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This study developed an interdisciplinary approach by utilizing the principles of ecological task analysis and movement coordination from areas of motor leaning and biomechanics to examine the skill of slo-pitch softball hitting. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a task constraint, stride technique, and an environmental constraint, pitched ball location, on the participants’ movement patterns. Ten elite male softball players participated in the study and a two-way ANOVA of 2 locations of pitch (inside and outside) x 3 strides (open, parallel and closed) repeated measure study was conducted. The results showed that participants demonstrated different joint movements and different coordination patterns in slo-pitch hitting. Hence, this study supports the rationale of ecological task analysis. Further, a Euclidean distance analysis was conducted to evaluate the degree of dissimilarity between the individual and group mean results in attempt to better understand the generalizability. The results indicated that participants generally showed a low degree of dissimilarity; hence, coaches and educators may apply the findings to other players. A similar interdisciplinary approach is warranted for future research studies on other sport skills or health conditions in order to better understand the mechanics of human motion.

Original Citation

Wu, T., Gervais, P., Baudin, P., Bouffard, M. (2017). The Examination of Slo-pitch Hitting Movement Coordination. Research & Investigation in Sports Medicine, 1(3), 1-7.