Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Keep Your Pitcher’s Arm Healthy

Are you coaching a youth baseball team and want to make sure you keep your pitcher’s arm healthy?  If you are thinking about it then you are already moving in the right direction.  Since I was a pitcher through college, I thought I knew how to properly take care of an arm, but a lot has changed in 20 years.  Luckily, I know some great Physical Therapists at TheraCORE who have helped me understand how to really take care of a young pitcher’s arm.  It really comes down to just three things.

Warm-up, Workload, Rest

Warm-up - When I played baseball, I always threw a baseball to warm up my arm.  I will talk about total throws next under Workload, but if you don’t want to waste a high percentage of your pitcher’s total throws just to get warmed up, then consider using a dynamic warm-up to get your arm and whole body ready to play.  You can also have your pitchers do band exercises to warm up their arms prior to throwing.

Workload – For a while now, most youth leagues have used pitch counts to limit the workload on a young pitcher’s arm.  I have come to learn limiting the total number of throws a player makes in a game or a practice should be used along with pitch counts in order to maintain a healthy arm.  Youth pitchers should limit their total throws to 125 in a day.  If a 10 year old has a max pitch count of 75, think about how quickly he will get to 125 total throws if you include pre-game warm-up throws, pre-game warm-up pitches, in-between inning warm-up pitches and in-game pitches.  You should also take into consideration the number of throws that will be made if he is playing another position during the same day that he pitches.

Rest – If you are coaching a travel baseball team in the Midwest, then the majority of the games your team plays are in weekend tournaments.  It can be a lot of fun to play 4 to 6 games in 2 days, but it can definitely make it tough for a coach to follow the recommended rest guidelines for a pitcher.  Per the guidelines, if a 7 to 14 year old pitcher throws more than 35 pitches on Saturday, then they should not throw any pitches on Sunday.  Winning a youth baseball tournament should never come before the long term health of a young pitcher’s arm.  Remember, proper rest includes taking at least two months off each year from throwing.  Have your kids play a different sport during this time.  It helps to protect their arm and makes them an overall better athlete.

Recommended pitch count/rest -

Brad Goebbert, CFO
TheraCORE, Inc.

Friday, January 27, 2017

It's Been a Month... Sticking to Your Resolutions

                  Making resolutions is an easy process. Most people can identify things that they would like to change within their daily lives to improve the way they feel or the way they function to enhance their personal quality of life. Resolutions can really be anything that is trying to promote positive change ranging from eating healthy, working out more, losing weight, reducing stress, maintaining a clean house, garage, or basement, quitting smoking or reducing the amount you drink, and the list goes on and on. Regardless of what your resolution may be, there is one common denominator: sticking to a resolution is difficult. Below are a few quick considerations to take into account when setting your goal.

Know the “Why”

                Dig deep and figure out why you really want this change. Is it for yourself? Your family? Your friends? There needs to be some intrinsic factor that drives this desire to change and in order you’re your resolution to be meaningful you need to understand your driving force. Once you know this, educate yourself about the subject you are changing to help set realistic and manageable goals.


                Make your resolution a priority à put it into your schedule! When something is written down it is much less likely to get forgotten or passed over. To skip this task you would have to acknowledge that you are skipping it as you read over it, which is more difficult. Wanting to change is not enough; you have to act on this desire.

                Utilize an accountability partner or group. Tell people what you are doing. This is also a strategy that makes it more difficult for you to back out of a commitment. Let your friends be friends and help you with this difficult endeavor.

Goal Setting

                Make your resolutions concrete or measureable. Without a way to measure your progress there is no way to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.

                Keep a log or track your progress along the way. A visual reminder is a good way to remind you what you have done and what you need to keep doing to get to where you want to go.

                Have long term goals (resolutions), but also create short term goals that are stepping stones to the bigger milestones.

                Have a deadline. Having an end in sight helps to make your resolution seem realistic. Without an endpoint any goal will seem daunting and unattainable. Make sure you know what you are heading towards!

Wager Something

                Making a bet is another way to hold yourself accountable and competition can help fuel consistency. A bet does not have to be money. You can come up with a funny consequence, a material prize, or just put pride on the line with a friend. Find out what motivates you and put it on the line!

Reward Yourself Along the Way

                When you do hit milestones or goals reward yourself! This is a way to make things fun and keep you interested and motivated along the way. These rewards do not have to be huge or detrimental to your goals. Maybe get that pair of workout shorts you have been wanting or see a movie with friends. Just have fun!

Whatever your resolution may be and the “why” behind your motivation for change, myself and the TheraCORE team truly wish you the best in your endeavors.

Good luck and stick to it!

Kyle Kibler, PT, DPT, CSCS

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Don't be afraid to TRI Something New!!

