Strength and its relationship to throwing a baseball for distance and accuracy
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The purpose of this study was to determine if actual strength in the hand, the arm, and the shoulder when compared with strength in the lower portion of the body contributed significantly to the performance of throwing maximum distances and to throwing accuracy from various distances. Thirty varsity baseball players, participating in organized high school baseball at Coronado High School, Lubbock, Texas, v/ere divided into three groups of ten. Each group consisted of varsity players who ranged in ages from 15 to 18 years. The groups were formed as follows: The participants were placed into groups by conducting a throwing test for distance. The players were ranked from one through thirty and were arbitrarily chosen 1, 2, 3, and 1, 2, 3 until the thirty subjects were placed in their respective groups. Group I (N=10) participated in all baseball fundamental drills such as hitting, fielding, throwing, and running. This practice session covered a duration of approximately one and one-half hours. Thirty minutes running and lower body weight training followed. Each individual was required to run five 50-yard sprints. This group also did ten repetitions of knee bends with gradual addition of weights, leg lifts with gradual addition of weights, and Jump rope (20 second intervals). Group II, however, dedicated thirty minutes to throwing weighted baseballs (10 ounces) and to conducting wristrolls, forearm curls, bench presses, and push-ups with progressive weight addition. Ten repetitions of each were performed each day of the training program. Subjects followed their respective programs for two months, three times weekly. Group III participated only in the daily baseball workout with no special training afterwards. All subjects were given a throwing test at the beginning and at the end of the two months period. Ten throws were made at each of the three distances to a target three feet in diameter placed four feet above the ground. The three distances were 75j 90, and 105 feet, and the target was of a circular shape. A total of thirty throws was made by each participant. The three-foot target size was decided upon because an average player can cover this area to fulfill a catch. Each of the members of the three groups also threw three times for distance, and the longest of the three throws was used in cybernation. There were no restrictions on how the ball was to be thrown in relation to form. Each of the balls thrown in accuracy testing and distance testing was retrieved from the ground in order to fulfill the act of throwing after fielding a batted baseball. The findings were as follows: 1. The effects of lower body weight training for eight weeks did not yield statistically significant differences in increase of throwing distance and accuracy within the group. 2. The effects of the upper body weight training for eight weeks did not yield statistically significant differences in increase of throwing for distance and accuracy within the group. 3. The effects of the control group with no training for eight weeks did not yield significant differences in increase of throwing for distance and accuracy within the group. 4. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the improvement of throwing distances. 5. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the improvement of accuracy from 75^ 90, and 105 feet. The following conclusions were reached from the findings of this study: 1. There was no statistically significant difference between any of the three groups tested in this study (lower body weight training, upper body weight training, and control group). 2. There would seem to be no Justification for conducting weight training programs to improve throwing accuracy and distance during the course of a season in basesball.