Relationship Between Performance Variables and Baseball Ability in Youth Baseball Players

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Nakata, H, Nagami, T, Higuchi, T, Sakamoto, K, and Kanosue, K. Relationship between performance variables and baseball ability in youth baseball players. J Strength Cond Res 27(10): 2887–2897, 2013—The present study investigated the relationship of performance variables and anthropometric measurements on baseball ability in 164 youth baseball players (age: 6.4–15.7 years). To evaluate their baseball performance, ball speeds in pitching and batting were recorded and kinetic energies of the pitched and hit balls were calculated. To record anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics, height and weight were measured and a battery of physical fitness tests covering standing long jump, side steps, sit-ups, 10-m sprint, trunk flexion, back strength, and grip strengths of both hands were conducted. The results of a multiple regression analysis revealed several significant predictors: age, body mass index (BMI), standing long jump, 10-m sprint, and grip strength for pitched ball kinetic energy and age, BMI, standing long jump, and back strength for hit ball kinetic energy. This study provides scientific evidence that relates certain specific physical performance tests and body characteristics with high achievement in the actual performance of pitching and batting. Youth players, their parents, coaches, and trainers would benefit by addressing these characteristics when planning training programs to improve the baseball performance of youth players.

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