Warming up

The importance of warming up before any physical activity should be understood. Several changes takes place in your body once physical activity is started. There is an increase in respiratory rate, blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient levels delivered to the cells. The rate of increase should be controlled in a steady pace to prepare the body for the physical stress that exercise will demand. If you skip this priming procedure, the body will function less efficiently and the workout will be less productive. It prepares the nervous system, heightens mental awareness and alertness, and loosens up joints and muscles to make them less likely to be injured. It jump starts the fluid located in the joints, lowering the risk for wear and tear of the muscles. It gives the heart a opportunity to adjust and pump up blood and nutrients into muscles.

After working up a light sweat (suggested time is 3-5 minutes, longer if it is cold outside) you should do dynamic stretching. Stretching helps improve flexibility, particularly in the spine, shoulder, and hip areas. The kind of stretching depends on the type of activity a person plans to do. For instance, if you are about to play softball, the recommended kind of stretching would be the ones that copies the movements that will be done in the field. Be sure that the major muscles groups are stretched for at least 8 seconds. Remember to keep feet moving or do leg exercises whenever the upper body is stretching to keep prevent blood from pooling in the legs. You should only do stretching if the muscles are already warmed up.

Have the athletes jog around the inside of the field along the fence line before a game or practice. This little jog should be enough to get the blood flowing before going on to dynamic stretching.

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You Are Important

The coach is the person who communicates with parents, players, umpires, other coaches and your local associations. You facilitate the team by making sure all the equipment is there when it is needed. Most important are the players. You are teaching more than the skills and strategies of fastpitch. The ability to gracefully deal with success and failure, the persistence to keep trying and the confidence that these young ladies learn from you is priceless.

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