Sandgnats New Training Staff to Promote Injury Prevention

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Updated: August 17, 2016

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Sandgnats New Training Staff to Promote Injury Prevention
Updated: January 2, 2024 – 01:19AM EDT

By Howard Heskin, Staff Writer – Twitter @HowardHeskin1

The difference between wins and losses and teams making the playoffs versus watching them from home seems to get smaller every season. Key injuries can certainly make that difference. Sandgnats players spent 392 days on the DL last year. Although, not the league’s highest absentee rate, the new GM was concerned with filling the empty slot of team trainer this off-season when he was hired. Especially with an aging pitching staff, the margin for error is ever so thin this year for the Sandgnats.

When asked about the hiring of new team trainer Annan Mathaathi of South Africa, General Manager, RJ Ermola responded “We just decided this year, if you get injured you’re done… I mean done this year. Because so are this teams chances, if you’re not on the field. So, we decided to invest heavily in injury prevention and fatigue recovery – not so much in fixing the players. We’ve outsourced all our orthopedic surgeons to Mongolia this year to amputate the injured players’ … contracts! Yeah, contract” said Ermola. “Oh and I also told Jim Klein to expect 1 million less per year on a contract extension for each day he spends on the DL this year”

Some are concerned that the new trainer has no baseball player training experience. “Well we found him by accident. Jose Luna who was out scouting a Cricket team ran into Mathaathi at the Holiday Inn Express in Johannesburg. They had a few Zambezis at the bar and that was that.” said Ermola.

At the initial press conference Mathaathi outlined the changes he has planned:

Sandgnat players will wear Catapult monitors that measure agility and acceleration. These monitors allow coaches to determine exactly when performance starts to decline. They will wear Polar heart rate monitors that create post-workout recovery reports to tell coaches when athletes are physically ready to handle more training. And they will use an Omegawave system that captures data on fatigue, stress and aerobic capacity.

The new training staff will be almost obsessive when it comes to traditional methods of recovery as well. Athletic trainers will give players water from individually-marked bottles and have players record their urine output after practices. They then track – and publicly rank – each player’s hydration status.

The team will create personalized performance smoothies for each player. Players will undergo daily massage therapy and perform regular core strengthening. The players even will wear sleep monitors so that coaches can correct poor performance due to lack of sleep.

Sports science ultimately might not just keep players healthy, but it could improve their performance. It might be hard to see advantages within any single game. Theoretically better health and performance would manifest toward the end of the season when other teams are wearing down.

Mathaathi also noted that Grape Gatorade will be banned from the club house this year.

“Well we just don’t want that type of incident again”, he stated.