The present study investigated bat control of skilled baseball batters during tee batting, faced with an intentional change in target position. Twelve, skilled, male baseball players (M age = 24 yr., SD = 4) participated in the study. Participants were instructed to hit a baseball off a tee 0.8 m from the ground (Hitting condition), and also to deliberately swing just above the ball (Air Swing condition). The task for the participants was to perform, in alternate order, 15 swings at a real baseball on a stationary tee and 15 swings at an imaginary ball that was said to be on top of the real baseball. The participants were instructed to hit the ball toward center field just as they would hit in a game. While most participants could hit the real ball in the sweet area of the bat, only one participant did so in the Air Swing condition. Average distances from the center of the sweet area to ball center at the moment of ball-bat contact in the Air Swing condition (85 mm) were significantly greater than the distance in the Hitting condition (38 mm). The larger error in hitting an imaginary ball in the sweet area could be due to perceptual changes following the batter's altered focus, expectation of a lack of contact, and/or lack of feedback from the swing. It was suggested that baseball batters should be aware of the possible error in hitting accurately when they intentionally shifted the target.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Perceptual and motor skills|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Apr|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems