Maximizing throwing recovery is critical in the game of baseball.
If an athlete is not sufficiently recovered, performance on the field will suffer.
There are many tools out there marketed to aid in recovery such as massage guns, Marc Pro/STEM, and cupping, to name a few.
While these tools do their job in aiding in recovery, athletes have to be responsible outside of the gym. Recovery does not mean sitting around and doing nothing, though there are some days that this is needed.
The best option is proper movement and controlled breathing patterns to bring the body from a heightened state of alertness to a down-regulated state and increase blood flow in the body to deliver new nutrients.
A few examples of this type of recovery include walking, a movement day programmed by a Push Performance coach, yoga, etc. The goal should be to regain lost ranges of motion.
Additionally, athletes must take care of their bodies with proper nutrition and sleep in recovery. This is as easy as avoiding sugary drinks and anti-inflammatory foods and being consistent with sleep schedules.
Keep in mind, stress is stress.
There are two types of stressors.
Eustress, the good stress on the body where the hormones increase. This is the type of stress that causes positive adaptations on the body, coming from the weight room for example.
Distress is the negative stress on the body. This is where anxiety, mental tension, or an overload of physical activity take over.
Whether it comes from the weight room, the mound, or various outside factors including school or relationships; stress contributes to how an athlete feels day in and day out.
Strength coaches must take this into account when deciding how to program.
An athlete can only recoup so much of his or her training economy after a given workout even with perfect nutrition and sleep habits. Managing stress is key to maximizing output in the weight room and on the mound.
As coaches, we aim to maximize recovery for athletes by collaborating on our athletes’ programs. At PUSH the strength and throwing staff constantly communicate with each other and the athletes about their programming.
If an athlete has a bullpen on Friday with recovery days before and after, the strength coach will not program a heavy lift the day before or after. Recovery days should be true recovery days and fully dedicate the day to getting ready for the next high-intent workout.
As mentioned above, a recovery day can look like baseball-focused yoga, mobility work, walking, meditation, focused breathing patterns, light weight-bearing work and more.
Adding stress from the weight room on a recovery throwing day will only take away from how an athlete feels during his or her high-output throwing the following day and vice versa. Doing this, will increase the distress of the body and not allow the body to heal properly.
Every athlete’s training should be tailored to maximize high-output work days.
By programming high-intent throwing days on the same day as a heavy lift, we keep recovery days completely focused on resting from the previous high-output day and preparing for the next one.
Gains are made on high-output days when the athlete challenges the training stimulus; every other day should be spent recovering and properly preparing for that challenge.
This is the difference between working out and training.
If you can train to get better, you can train to get worse. More is not always better. Many athletes believe the more they do, the better they will get, and this is not always true. Maximize throwing recovery.
Learn how to manage stress and see better overall results.
Looking to up your nutrition game as well? Check out this article here.