Every baseball position has certain plays that present a high injury risk factor, especially for inexperienced youth ballplayers. It takes a good amount of practice so players learn to avoid that injury risk, especially at baseball positions that may be new to them. Good coaches are sure to give players enough practice at positions before coaches plan to play players at those positions, so that injury risk reduces.
Following is a list of the most common injury risk plays at every baseball position and ways to help players avoid those possible injuries.
No baseball position on the field has a greater injury risk than the catching spot, as they are involved on every pitched ball. The number one thing coaches must teach catchers is the correct distance from the batter. Catchers, who are too close to the batter, risk being struck by the bat and catchers too far from the batter risk many more balls in the dirt, which can strike catchers in unprotected areas. With that in mind, coaches must teach catchers the correct ways to block dirt balls, so they avoid injury, especially from blows to the neck and throat area.
This baseball position has two areas of top concern with number one being having their foot stepped on by the approaching runner. Baseball coaches must teach 1st basemen exactly how and where their foot goes on the bag to avoid this injury risk. Secondly, 1st baseman do not have the protective gear that catchers have, so it is important that players learn how to catch balls in the dirt, so balls do not come up and hit them in those unprotected areas. Of course, inexperienced first basemen must
Any time baseball runners coming into the second base bag at full speed, middle infielders have an increased injury risk, as they must concentrate on the ball, also. Coaches must teach middle infielders where and how to position themselves in these situations, especially for double play possibilities and tag plays.
Third base has a greater necessity to communicate with shortstops on balls between the two fielders, as third basemen roam to their left with the risk of collisions more than other infield positions.
Perhaps no baseball position has a greater risk of serious injury than the outfield positions does. Communication among outfielders, and between outfielders and infielders, is paramount to avoiding serious injuries from collisions. These communication skills should include the understanding of which player has the right of way when two players both call for balls, so players know when to allow the other player to make the catch. This communication should be one of the first thing youth coaches address at the lower levels of baseball, so the risk of injury reduces.
It is necessary that baseball coaches teach pitchers to be in good fielding position and to expect balls to come at them after delivery, so they avoid injury from batted balls. Being so close to home, batted balls come quickly, and hits to the heart and head area may lead to serious injury.
Batters are always at risk of pitched balls striking them, so coaches should coach players in the correct manner of avoiding that injury risk by turning away from balls in the correct manner.
Finally, coaches must help all players learn to stand in areas that do not obstruct runners' paths to the next base, as collisions often occur in this manner at the youth levels, until players understand where they should stand when balls are not coming to them, also.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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