end
- Age appropriate training and competitive structures
- Developing good playing techniques and skills such as hitting, running, catching, sliding and pitching
- Maintaining an appropriate level of fitness and conditioning
- Following the rules of the game
- Ensuring adequate fluid replacement and protection from heat and cold
- Highly qualified coaches who understand how the anatomical, hormonal and/or biomechanical sex differences might contribute to higher levels of certain injuries
- Playing on surfaces that are appropriate for Softball
- Using proper Softball equipment and wearing adequate protective gear
- Adhering to relevant Softball Australia policies and guidelines, such as the Member Protection Policy, the Hot Weather Guidelines and the Pregnancy Guidelines for Associations and Clubs
- Using common sense. Athletes should not be forced to play through pain and must rest their bodies for proper healing.
Accredited Softball coaches are trained to provide an environment that minimises the risk of injury and to respond appropriately if an injury does occur. The Smartplay website and the brochure Preventing Softball Injuries are useful resources for all players, coaches and officials.
Softball is a game of skill, timing and power characteristically played over extended periods. Softballers need to base their intake on high nutrient foods (cereals, fruit, vegetables, low dairy fat products, lean meat and poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes etc) and consume low-nutrient foods in smaller quantities. They need to ensure they are well hydrated before, during and after games and training to aid recovery.
AIS Sports Nutrition delivers a world-class sports nutrition service to AIS sports and national teams, as well as a wide range of resources to assist elite and recreational athletes and the general public stay up to date with the latest strategies in sports nutrition. The AIS has also identified the common nutrition issues specific to Softballers when training, on game day and when travelling abroad. The Smartplay website also offers good information on nutrition and hydration.
Updated 22 August 2012