Correlation between the Stride of a Softball Pitch and the Velocity of the Ball


Mikaela Torres, Zaira Saldana, Brooke Gainous, Victoria Salazar, Priscilla Saenz

Advisor / Mentor: Chelette, Amber (amber.chelette@sfasu.edu)

Introduction: While there is support that the length of a softball pitchers’ stride and the velocity of a softball are associated with each other, further research into these variables is needed to identify the magnitude with which they are related. This is important for developing training goals for softball teams and allowing coaches to train their teams more effectively. With this research, softball coaches will be better informed and thereby provide team members with a better understanding on how to elevate the performance of their pitchers and maximize training efforts. Statement of the Problem: The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between the stride of a softball pitch and the velocity of the ball. Methods: Students 10, age 18- 24 years were assessed with two different groups on the same warm-up skills and windmill pitch. The windmill pitches were measured with a radar gun to measure the speed of the pitch while using ball and a yard stick to measure the distance of the stride (inches). The Onform app was used to measure the five trials of each pitcher as a precaution to faulty readings done by measuring the distance with a yardstick. Our data was then entered into a Microsoft excel sheet to find the average of each set of pitches along with the standard deviation. Results: Across the board our data had a moderate correlation, the averages for distance of the stride for each set of pitches were, 80.6 (in.), 71.2 (in.), 80.4 (in.), 79 (in.), 78.4 (in.), 83.6 (in.), 82 (in.), 80 (in.), 68.8 (in.), 72 (in.). The averages for each pitcher’s velocity were 58.8(mph), 60.2(mph), 59.2(mph), 57.8(mph), 59.4(mph), 53.6(mph), 54.8(mph), 55.4(mph), 50.8(mph), 54(mph). The correlation for the stride and speed of the pitch between the averages was 0.339. Since the number is below 0.5 we have a moderate correlation between stride and speed since we also did not take other factors into account such as strength, weight, and others. Summary of Findings: This study’s findings suggest a relationship between the stride distance and the velocity of a softball windmill pitch. Suggesting that the longer the stride distance the higher velocity of the pitch. The correlation was not as strong, suggesting there are other factors that we did not measure that could be a contributing factor to the velocity of the ball for a softball pitch.

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