By Mike Schneider
It’s a regular sight this baseball season, a manager going to the mound after a sudden injury to a pitcher.
The fact is that pitchers have been getting hurt for years, that’s not really news. Here’s the news, there’s research showing more pitchers are getting hurt more frequently and those injuries are coming much earlier in their career.
Seton Hall university has a highly respected baseball program. They work hard to keep their players healthy but the pitching coach says you can’t deny the surge in injuries.
“Unfortunately you’re seeing it on every level. Youth, high school, college and certainly in the major leagues so there’s no level where it’s not having an impact,” said Phil Cundari, pitching coach at Seton Hall University.
What’s the cause? That’s what they’re trying to figure out at human motion research lab at William Paterson University.
“We’re looking at what factors cause injuries and how to avoid them,” said William Paterson University Professor Jason Wicke.
And they’re doing that by putting athletes into a special sensor-filled outfit which transform this.
Into this, a computerized image of this pitcher in motion. Elite athletes have been using stuff like this to try to improve performance but these researchers are out to protect kids.
“We’re focusing on looking at the bio-mechanics behind motion analysis to make sure that we prevent injuries, especially at a younger age and have children make it to their full potential,” said Wicke.
And ironically that potential is often jeopardized by a quest to achieve it.
“Their parents want them to be, make it to the major leagues for example in baseball but a lot of them drop out or get injured because the muscles haven’t developed properly and when they’re focusing on one skill it cause injuries,” Wicke said.
And the research indicates the way to avoid that is variety.
“If they play a lot of different sports and play, focus on the skill development then there’s a good balance,” said Wicke
As in balanced muscle development, which is crucial for healthy young bodies.
“The children can grow properly and when they’re older they can actually excel at the sport that they want,” said Wicke.
And if they do get good enough to make it to the major leagues, maybe avoid painful scenes like this.