A variety of on-deck implements are available to softball players to warm-up before their game at bat. It is difficult to know which device produces the greatest bat swing velocity in the batter's box since on-deck studies have only been completed with baseball players. Baseball research indicates that implements that are ± 12% of standard bat weight produce the greatest bat velocities. PURPOSE: To examine the effect of various on-deck implements on bat swing velocity of female college softball players. METHODS: Nineteen Division I college softball players (age = 19.8 ± 1.2 yr, height = 167.0 ± 4.7 cm, body mass = 69.2 ± 8.6 kg) participated in this study. All participants were randomly placed into 8 groups to swing the 8 different warm-up devices over 8 days. The 8 warm-up implements used included: resistance tubing device worn by player while swinging standard softball bat (33 in, 23 oz), 96 oz on-deck implement, weighted batting gloves (20 oz each), 16 oz donut ring (added to standard bat), 14 oz plastic fins (air resisted device added to standard bat), 26 oz softball bat, 18 oz softball bat, and a standard 33 in, 23 oz aluminum softball bat. Each testing session consisted of an active, dynamic warm-up, 3 dry swings as hard as possible with the assigned warm-up implement, 2 comfortable dry swings with a standard softball bat, followed by 3 game swings (20 sec rest between swings) while hitting a softball off of a batting tee with the same standard softball bat. Bat swing velocity was measured at the testing station with a SETPRO SPRT5A chronograph and recorded in mph. RESULTS: One-way repeated measures MANOVA indicated no significant differences between the 3 simulated game swings after using the same warm-up implement. Therefore, the mean velocity of the 3 trials was used to represent each condition. There were no statistically significant differences in bat swing velocity after using any of the 8 warm-up implements. CONCLUSION: For female college softball players, results suggest that warm-up implements varying from 18 to 96 oz did not change mean bat swing velocity of a standard 33 in, 23 oz softball bat. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Based on bat swing velocities recorded with a SETPRO SPRT5A chronograph, players can use any of the 8 warm-up implements in the on-deck circle and maintain their bat speed. Therefore, personal preference as to which warm-up implement to use in the on-deck circle should be advised. ACKNOWLEDGMENT: We would like to thank Chance Reynolds for partially funding this study.
© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association