Top 5 Reasons Tennis May be a Great Sport to Pair with Baseball and Softball
To reduce arm injuries, researchers tell us clearly that we should take 3-4 months off of pitching every year. One of the best off-season sports (besides rock climbing), might be tennis. Here are a few reasons that I think it is great for baseball and softball:
5) Developing spin and reading spin with a different ball
4) Reacting to a ball that goes faster than a baseball or softball
3) Excellent agility work – the footwork and change of direction development has great carry-over to fielding
2) Rotation in BOTH directions with a racquet that is ⅓ the weight of a bat and twice the weight of the ball. Rotating both directions is important for the development of a player's power. Being able to accelerate and decelerate rotation in both directions is essential for health and power.
1) Shoulder/rotator cuff/grip development – one of the reasons that throwing and pitching is hard on the arm is because the ball is released. With tennis, you hold onto the racquet (ideally) and the arm decelerates the same weight that it accelerated.
***One caveat - I don’t think that players who had shoulder or elbow pain or injury during the season should play tennis in the off-season. Their focus should be on rehabilitation and the stress of tennis might not be what that player needs.