Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Softball is an excellent sport with many health benefits.

At 384 calories burned per hour, a softball game is an excellent way to stay lean, bulk up (depending on how often you play), and maintain a sharp and agile mind (studies have shown students who play softball are more likely to do better in school and graduate, as opposed to those who don't play sports). Softball also has long-term health benefits with a reduced chance of developing osteoporosis as well as breast cancer later in life. Speed, strength, agility, and power are obvious skills a softball player must have, and what a softball player does before and after a softball game will almost always determine how they do on the softball field.

The Role of Nutrition in Softball Training

Daily nutrition, as well as pre softball game and post softball game nutrition, plays a pivotal role in the overall health of the individual. A careful balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat makes the most out of a softball player's diet. Carbohydrates are the working muscle's primary fuel. However, since softball itself isn't very aerobically demanding, carbohydrates do not need to be consumed in mass quantities by a softball player. Whole grains and wheat are the way to get the most out of carbohydrates for a softball player during a softball game and off the field. While protein can be used as an energy source, it is not very efficient and therefore not recommended as a primary source of energy. It is, however, very important to a softball player. Protein is what provides muscles with nutrients to repair themselves, and is therefore a must for all softball players. Lean meats are the most efficient way to go, as well as poultry, fish, and eggs. A softball player should be getting some lean protein in at every meal in order to maintain and repair their muscles, especially after a softball game. The American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 30% of your daily calorie intake from fat, which applies to softball players too. That is not to say fat is unimportant in the athlete's diet. Fat is vital to hormone production, body temperature regulation, protection of internal organs, and the absorption of vitamins into the body. The healthiest fats for a softball player to benefit from are nuts and seeds, as well as olive oil and canola oil. All these fat sources may be consumed daily in moderation with a softball player's activity level being taken into account. With every softball player being different, you should consult your personal trainer in order to come up with a precise softball diet which is tailored for you personally.

Strengthen Your Core for More Explosive Power in Softball

A softball game requires sudden and explosive use of the softball player's upper body, especially their arms. While a softball player should rely just as heavily on their gym and personal trainer as they do their softball equipment, and should already be in shape when softball season comes, actually playing softball will improve your upper body strength and often will provide a "chiseled" look to the player's upper body. Holding the softball bat, swinging the softball bat, and finally making contact with the softball with the softball bat will challenge the entirety of your arms, especially your forearms. What is often overlooked, however, is the strength that is derived from the softball player's core muscles in order to begin the swing and put the necessary power behind it. There are many methods of strengthening a softball player's core, including the use of medicine balls and free weights that are available at your gym, and your trainer can assist you in compiling a regimen that will get the most out of your workout.

Increase Your Speed for Softball Using the Following Exercises

To work on speed and acceleration for running the softball bases, practicing sprints or "shuttle runs" is a superb method. With your trainer, find an open space either indoors or out (even just using your gym's basketball court will work, although wearing softball cleats isn't recommended). Mark a straight span of about 60 feet, as that's how far apart softball bases are. Depending on what kind of shape you're in, decide on a time period in which you will run continuously back and forth between the markers (anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute is normal, but have your trainer decide), then rest for twice the amount of time you ran, and repeat several times. If you're on a grassy area, it would be best to wear your softball cleats while doing sprints, as softball cleats are what you will be wearing when you put your practice into play on the softball field. This will also help to break in your softball cleats if they're new, or develop calluses on your feet again if you haven't worn your softball cleats in a while.