What is the relationship between balance and pitching control/velocity in collegiate baseball pitchers? This is the question Piedmont senior Andy Turner attempted to answer.
In Turner’s research, he used different research components to answer his theory. He integrated the importance of pitching mechanics and balance, specifically gathering information from Piedmont College baseball players. When determining balance, Turner had to figure out the Lumbopelvic control for each pitcher. Lumbopelvic control is the muscles related to the lumbar region of the spine to the pelvis. He had the players do leg stability on one foot while trying to move forwards and backwards. After doing that, he had the players throw and see if velocity responded to the exercise.
For another component, he had to see the difference between static and dynamic stretching. Turner emphasized on the importance of stretching. The mobility of the arm motion plays a huge role in pitching mechanics for baseball. “Without balance, the entire motion will be compromised”, Turner said, noting that a pitcher has to have balance and range of motion while asserting a force when throwing a baseball.
Turner used “Statistically Methodology”. Which means to measure the results from pitching performance in games. He used different correlations and comparisons between training/exercise and results. His main correlation was between velocity and balance, but the one that gained the most attention was balance/velocity between starters and relivers. While gathering results, he found that there was no significant difference between relivers and starters with velocity. His test proved that there was a positive correlation between strike percentage and stable balance. Also, there was a negative correlation between strike percentage and unstable balance.
These findings were based off game results and velocity gathered from the Piedmont College baseball pitchers. In assessment, balance plays a role in accuracy for a pitcher but not velocity. Tuner said, “There’s a positive relationship between pitch velocity and pitch control.”
Piedmont baseball player and Exercise Science major Cameron Johnson pointed out that pitchers should start stretching more seriously at a younger age. This would help players to understand the importance of range of motion.
Lion’s relief pitcher Will Janofsky was part of Turner’s study. His highest velocity this season was 91 mph but consistently 85-87 mph. He said stretching and balance is a huge part for him to pitch. “Starters and relievers have always had different velocity’s……Backend bullpen relievers have always had higher velocities than starters.”
However, Turner’s results had the same velocities for both types of pitchers. Turner said the differing results could be due to his limited participants. Turner’s study shows that balance plays a huge factor in accuracy. Whether velocity can be measured, more data would have to be collected.