Lower limb muscular power and its relationship to hitting performance measures in collegiate baseball and softball athletes.

Ryan Michael Miller, Michael G Bemben

Abstract


Relationships between physiological characteristics and successful hitting performance in collegiate baseball and softball athletes have not been established. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the relationships between lower limb muscular power and hitting performance measures. Thirty-four subjects (20.4 ± 1.3 years, 176.8 ± 9.8 cm, and 77.7 ± 13.9 kg) were assessed for muscular power and swing velocity using a force plate and visual 3D technology. Hitting measures were obtained after the season for each athlete. Baseball (n=17) and softball (n=17) mean age, height (cm), and weight (kg) were 20.8 ± 1.3 years, 185.3 ± 4.4cm, 89.6 ± 10.6 kg and 20.1 ± 1.5 years, 178.2 ±11.5 cm, 66.5 ± 8.0 kg, respectively. Jump power and swing velocity means were 8298.3 ± 511.6 W, 38.7 ± 1.4 m/s and 6315.6 ± 382.3 W, 29.9 ± 1.7 m/s, respectively. Post-season hitting measures for baseball and softball, were batting average .338 ± .2 and .251 ± .1, slugging percentage .469 ± .2 and .340 ± .1, and home runs 4.5 ± 6.9 and 1.9 ± 2.8, respectively. Regression analysis revealed lower limb power, BMI, and height as significant contributors to swing velocity in baseball players, however, batting average, slugging percentage, and home runs did not generate a significant model. No significant models were generated for hitting measures in softball players. Predicting performance remains a challenge; however, leg power could serve as a moderate predictor of swing velocity in baseball athletes. 


Keywords


swing velocity, home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, performance

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12922/jshp.v5i2.118

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