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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000731
Original Research

Sprint Accelerations to First Base Among Major League Baseball Players With Different Years of Career Experience

Coleman, A. Eugene; Amonette, William E.

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Abstract

Abstract: Coleman, AE and Amonette, WE. Sprint accelerations to first base among Major League Baseball players with different years of career experience. J Strength Cond Res 29(7): 1759–1765, 2015—The purpose of this article was to compare times to first base in Major League Baseball games to determine whether running velocity decreases to the foul line and first base among players with differing years of playing experience. From 1998 to 2012, 1,185 sprint times to first base were analyzed: 469 outfielders, 601 infielders, and 115 catchers. The players were divided into differing experience categories depending on their years of service in Major League Baseball: 1–5, 6–10, 11–15, and 16–20+ years. Velocity at the foul line and first base was compared and interval accelerations were reported. Comparisons were completed by playing position, and within left- and right-handed batters. Left-handed outfielders exhibited reduced velocities at 6–10 (p = 0.04), 11–15 (p = 0.004), and 16–20 years (p < 0.001) compared with 1–5 years; there were no statistical differences in velocity at the foul line. Right-handed outfielders exhibited significantly reduced velocities at first base in 6–10 (p = 0.002) and 11–15 years (p = 0.001); they also had a reduced velocities at the foul line in 6–10 (p = 0.004) and 11–15 years (p = 0.009). Right-handed infielders had reduced velocities at first base in 11–15 years (p < 0.001). No other differences were observed within infielders at first base or the foul line. There were no differences within the compared variables for catchers. Decreases in running velocity to first base with experience are seen in outfielders but are less prominent in infielders and catchers. Although physical capabilities for sprinting may decline with age, it is possible that through repetition more experienced players perfect the skill-related component of running to first base, thus preserving speed.

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

 

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