Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Movement Sciences


Exercise Science

Committee Director

Hunter Bennett

Committee Member

Zach Sievert

Committee Member

Stacie Ringleb


Baseball is a popular sport worldwide and has thus garnered significant research focus, predominately of pitchers and hitters. However, research involving catchers is scant despite their major influence and consistent presence throughout a game. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of lower body strength and mobility and performance with throwing speed in baseball catchers. We hypothesized that strength and mobility would have a positive relationship with ball speed, peak power generated while rising out of the squat position would be positively related to ball speed, shorter ascent time would be inversely related to ball speed, and catch to throw time would be inversely related to peak power.

Six baseball catchers of different skill and training levels varying between high school, college club, and college varsity participated in this study. Subjects’ mobility and isokinetic peak torque at 60 deg/s and 180 deg/s at the hip, knee, and ankle were tested. Motion capture recorded subjects throwing mechanics while they were tossed five balls and instructed to catch, pop up, and throw into a net in front of them. The relationships of range of motion and peak torque with ball speed were assessed using correlations. Linear regressions were used to determine the relationship of peak power, ascent time, and catch to throw time each with ball speed. Results showed that there were significant relationships between peak power and ball speed and ascent time and ball speed. Although not significant due to our small sample size, medium to large coefficients were found for hip range of motion and ball speed, ankle plantar flexors peak torque at 180 deg/s, and knee extensors peak torque at 180 deg/s, each with ball speed. Findings from this study can provide important insights about the flow of power in catchers and how greater strength in the lower extremity may play a role in greater power and faster ball speeds. The findings are beneficial for player training and development in that catchers may be able to decrease their pop time without having to sacrifice accuracy or speed to optimize their level of performance.


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