Temporal Coordination Strategies in Baseball Hitting: Insights from Stationary vs. Oncoming Ball Analysis

Tenpei Ino, Hiromu Katsumata


Background: A baseball hit involves complex whole-body movements and coordination. Research has focused on batting against stationary balls, and insights have been gained into hitters’ intended strategies. However, synchronizing the bat swing with the flying ball is crucial for an effective hit in game scenarios. Objective: Movement patterns in baseball hitting were analyzed by comparing two batting tasks: hitting a stationary ball on a tee stand (stationary ball hit) and hitting a ball projected by a pitching machine (oncoming ball hit). The study examined whether motor representations elicited in the stationary ball hit were applicable to the oncoming ball hit, and to identify differences in the movement patterns between the two tasks. Methodology: Ten male college baseball players participated in stationary and oncoming ball-hitting tasks. A three-dimensional motion analysis of ball-bat contact locations and hitting movements was conducted. Results: For the stationary ball hit, a high correlation was observed between the depth and course (rrm(79) =.968) or height positions (rrm(79)=.875) of the ball. However, for an oncoming ball hit, the impact depth did not systematically vary with course (rrm(189)=.333) and heights (rrm(189)=.213). Correlation analysis of the duration and timing between the stepping movement and bat swing revealed compensatory timing for starting the bat swing in response to pitch release (rrm(189) = 0.79). Conclusion: The results revealed the temporal coordination of movement for initiating a bat swing at a relatively consistent timing with respect to the flight of pitches. Therefore, the ball was intercepted at a relatively consistent depth location.


Kinesiology, Task Performance and Analysis, Kinematics, Motor skill, Perceptual Motor Performance, Basebal

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijkss.v.12n.2p.68


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