Other Subject Area

Sports Science


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(6): 23-30, 2023. Successful hitting performance may be related to perceptual processing of visual information. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between preseason cognitive assessments, off-field preseason hitting assessment, and in-game batting performing in collegiate baseball and softball athletes. Collegiate varsity baseball (n = 10, 20.5 ± 1.0 years) and softball (n = 16, 20.3 ± 1.3 years) underwent Flanker Task and Trail Maker Tests A (TMT-A) and B (TMT-B) 24 hours prior to a pre-seasoning indoor hitting assessment. During pre-season hitting assessment, athletes selected 10 underhand pitches and were outfitted with commercially available measurement tools (i.e., HitTrax and The Blast) to quantify swing characteristics. Batting average (BA), slugging percentage (SLUG) and on-base percentage (OBP) was obtained from subsequent 14 non-conference baseball and softball games. The data from this study demonstrated a relationship between the ball's exit velocity (r = .501), bat velocity (r = .524) and average distance traveled (r = .449) during the hitting assessment and in-game BA, p < 0.05. No relationship between hitting assessment outcomes and OBP or SLUG were detected, p > 0.05. Furthermore, the Flanker-Task, TMT-A and TMT-B were not related to in game batting outcomes, p > 0.05. Therefore, these data suggest that off-season preparation should be designed to maximize swing velocity while maintaining performance (i.e., skill) of the coordinated swing.