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.
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Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D, has been the Research Director of the American Sports Medicine Institute since its foundation in 1987. Dr. Fleisig is a renowned expert in sports biomechanics, especially involving baseball. He is also an adjunct professor at UAB and a consultant for numerous organizations, including Little League Baseball and USA Baseball.
Young-Hoo Kwon, Ph.D., is a Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at Texas Woman’s University. Dr. Kwon is an expert in sports biomechanics and motion analysis-based research. He is the Editor-in-chief of journal Sports Biomechanics.
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