Spring is a time many people join recreational softball leagues. You can join a church team, a team of people from your work, or even just a team of friends who play. Some leagues are more advanced than others, and some are more competitive as well. You should also search out information on whether a league is co-ed and what requirements go along with that classification. No matter what type of league you are looking to join, you should keep a few things in mind.
First, softball is usually a pretty safe sport to play. There is no contact, and most recreational leagues are designed with fun and sportsmanship in mind. But as with all physical activity, injuries are always possible. Common in softball are turned ankles (due to sharp turns while running and possibly from contact the base in an awkward manner, whether running or sliding into the base). This is an injury we see often and are able to treat. Turning your ankle can result in a sprain or tearing of the ligaments along the sides of your ankles. Sprains can be painful, and limit your mobility and physical activity. Seeing your podiatrist immediately means he will be able to immediately begin treating your injury and return you to your softball team. Also, beware of over-use injuries, especially if softball has been added to your normal exercise routine. These include plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the tissues that connect your heel to your toes) and stress fractures. Both conditions can be painful and limit your physical activity. We also offer many treatments for these two conditions. Making an appointment at the first signs of injury and/or pain can greatly speed your recovery.
Also, keep your cleats in mind when you participate in softball. Be sure to check if your league has any specific requirements on cleats (some ban metal spikes for example). You should remember that even though you aren't in your cleats for long periods of time, you need to pay attention to them. Any shoes, especially ones that your wear while running and possibly jumping, need to have adequate support for your arches and should protect your feet. If your cleats cause you pain, or are worn out, you should replace them. Check your cleats every season to ensure that they are in good condition. Also, make sure your cleats have adequate time to dry between games and practices. This means you need to take your cleats out of your car trunk or bat bag to dry out. This helps prevent the growth of fungi, which can cause athlete's foot or yellow, cracked nails. Fungi thrive in warm, dark, wet environments, like in your cleats. Be sure to air them out and periodically (once a week) disinfect them with Lysol spray or a similar product.