Other Subject Area

Human Performance


International Journal of Exercise Science 17(4): 212-219, 2024. Softball is a sport that requires speed, agility, and lower-body power to be successful. Accordingly, strength and conditioning programs have focused on improving speed and lower-body power, which are beneficial to players performing softball-related tasks. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between absolute and relative lower-body strength to performance measures among female collegiate softball players. Archived data collected during pre-season performance testing for twenty-one (n = 21) NCAA Division II collegiate softball players was used for this analysis. Measurements included countermovement jump (CMJ), broad jump (BJ), linear speed (LS), 505 test for change of direction speed (COD), and shuttle runs. Absolute lower body strength (ALBS) was measured using a 3-repetition maximum hex-bar deadlift (HBDL) and body weight was used to calculate relative lower body strength (RLBS) of each player. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to relate measures of lower body strength to each performance test. Significant (p ≤ 0.05) large to moderate correlations were discovered between RLBS and COD (505L: r = -0.59, 505R: r = -.63), 300 yard (yd) shuttle run time (trial 1: r = -0.47, trial 2: -0.50), and lower-body power (CMJ: r = 0.48, BJ: r = 0.52). ALBS was correlated only to the BJ (r = 0.43). The results suggest that relative strength is related more with COD, shuttle run, and lower-body power when compared to absolute strength. Therefore, strength and conditioning professionals should consider measures of RLBS when administering softball specific tests for developing and implementing a successful strength program in collegiate softball.