The relationship between the ground reaction force characteristics and ball velocity in high school baseball pitchers

Date

2013

Authors

Soujoudikelaki, Masoumeh

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Abstract

Baseball pitching is a sequential movement that requires transfer of momentum from the lower extremity to the throwing arm. Therefore, the kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremity is considered important in production of ball speed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between the characteristics of ground reaction forces during push off and landing phases of pitching and ball speed in high school baseball pitchers. The data from a total of 40 and 51 pitchers were included in the analysis of the ground reaction forces during push off and landing, respectively. The pitchers performed fast pitches from an indoor pitching mound. During the pitching trials, the ground reaction forces were captured using two force plates and the kinematic data were collected using the motion capture system. The data from the three fastest strike pitches from each pitcher were used for analyses. Pearson correlation analyses were used to describe the relationships between the ball speed and the characteristics of the ground reaction forces during push off and landing. Although there was a weak yet significant correlation between ball speed and impulse of the posterior ground reaction force during arm acceleration phase (r=.314, p=.025), none of the other variables were significantly correlated with ball velocity (p>0.05). Our observations suggest that focusing on the pitching technique that facilitates the transfer of momentum may be more important than focusing on the generation of ground reaction forces during pitching when improving pitching performance in high school baseball pitchers.

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Department

Health and Kinesiology