Tynniesia M. Wilson, Kathleen S. Thomas, Matthew Rein, Donna Wolf. Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA.

BACKGROUND: Baseball pitchers often face physical limitations that prevent them from performing at their complete capabilities. The cause of such deficits in lack of mobility is often attributed to individual risk factors, injury, or some combination of both. The purpose of this study was to investigate how yoga can be used as an activity to promote physical health through psychological adaptations. METHODS: Nine competition eligible NCAA Division 1 baseball pitchers from Norfolk State University participated in this study (ages 18-23y). Each was given a set of questions to assess pre-intervention levels of flexibility involvement and relevant injury history. Following initial testing for Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores, pitchers were expected to attend regular strength training, practices, and prehab, along with additional yoga sessions. Post-test FMS scores provided indication of whether the yoga activities made for positive improvements in mobility. Two final surveys detailed psychological adaptations and descriptive perceptions of the test validity. Experimental paired t-test (p ﹤ 0.05) was used to interpret significant differences in the FMS data. RESULTS: A statistical significance in the difference of means was not recognized in any of the seven individual screening components. A breakdown of the overall FMS scores reveals a slightly greater mean in the pre-tests (M= 16.89, SD=2.472) than for the post-tests (M=16.78, SD= 1.716). The difference in means for the test samples paired (M=0.111, SD= 2.421) had the greatest statistical insignificance at p= 0.894. End-of-intervention survey results supported psychological adaptations with retention in yoga participation and a 62.5% perception that yoga has been a beneficial activity for movement quality. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the FMS scores suggest that yoga does not play a significant role in changing total scores. In contrast, survey data reflects continued participation in stretching exercises for improved mobility, as well as general agreement that yoga made for better movement. While there were adaptations psychologically, they did not cause positive adaptations physically. This movement based insight could ensure the athletes are meeting short and long-term movement goals for lifelong health.

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