Whether you are involved in professional, collegiate, Babe Ruth or Little League baseball, it is important to review basic proper technique.

Baseball players have many different characteristics and techniques, but it is important to remember that what works for a major leaguer may not work for you. It is, therefore, important to learn proper basic techniques.

When you are throwing or hitting the ball, proper technique involves bringing your arms in toward the body. The body position is also important in both throwing and hitting the ball as we use the entire body including the upper body, hips and legs.

Proper technique involves pointing your front hip and upper body towards the person you are throwing to, or the direction the ball is pitched. The motion goes from back to front, as the back motion follows front motion.

There should be a 45-degree position of the feet as the front foot is in line with the back foot. The front shoulder assumes the position of the back shoulder. A good method for developing this technique is visual imagery in which the athlete imagines each part of the technique from start to finish before it actually takes place.

Many athletes can use this mental rehearsal procedure as a means of improving their technique to gain improved performance.

Prior to the actual practice session or game, muscles should be stretched or strengthened safely during warm-up. Utilize easy limbering movements until you feel the muscle is ready to go. In addition, a brisk and easy run around the entire field will aid your breathing and heart rate

to respond to the all out running in the field and base running.

Using proper techniques in body position and warm-up stretching and strengthening exercises may save you lost time from injuries.

Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons and has a practice in Darien: The Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien. For more information, visit www.therunningdoctor.net.

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