The relationship between energy flow, mechanics, and performance in softball hitting
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
MetadataShow full item record
Energy flow through the kinetic chain is one of the most foundational concepts in softball hitting literature. However, to the author’s knowledge, previous literature has yet to examine the relationships between mechanics and performance with energy flow. Therefore, the primary aims of the current study were to investigate (1) the relationship between trunk energy flow and softball hitting performance (exit velocity), and (2) the relationship between maximum degree of pelvis to trunk separation and trunk energy flow. The results indicated there is a positive relationship between peak rate of proximal trunk energy inflow (IF) with exit velocity. Specifically, there is about a .2 mph increase in exit velocity for every 100 W increase in peak rate of proximal trunk energy IF. Regression analysis also showed peak rate of distal trunk outflow (OF) on the front-side explained more of the variation in hitting performance compared to the back-side. There is specifically a positive relationship between peak rate of distal trunk energy OF with exit velocity, where for every 100 W increase in peak rate of distal trunk energy OF on the front side, there is a 1.6 mph increase in exit velocity. Lastly, there was no significant relationship between maximum degree of pelvis to trunk separation and peak rate of proximal trunk IF as well as distal trunk OF on front and back-sides. The results show the trunk is an important site of energy flow that influences softball hitting performance. Future intervention studies, such as strength and conditioning programs or mechanical manipulation, should be implemented to determine how to improve energy flow through the proximal kinetic chain. This will improve the ability to provide specific practical application recommendations.