So I am assuming if you are following this blog, you may be someone that likes to peruse the internet.
Maybe you are on different social media platforms.
And hopefully, you follow TheraCORE! If you do, you have seen that we are hosting an Indoor Triathlon at Five Seasons Family Sports Club. I am blogging today to encourage you to sign up for this event. DON’T STOP READING HERE!!
I get it, the sound of “triathlon” is daunting. Three events, 45 minutes of activity….the thought may turn you off right away. But that’s why I’m here, to tell you to NOT let it.
Try something new this year.  It’s absolutely OKAY if you have never even thought of doing this in the past. Sign up with friends. Join a team and participate in just one of the events.
Decide today that you are going to be a better you in the upcoming year. Take this step to get into the pool. Swim a lap. Heck, swim ½ a lap. Then be very proud of yourself that you pushed yourself past a point that you didn’t even know you could.
I am always talking to my girls (who are 6 and 8) about trying their best, trying something new, not being afraid of failing. My husband sometimes laughs at me with how much I constantly am saying these things to two little minds that can’t possibly comprehend the magnitude of what I mean. But there is something to be said about repetition. If Emma and Claire have one moment this year when they try something they were afraid to do, maybe it’s introduce themselves to a new student at school. Or maybe it’s trying a new skill on the balance beam. If they try it, and no matter the outcome, are proud of themselves….I did my job.
TheraCORE’s Indoor Triathlon is fun. It’s laid back. It raises money for Ronald McDonald House Charities. It’s going to surprise you. I’ll be there, competing on a team and I truly hope that for even one moment, you consider signing up yourself. You absolutely will not be disappointed.  So go back on your phones and check out our Facebook page .We are posting ways to begin preparing for the triathlon.
You got this!!!
Happy Happy Holidays!
Jen Bazan

Monday, September 12, 2016


What is active ageing? “Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. The goal being to extend peoples healthy life expectancies and quality of life as they get older.”

Active ageing does not just mean physical health, but social, religious, civic and economic as well.

I had some experience with active ageing this past week as I just came back from visiting my parents in Florida. Now, although at 60 years old, I consider my parents young, my dad and I took a few minutes to talk about some concerns he had for my mom and him.

First, he was worried about his balance. He has been doing a lot of reading about how balance decreases as one ages. One thing we talked about was trying out some yoga poses. This doesn’t mean running off to try a yoga class that may at first seem intimidating, but we went over a few basic yoga poses (tree pose, warrior I, and down dog) for him to begin working on. He was amazed at how difficult it was to maintain his balance and how tight he felt in his muscles. But after trying these few simple moves a few times, he already felt more confident in the movement patterns, more flexible into the poses and increased his time he could balance. Starting with a slow yoga flow class is a great way to progress these balance challenges and would also lead into increasing his social circle.

The age of individuals in my parents gated community range from 55 – 90 years old. They come from all over the United States and have had so many different careers! One thing my mom and dad started this “summer” is having a monthly pool party. Unlike my parents, (who are completely enjoying their retirement and go to the pool on a daily basis) many of the residents on their street don’t frequent the pool. But these monthly, themed pool parties were a huge hit! Everyone wanted to be a part of it. They were able to socialize and learn about their past experiences over a simple potluck and some water balloons.

My dad also became a part of his homeowner’s association board. He is the treasurer and attends the regular meetings, taking care of the finances for bills for outside home improvement, social functions, etc. This is a great way for my dad to be an active part of the decision making of his community, and keeps his brain working with maintaining the books!

My mom gets together monthly with the “ladies of the neighborhood” as a social gathering, but they also help put together assistance if a neighbor needs someone to look after their house, a spouse is sick, and organizes day trips to see the sites of Florida.

My parents have done an amazing job staying active physically, socially, and developing their sense of community since they have moved full time to Florida. They definitely give me a goal to aspire to!

So there you go….choose a physical activity you have always wanted to try and give it a go. Get together with some neighbors and organize a fun social event in your city. Attend a community board meeting and see how you can make your neighborhood safer….there are plenty of ways to actively age! Have fun!!
-Jen Bazan, PT, DPT


