Examining changes in bat swing kinematics in different areas of the strike zone in collegiate baseball players

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International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science



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Background: According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) there are over 34,000 athletes who compete in baseball at the collegiate level. These individuals spend countless hours training to improve their ability at bat performance by use of a batting tee and their position preference. However, during a game situation an athlete may swing a bat through their strike zone depending on the pitch thrown by an opposing pitcher. Objective: The aim of this investigation was to examine changes in swing kinematics throughout an individual’s strike zone in collegiate baseball players. Variables of interest included resultant velocity at ball contact (RVBC) and the angle of the bat at ball contact (BABC). Methodology: A series of markers were placed on the tee and bat to record swing kinematic variables of interest. Participants completed a brief two-minute on-deck warm-up protocol before being counterbalanced into completing 15 swing trials in various regions of their respective strike zone. A ten-minute washout period was completed followed by another 15 swing trials throughout their strike zone until there was a total of 45 swing trials, having 5 swing trials completed in each of the nine regions of the strike zone. Results: Repeated measures analysis of variance were used to examine swing kinematic variables of interest. Significant differences were found in RVBC along with significant differences in BABC (p<.05). Conclusions: Knowledge of this information can allow both athlete and sport coach to identify areas of weakness when addressing their hitting performance in preparation for an at bat situation during a game.

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Baseball, Biomechanics, Performance, Sports, Velocity


Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KNPE)