Get Stronger, Fish Longer

Photo of John Cotton of Ice House Oysters demonstrating modified Downward DogYou don’t have to be a sports fan to know that this month kicks off baseball spring training. Preseason began in 1886, by Albert Spalding (founder of the Spalding Ball Co.) who was then president of the Chicago White Socks, and Cap Anson, a former baseball player. They chose Hot Springs Arkansas for its warm climate and the therapeutic hot springs that complimented strenuous physical conditioning. After the White Socks’ successful 1886 season the spring training concept gained traction with other teams, and today it is firmly established, with teams migrating each February to Florida and Arizona.

For established players, spring training is a time to get back into the groove of working as a team and prepare physically for the upcoming season. Aside from regular team practices and exhibition games, players have strength and aerobic workouts to prepare themselves for the demands and rigors of the long season ahead.

Fishermen would do well to embrace the concept of spring training. Although nearly every fisherman takes time ahead of the preseason to prepare their boat and gear, I’ve met very few who prepare their own bodies for a long, physically demanding season, although few would argue that fishing isn’t hard on the body. Just as in baseball, fishing’s physical hardships can result in career ending injuries, and wear and tear can force early retirement for people who have a passion for what they’re doing. Preseason has helped baseball players minimize these risks, and a similar practice can do the same for fishermen.

If you are interested in the concept of preseason preparedness, Maine AgrAbility’s FishAbility program will be hosting a presentation called “Get Stronger, Fish Longer” at the Fishermen’s Forum, Saturday, March 2 2024. In it we cover strategies for having a healthier fishing season with fewer aches, pains, and injuries. A physical trainer will talk about exercises catered to the needs of fishermen, a yoga instructor will offer stretches that can be easily performed in the workplace, and an occupational therapist will discuss techniques and tools to improve workplace ergonomics for a healthier, more efficient work day. We hope to see you there!