Skill differences of anticipation time

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to determine whether practice or different experiential background has an effect on anticipation time. Anticipation time is performing a movement upon the arrival of an outside stimulus and having them meet at a designated point or objective. It was hypothesized that Division I baseball players would have better anticipation timing scores than Division III players because of their experiential background.

Twelve Division I baseball players were compared to twelve Division III baseball players using a BASSIN Anticipation Timer. A ten foot runway with a string activated microswitch was used for the anticipation task. Subjects were asked to swing their hands, mimicking their regular batting motion through the string switch to coincide with the illumination of the last light on the runway. Each subject had twenty random trials at each of the two speeds. Nine mph represented a collegiate fastball, while eight mph represented a collegiate off-speed pitch.

Independent t-tests indicated that Division I players had significantly better anticipation time for the collegiate fastball (9 mph) than Division III players. There was no significant difference at 8 mph. Thus, the hypothesis, that Division I would have better anticipation time was supported for the higher speed pitches.