Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/610
Date of Award
MS in Kinesiology
Kellie Green Hall
The ability to successfully switch hit, or hit a baseball from both sides of the plate, requires a great amount of practice and coordination bilaterally. This study used three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data to examine the swing patterns of skilled switch hitters in baseball. Three male minor league and division I collegiate switch hitters participated. Subjects stood on force plates and hit baseballs off a tee while their swings were recorded with a three-dimensional optical motion capture system. Each subject performed twenty total swings, ten from the right and ten from the left. The swings were digitally analyzed and the dependent measures were compared side-to-side. The swing was broken down into specific events and temporal phase parameters were obtained. Peak vertical ground reaction force of each foot and stride length of each swing were also obtained. All variables were statistically analyzed using paired t-tests. The subjects displayed surface swing characteristics side-to-side that appeared identical and statistically there were no significant differences in the swing variables side-to-side. However, each subject had slight internal pattern differences side-to-side that are reported and discussed. Switch hitters are an excellent example of skilled practitioners that can provide insight into questions pertaining to dominance and motor control. Further research is needed with more subjects to explore side-to-side similarities and differences in well-established patterns.