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How much will swimming help playing baseball?

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  • How much will swimming help playing baseball?

    Other than baseball, my son is also a pretty good swimmer(he goes to our local YMCA swimming team) and has won a silver medal in this year's SD junior olymics. Baseball is of course his first love, we ask him to swim for the purpose of getting him stronger and bigger(he is under size compare to his peers). So the question is how much does swimming really help a baseball player? Stamina wise the benefit is pretty obvious, how about power and speed? He's also pitching 1 to 2 innings per game, will swimming help his arm?

    On the other hand will swimming and playing baseball in the same season be bad? Right now he has 3 swimming practices a week with almost three thousand yards of swimming in each practice. From time to time, maybe once a month he will also go to swim meet. Now add in about 2 Rec ball games, 2 travel ball practices and 1 travel ball game each week we are talking about a lot of activities for a 10 years old kid. Is this a little too much?

  • #2
    My son is a little older- 12. I know I have been guilty of over-scheduling him in the past mainly because I wanted to allow him the opportunity to try many sports he may enjoy. There were 2 many times we had to be 2 places at one time and it was very nerve-racking both for him and for me-his chauffeur!!.

    Luckily as they get older they begin to realize what they really enjoy. My son has played hockey, football, soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, lacrosse, baseball AND WITH HIS FRIENDS. He plays on a travel baseball team that takes a 3 month break over winter (time for basketball). Last fall his travel coach gave his blessing for him to miss a few Saturday morning games to play Pop Warner football. He still plays golf (loves it) and a little bit of tennis and with his friends! There is a lot to be said for playing other sports! Cal Ripken is a big proponet of it.

    However I will say that your son's schedule at 10 seems very very overwhelming. At some point SOON he may have to decide if he really wants to swim competively year-round. If so that is probably not going to be doable with a serious travel baseball team. I don't know how long he has been playing travel baseball but it is VERY demanding and time consuming. Also it is probably one of the most rewarding things you can do with your son if you can afford to. My son's team doesn't even practice as a team during the week-they focus on school work first and individual hitting/fielding/pitching if they have time.

    You want to be careful you don't burn your son out by age 12! and make sure he gets plenty of time to play with his friends, climb trees, and enjoy the reality that he really shouldn't have to be somewhere EVERYDAY!

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    • #3
      I hear ya. Just following him through all the practices, games is exhausting.

      He enjoys baseball so much that he maybe able to play 24/7 and still wants more. He used to play soccer also 2 years ago but eventually we decided to replace soccer with swimming. Usually spring is probably the busiest time of the year when Rec ball season in full swing. We will have the all star tournament starting in May, long course JO in July and a lot of other travel ball tournaments along the way. So we really need the school summer break:-)

      Oh, and he still has to practice piano at least 30 min to 1 hour a day. God help him!

      There was this one crazy day in Feb, early in the morning he went to swim meet at 7am 40 miles away, finished at 11 then rushed back to his travel team practice from 11:30 to 1, then rushed to his piano recital at 3, then rushed to his Rec ball practice at 4:30. At the end of the day I took him to outback as a reward. Guess what, he said he can do this again if it leads to another outback dinner.

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      • #4
        I've seen serious competitive swimming increase throwing speed. I've also seen it mess with shoulders.

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        • #5
          I feel kids should participate in as many sports as they can and let the chips fall where they may.

          Certainly most aspects of one sports can be bright to another. This is one of the great benefits of playing multiple sports.

          With that said, swimming will not make your son any bigger or stronger in relationship to baseball than he would have been if he didn't swim. Certainly there are things to be gained from swimming such as "strength endurance", overall conditioning, team and individual accountability, etc. There are also potential negatives such as potential repetitive motion injuries, development of slow twitch muscle fibers (of course this depends on what kind of swimming he does), etc.

          With that said, I'm all for kids doing as many sports as THEY enjoy and can handle. If enjoyment is gone they should no longer do it.
          www.BaseballTrainingSecrets.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jon Doyle View Post
            I feel kids should participate in as many sports as they can and let the chips fall where they may.

            There are also potential negatives such as potential repetitive motion injuries, development of slow twitch muscle fibers (of course this depends on what kind of swimming he does), etc.
            His best strokes are freestyle and breaststroke. But he's doing all the styles for IM competition.

            So in your opinion which style might help the most and which might harm the most?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mark H View Post
              I've seen serious competitive swimming increase throwing speed. I've also seen it mess with shoulders.
              Could you elaborate a little more?

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              • #8
                Oldest boy hit well but wasn't much on speed or arm. Changed sports and began swimming a zillion yards a day, I want to say 8000 yards or some such but I know zip about that sport. Two things I noticed. One, he developed the body of a Greek god, and two, a year or so later when we played catch, he could throw lasers after throwing hardly at all in the interim. OTOH, I've heard of swimmers developing over use problems in the shoulder that caused problems with throwing. I'm trying to figure out how to develop the Greek god body without all that swimming but the Larry the cable guy body seems a lot easier to develop.
                Last edited by Mark H; 04-03-2008, 10:38 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mark H View Post
                  I've seen serious competitive swimming increase throwing speed. I've also seen it mess with shoulders.
                  I agree.

                  If done properly, it can condition the muscles.

                  However, in many cases overhand strokes (free, fly, back) can lead to impingement injuries.

                  The breast stroke is the safest stroke.
                  Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                  I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                    I agree.

                    If done properly, it can condition the muscles.

                    However, in many cases overhand strokes (free, fly, back) can lead to impingement injuries.

                    The breast stroke is the safest stroke.
                    I think properly is the key. even the breast stroke may have breaststroke knee injury. Nothing safe in this world anymore

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mightylakers View Post
                      I think properly is the key. even the breast stroke may have breaststroke knee injury. Nothing safe in this world anymore
                      Seems to me they invented the breast stroke just so the medley relay could finish at the same end they started. Looks goofy to me.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mightylakers View Post
                        His best strokes are freestyle and breaststroke. But he's doing all the styles for IM competition.

                        So in your opinion which style might help the most and which might harm the most?
                        sprints of butterlfy...

                        I've swam forever... said it many times here, have never got hurt (muscles) while swimming in swimming or in baseball. I have an extremely durably arm though...

                        I do butterlfy... This is my first year of not swimming, but I'll still go do some sprints. I'll do 25 yard sprints. 10-11 seconds each... minute of so off in between...

                        I like freestyle (nice and easy) after I throw (long toss).
                        Last edited by Go Cardinals; 04-04-2008, 11:16 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Competitive swimming does give a lot of wear and tear on the shoulder, not that it will injure it. Be careful combining it when pitching. The swimmers I;ve seen generally has small legs, so it doesnt help running much except for stamina. I will say the freestyle with paddles and pull bouy is great for the golf swing.

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