In the movie Bull Durham, frustrated manager Joe Riggins stresses to his team, "This is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball." This simplification works well for biomechanists too, as sports can be broken down into specific physical tasks like throwing, hitting, catching, and running. There have been significant advances in understanding some actions, but not others. In the first ten years of the journal Sports Biomechanics, only 18 of 236 articles were about hitting a ball. This scarcity is startling considering that according to USA Today (May 20, 2005), three of the five hardest things to do in sports involve hitting a ball (#1: baseball batting, #4: golf tee shot, and #5: tennis serve return).
This book provides the latest biomechanical research in the under-studied field of hitting a ball. The biomechanics of baseball, cricket, hockey, hurling, softball, table tennis, and tennis are all examined. The chapters are written in a style that will both satisfy the high standards of biomechanists and provide information for instructors and athletes to improve performance.
This book is based on a special issue of Sports Biomechanics.
Editorial Baseball 1. The effect of pitch type on ground reaction forces in the baseball swing 2. Whole-body vibration effects on the muscle activity of upper and lower body muscles during the baseball swing in recreational baseball hitters Cricket 3. Enhancing cricket batting skill: implications for biomechanics and skill acquisition research and practice 4. Biomechanics and visual-motor control: how it has, is, and will be used to reveal the secrets of hitting a cricket ball 5. Hitting a cricket ball: what components of the interceptive action are most linked to expertise? Field Hockey 6. Coordination profiles of the expert field hockey drive according to field roles 7. Whole-body predictors of wrist shot accuracy in ice hockey: a kinematic analysis Hurling 8. Modelling and simulation of the coefficient of restitution of the sliotar in hurling Softball 9. The effects of stride technique and pitch location on slo-pitch batting Table Tennis 10. Kinetics of the upper limb during table tennis topspin forehands in advanced and intermediate players Tennis 11. Review of tennis serve motion analysis and the biomechanics of three serve types with implications for injury 12. Subject-specific computer simulation model for determining elbow loading in one-handed tennis backhand groundstrokes 13. Serving to different locations: set-up, toss, and racket kinematics of the professional tennis serve 14. Tennis forehand kinematics change as post-impact ball speed is altered