You would think that this week's rant topic would be pretty self-evident. Yet apparently it's not.
I keep hearing stories about coaches (many of them HS coaches right now because that's the season most are in) who don't seem to think that warm-ups are essential or even necessary. What's odd is that when they get the results you would expect — injuries and poor play — they don't seem to learn from it.
One girl I know, a pitcher, was actually called a diva because she wanted to do some dynamic warm-ups before starting practice or throwing for games. Her teammates apparently saw no reason to stretch; sadly, neither did her coach. She did the best she could to get herself prepared but it was definitely a struggle.
A good warm-up, including dynamic stretching, is essential both for game preparation and injury prevention. (Static stretch, where you pull and hold a muscle, is strictly for post-game cool-downs and flexibility.) Yet all too often coaches merely give it lip service, or don't focus on it at all.
The same goes with skills warm-ups. I've seen plenty of teams that laugh and joke their way through warm-ups. The mess around when they should be working on bunting; they throw the ball all over the place without a worry in the world. They dog it on fly balls and ground balls. Then their coaches get mad when they lose.
What do those coaches expect? Warm-ups are performed for a purpose.