2012 Visit to the New York Yankees – Baseball. S&C Dana Cavalea.
Ok….hands down when it comes to the number of games in a season, these guys are unparalleled. 162 games in 26 weeks, using roughly 25 players to do it. The players enter the major leagues from a variety of backgrounds and training ages.
It is a crazy schedule and year in year out the Yankees step up and perform with the most number of titles of any team (27). Not hard to conceive then that trigger point and self-massage plays a big part in their day to day programme.
Trigger point so named because it "triggers" a painful response when pressed. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by nerves.
Trigger points are located in a taut band of muscles fibres. The trigger point is the most tender point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. If you want to know a little more, here is a good beginner’s guide.
The most widely used are the Trigger Point tools. The Trigger Point site also has a lot of great information and tutorials on the most common techniques. After reading all this and you still are not confident doing it yourself, then maybe drop Matthew Bell a line and get his advice: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hydrotherapy is well used and water based recovery session incorporating swimming, flutter board and aqua running in relatively cold water forms a core part of getting the athletes through this epic season. As a good rule of thumb, when using hydrotherapy techniques such as Hot / Colds, athletes will finish on ‘Cold’ when completing a training, or ‘Hot’ when further training is to follow.
Looking at injury prevalence amongst the group, Dana has been able to draw some compelling correlations between poor internal hip rotation and glute weakness to the increase in back pain and injury. Fair to say then that every athlete has their own prehab programme that is complimented by core and power exercises specific to baseball, where mini bands are a favourite. Time is more likely spent on these 3 facets in season to that of speed, which is more targeted in the off season.
Whilst there is a desire to start using systems like VX Sport to monitor player workloads, right now Dana relies on the tried and true ‘ask the athlete how they are feeling’ to gauge player fatigue. With his experience and feel for the game, you can’t underestimate simply knowing your athletes.
A couple of further thoughts to come out of this was the use of compression suits and lymphatic draining systems… watch this space as I go and do my homework.
PS Check out Facebook for a few more pics.