What is the deal with all these injuries?

I don’t know what’s going on these days. Maybe there’s something in the air or maybe there’s a bad mojo working in this area. But it sure seems like I’m seeing a lot more injuries this year among my students than I’ve ever seen.

Now, let me first clarify. These are not injuries as the result of the pitching motion or any hitting technique. Heck, some of them aren’t even occuring on the softball field. But they are happening. I’ve heard of girls injuring their shoulders playing volleyball, breaking their legs running the bases, hurting their legs running into a fence, even breaking their arms falling off bicycles. The latest is a student (whose father reads this blog, by the way) who blew out her knee playing basketball.

I have actually always been a fan of the multi-sport athlete approach. I think there’s a lot of benefits from training for different sports. But after what’s been doing on this year I’m not so sure.

Is this just a local phenomenon or are folks outside my immediate area (North/Northwest suburbs of Chicago) seeing an uptick in injuries as well? And if so, are they on the softball field? And where or doing what? I hope it’s just a coincidence or bad luck and that it will stop soon. Otherwise there may not be any players left by spring!

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on October 29, 2009, in Coaching, General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hi Ken,,To say the least we (Haley as well as our whole family) were devestated to say the least when this happened. I have witnessed the same thing with players going down. As I watched the recent basketball game I noticed three girls on the team my daughter plays on wearing ankle and knee braces. Hmmm, I just wish I could figure this one out. Haley has devoloped a history of injury with basketball the past three years (broke finger, crushed cartilage under knee and dislocated knee) she loves sports and loves competition. The only common denominater between her and the other players wearing braces on her team is that they are all very aggresive players (maybe to aggressive). We have always warmed up prior to training or games. With todays sports being nearly all “year round sports” players may find it wise to pick just one. She can’t wait to pitch again,,,hope to see you soon,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rick

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  2. Hi Rick, sorry to hear about the injury. What sort of shape was she in and what age is she? Did she do any sort of core work, weight training or speed and agility work? I’m just wondering if this sort of training is needed for younger kids now that they play all of these organized sports. When do kids have time to work out if they are playing three sports (especially since all sports seem to go year-round now)? I think even at younger ages this is needed if they are going to play all these sports. The body needs to be strong enough to endure playing as much as they do – the muscles need to be able to take pressure off the joints by doing more work… keeping them stable. Or, maybe they are playing too much and the body doesn’t have time to rest and heal? Or a combination of both? I don’t know her situation so I am only wondering about where she falls?

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  3. Haley is 13 and is in great physical health. She does do about as much as she can as far as speed and agility. The Doc at childrens did some measuring of the upper and bottom of her leg and said because of the difference in angle’s, some kids are more prone to dislocations (especially girls)of the knee. Sometimes it’s just genetics I guess. He did also mention that she has not stopped growing and the support of the pattella should get stronger, thanks for your concern.

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  4. Haley is definitely a 110%-er. I was so sorry to hear that she’d been hurt, especially like that. You don’t want to mess around with the knees. While she’s rehabbing, she doesn’t have to give up pitching completely. Have her sit in a chair sideways (keeping her right leg out of the way as best she can) and work on follow-through. That was a key area we were addressing before, so no reason she can’t take advantage of the temporary stoppage to get the hang of it. She can also work on her changeup release to build the habit of coming all the way through instead of stopping short. At least that way she won’t be totally out of pitching mode, and we won’t have to work on that stuff when she gets back. See you when she gets better.

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  5. We will do just that,,,hope to see you soon,,,,,,,,,Rick

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  6. It’s called the Q angle if I remember correctly. The wife of my daughter’s soccer coach (from some years back now) was into sports medicine in some way and told me of this issue. The shape of the female body is such that the hips are a bit wider and then the upper leg angles inward heading down to the knee. This puts a great deal of added stress to the knee joint. She said there had been some studies done with high schools and colleges implementing specific strengthening excercises tageted at this specific issue and they saw 50% reduction in knee injuries.

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