Things To Consider For Fall Baseball
Playing fall baseball can be a great opportunity to work on your own personal skills in a true game setting and true game speed, and is also a great way to continue playing the sport you love before the weather really starts to turn cold.
Of course, there is truth to the idiom that “there is too much of a good thing,” and playing baseball is no different. Playing any sport all-year round can be detrimental to your development, your health, and can even lessen the enjoyment you get out of it. By no means are we saying you shouldn’t play fall ball, quite the opposite. We encourage anyone who is willing and able to play fall baseball to play. But we do have three quick things for you to consider before diving into fall ball headfirst.
- How Many Innings Have You Thrown Already This Year?
If you are a pitcher and have already thrown more than 100 innings between your spring and summer leagues, consider sitting out the fall season to rest, or at the very least consider playing a position less taxing on the arm. According to a study conducted by The American Journal of Sports Medicine, young pitchers (ages 9 to 14 years of age) that pitched more than 100 innings in a calendar year were 3.5 times more likely to experience arm injuries. So, if you have already reached the 100-inning threshold, or if you are even close to approaching it, you don’t have much to gain from throwing anymore in the fall.
High school and college-aged players can take on a larger pitch load, but they too need to ask themselves what they have to gain from pitching more and extending their season.
If you have already thrown a lot this year, we recommend taking the fall to rest your arm and body and gear up for the spring and summer seasons. But again, if you have the itch to play more this year, consider only playing an everyday position in the infield or outfield to at least give your arm a rest.
- Are There Other Sports You Are Interested in Playing?
If you are still a young and developing athlete, it’s important to play other sports that pique your interest before becoming a one-sport specialist. Playing other sports means dedicating your time to them. Do you have the time for fall ball?
Ask yourself what your goals are for the fall season? Are you looking to improve your skills? Most other sports programs require a six day a week commitment so you may not be able to dedicate enough time to see any improvement in your game. If you are only able to dedicate one day a week, or at most a weekend, to one or two games a week, is that enough to make any noticeable games? Maybe working on specific things in a gym or time in the batting cage would be a better use of your time.
- Why Do I Want To Play Fall Ball?
This may be the most important question a ballplayer has to answer before signing up for a fall league. Do you want more exposure to the game at full-speed or are there particular skills you want to work on or strengthen? If you are looking to work on your instincts and get more reps with the bat and glove in a competitive atmosphere, fall ball is perfect for you. But if you have specific things you want to work on, your time may be better off spent in the batting cage or on the practice field. While not as stimulating or as exciting as playing full competitive games, taking time to focus on specifics will help you reach your goals more effectively.
Ultimately, playing fall ball is a decision that individual players have to make for themselves. These are just some things to consider to help guide in that decision.
Whatever you decide, have a great fall season and best of luck the next time you take to the diamond, whenever that may be.