Eric Oehms

Athletes: How to get the most out of Summer Training.

“No more pencils, No more books, No more teacher’s dirty looks… School’s out for summer”

Written by Encore MS, ATC/LAT, Eric Oehms. 6/5/2015.

Summer used to be a time to slow down. There were no 7 on 7 tournaments, travel baseball and softball teams did not exist, and AAU’s primary focus was to get players from many different sports ready for the international play and the Olympics. But for athletes today, summer is time to focus on honing your athletic skills, improving your strength, speed, endurance, and preparing your body for the upcoming seasons.  Because one thing is sure; right now, your opponent is getting better in order to beat you.

Are you doing the things you are supposed to do?

Staying hydrated is always important especially in the summertime heat.  It’s important to weigh before and after every workout and consume 2-3 cups of water or sports drink for every pound lost during exercise.  Water is great but if you are exercising for long periods of time, consuming a sports drink within 30 minutes after the workout will benefit you more due to the added carbs in the sports drink.  Make sure you are checking your urine color for hydration status.  Remember, you want it to look like lemonade, not apple juice.

Proper nutrition is key if you want to get the most out of your time spent in the weight room.  Timing your snacks or meals is an important part of the equation.

– 3 hours prior to a workout or competition is the ideal time to eat a meal, however that is not always possible.  If your workout is in the early morning, make sure you wake up in time to eat something.

– If you only have 30 minutes to an hour before a workout, keep it light with a granola bar/sports bar and a sports drink.  If you have 1-2 hours prior to your workout, your breakfast should consist of fruit, whole grain toast or bagel with a little peanut butter, and 16 ounces of water or sports drink.  Stay away from sugary cereals, whole milk, and high fat meats.

One of the most overlooked components of your plan should be getting the proper amount of sleep.  Studies have shown that athletes who get 9.5 hours of sleep per night have improved proprioception (sense of body position) and reduced injury rates.  If you find it difficult to fall asleep, lower the light level in your house or room 30-60 minutes prior to going to bed.  Also, put a curfew on your technology.  Make a decision to put your gadgets away and stop checking social media by 9pm.

Make no mistake; summer should be some of the best times of your life.  Spending summer with family and friends and enjoying time away from class are some of my best childhood memories.  However, you can still enjoy your summer while preparing your body for the season ahead.  But it takes planning and commitment , something today’s athlete should already be accustomed to doing.


“Baseball Injury Prevention” – by Encore ATC, Eric Oehms.

“Despite the lingering cold temperatures that February often brings us in the South, February is a time where those of us in sport medicine often turn our attention to spring sports.  With spring comes longer days, warmer sun, greener grass, and the sounds of baseballs hitting the leather.  Youth baseball is right around the corner and if you haven’t already been doing so, it’s time to get the arm in shape to prevent the early season injuries and soreness that often occurs.

Here are some tips from Pitch Smart USABaseball to prevent throwing injuries and avoid the overuse injuries we commonly see:

  1. Play multiple sports, not multiple teams.  Playing multiple sports throughout the year helps to enhance general fitness and aid in motor development,  while playing on multiple baseball teams with overlapping season results in decreased rest.  This can lead to an increased risk of overuse injuries and the inability to monitor pitch counts
  2. Allow time to rest and count pitches.  Pitchers should not throw for 2-3 months per yr and avoid competitive pitching for 4 months per yr.  Check out the age specific pitch count guidelines at
  3. Do not pitch on consecutive days, regardless of pitch count totals.  Studies have shown that pitchers who pitched on consecutive days were 2.5 times more likely to have arm pain.
  4. Avoid pitching while fatigued.  While this may be difficult to spot for some, it’s imperative that a young arm is not forced to pitch through fatigue whether it’s in a game, a season, or over an entire year.  According to ASMI, youth pitchers who routinely pitched through fatigue are 36 times more likely to need elbow or shoulder surgery at some point in their baseball career.
  5. Avoid excess throwing while not pitching; specifically avoid playing pitcher and catcher.   Allow pitchers to play other positions but catcher.  The pitcher/catcher dual role players are over 2.5 times more likely to suffer arm injuries according to ASMI.
  6. Avoid using a radar gun. Using a radar gun on the youth level simply encourages a pitcher to throw hard, at maximum effort when they should be learning how to change velocity.

The common theme on the tips above is apparent; give your pitchers the rest they need and avoid year round, max effort pitching.  A pitcher should try to get outs, not try to throw every pitch as hard as they can.  Visit for more tips on risk factors in pitching.”


1. Federation Internationale de Medecine du Sport/World Health Organization Ad Hoc Committee on Sports and Children. Sports and children: consensus statement on organized sports for children. Bull World Health Organ. 1998;76(5):445–447.

2. Andrews, James MD, Risk Factors for Injury, Pitch Smart USA Baseball, 2014,

“What should I eat for pre-game fuel?” We’ve got the solution.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.25.34 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.23.03 AM

“So you’ve practiced hard all week.  You’ve hydrated and ate your pre-game meal 3-4 hours before kickoff.  But right before you go out for pregame warm-ups, your stomach is telling you it needs more fuel.  Keep it small and light.  1 hour prior to kickoff, eat 1-2 granola bars or a sports bar along with 1-2 cups of water or sports drink.  Find a bar high in carbohydrates (at least 20-30 grams) and light to moderate in protein (2-10 grams).  The carbs will give you the energy you need while the protein will satisfy your hunger but without giving you that full feeling.”

– Eric Oehms, Encore ATC

It’s Athletic Trainer Tip Tuesday!

This tip is from Eric Oehms, ATC.

“One tip that I tell my athletes when needing to elevate a lower extremity during sleep to decrease swelling.  Instead of using pillows that get matted down or end up on the floor, elevate the mattress at the foot of the bed.  My suggestion is to use a dresser drawer and place it between the mattress and box spring at the foot of the bed.  Your leg will stay elevated the entire night.”