A New Method for the Evaluation and Prediction of Base Stealing Performance

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Bricker, JC, Bailey, CA, Driggers, AR, McInnis, TC, and Alami, A. A new method for the evaluation and prediction of base stealing performance. J Strength Cond Res 30(11): 3044–3050, 2016—The purposes of this study were to evaluate a new method using electronic timing gates to monitor base stealing performance in terms of reliability, differences between it and traditional stopwatch-collected times, and its ability to predict base stealing performance. Twenty-five healthy collegiate baseball players performed maximal effort base stealing trials with a right and left-handed pitcher. An infrared electronic timing system was used to calculate the reaction time (RT) and total time (TT), whereas coaches' times (CT) were recorded with digital stopwatches. Reliability of the TGM was evaluated with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and coefficient of variation (CV). Differences between the TGM and traditional CT were calculated with paired samples t tests Cohen's d effect size estimates. Base stealing performance predictability of the TGM was evaluated with Pearson's bivariate correlations. Acceptable relative reliability was observed (ICCs 0.74–0.84). Absolute reliability measures were acceptable for TT (CVs = 4.4–4.8%), but measures were elevated for RT (CVs = 32.3–35.5%). Statistical and practical differences were found between TT and CT (right p = 0.00, d = 1.28 and left p = 0.00, d = 1.49). The TGM TT seems to be a decent predictor of base stealing performance (r = −0.49 to −0.61). The authors recommend using the TGM used in this investigation for athlete monitoring because it was found to be reliable, seems to be more precise than traditional CT measured with a stopwatch, provides an additional variable of value (RT), and may predict future performance.

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