Friday, July 29, 2016

Hydration - July 2016


Hot summer months and more activity outside means more sweating and water loss which puts us at risk for dehydration.  Whether you are a high level athlete or simply trying to feel energized and alert throughout the day, staying up on hydration remains very important.  Some potential effects of dehydration include:
·         Dry mouth
·         Sleepiness/tiredness
·         Dry skin
·         Headaches
·         Constipation
·         Dizziness/lightheadedness
·         Muscle cramps
·         Reduced athletic performance
·         Increased risk for injury
Some general guidelines and takeaways in regards to hydration:
·         Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to begin the hydration process, at that point it is too late and you are already dehydrated
·         Begin hydrating throughout the day before time spent outside or a sporting event, do not drink too much fluids immediately before an event as it can cause stomach discomfort
·         Focus on water as primary means for hydration – juices and sports drinks are unnecessary for most and contain high amounts of sugar and calories
o   With that being said, if you are an athlete participating in events lasting longer than 1 hour of intense activity, it may be beneficial to add in some sports drinks
·         A general guideline for how much fluids to consume per day is body weight in pounds, divided by 2, in oz
o   Ex: A 200 lb male would drink 100 oz (200/2 = 100)
·         The best way to determine how much water to drink is by weighing in before and after exercise or sporting events.  This should be done with minimal clothing. For every pound of weight lost replace with 24 oz of fluids
o   Pre-event weight: 200
o   Post-event weight: 197
o   Pounds lost: 3 lbs x 24 oz = 72 oz of fluid replacement
·         Monitor urine output – urination should be frequent throughout the day with no dark yellow or brown color or foul smell
·         Most importantly – listen to your body!  Any unusual symptoms of fatigue, cramping, or dizziness are more severe side effects associated with hydration.  Be proactive and prepare ahead of time, don’t allow these symptoms to arise in the first place.
Stay hydrated!
 - Dave Paczkowski, PT, DPT

Monday, March 14, 2016

National Nutrition Month - March 2016

Welcome to the month of March also known as National Nutrition Month!

 This year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has come out with their 2015 Dietary Guidelines. These guidelines act as a way to update Registered Dietitians on the most current nutrition policies and education topics. I would like to share with you one of the newest added recommendations: added sugar. Even as a Registered Dietitian I can’t truthfully say I don’t indulge every now and again on that piece of Dove chocolate, or reach for that piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, nor would I ever tell my clients not to! The key to nutrition success is moderation!  As a nation 13% of our daily calories are coming from added sugars, and remember added sugars don’t provide any fuel or nutrition to our body…they are purely empty calories. These added sugars are coming from a variety of foods, the more obvious sources are cakes, candy bars, and ice cream but added sugars are hidden in other products like fruit cups packed with syrups, fruit juices that are not 100% juice, refined breads and sports drinks, just to name a few.  These added calories are increase our risk for diabetes and obesity. Let’s all make a pledge to follow the new recommendation and make less than 10% of our calories come from added sugar! Instead of scooping out a bowl of ice cream, puree one frozen banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter for a mock-banana ice cream, or melt 2 tbsp of dark chocolate and drizzle over fresh strawberries. Maybe switch from “fruit drink” to “100% fruit juice”. Swapping out our sugar packed treats for more health conscious ones doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the flavor! Make the change for a healthier you!

TheraCORE Locations

Inside the Five Seasons Sports Club
6901 S. Madison
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 590-5409

16622 W. 159th St., Ste. 503
Lockport, IL 60441
(815) 838-5070

350 E. Ogden Ave., Ste. 200
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 908-7430

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Off-Season Training

The success of an athlete’s season is largely determined through the preparation that is done during the off-season.  This work done during this phase is the base for an athlete’s future success.  You can’t build the second floor of a house before making sure the foundation is as strong as it can be, this is the first step towards a productive season. 

The off-season doesn’t only mean working harder – more hours does not mean more success if the proper program isn’t in place.  A proper off-season program should address the following:

  •           Assessment of fundamental movement patterns: If an athlete cannot perform basic movements due to mobility or stability issues, the athlete has a big cap on athletic potential.  Good movement is the foundation for optimal athletic success.
  •          Addressing areas of limited mobility: The more we sit as a society the more ‘tight’ muscles we develop.  These mobility limitations prevent the body from moving as it is designed to
  •          Addressing common strength and stability limitations: When the mobility limitations are coupled with strength limitations, an athlete’s performance will greatly suffer until these are resolved. The combination of mobility and stability limitations result in large decreases of power output, speed, and put athletes at a higher risk to be sidelined from injury.
  •          Proper progression: It is important that an off-season program does not progress too quickly or too slowly, as these can both limit progress made during the off-season and increase the risk of injury.
  •          Preparing the body for the demands of a specific sport: There is no one size fits all approach for training.  Each sport has different physical requirements, so each sport should not be trained the same way.

Does your off-season training program address each of these key areas?  For more information on how this would be customized for your team’s needs, contact TheraCORE about our off-season training plans run by physical therapists.  Put the time in now to set yourself up for success later.

- Dave Paczkoski, PT, DPT

TheraCORE Locations

Inside the Five Seasons Sports Club
6901 S. Madison
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 590-5409

16622 W. 159th St., Ste. 503
Lockport, IL 60441
(815) 838-5070

350 E. Ogden Ave., Ste. 200
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 908-7430