2020 Volume 9 Issue 1 Pages 15-20
The purpose of this study was to clarify the development pattern of batting imagery in youth baseball players. One hundred thirty-eight young baseball players (6–14 years old) were divided into 4 age groups. Tee and toss batting with a stationary tee stand and toss machine were used in the batting trials. In addition, the participants did an imagery task of hitting the optimal point of a ball where they wanted to impact it. To clarify the difference between the image trial and actual batting (tee and toss), the absolute error distance (AED) was calculated by subtracting the impact distance of the image trial from that of the actual batting. Two-way analysis of variance (4 age groups × tee and toss images) revealed that the AED was significantly lower in the 11- to 12-year-old players than in the 6- to 8-year-old players (p < 0.001). The relationships between the tee and toss images showed a significant correlation in all 4 groups (6–8 years old: r = 0.445, 9–10 years old: r = 0.495, 11–12 years old: r = 0.589, and 13–14 years old: r = 0.804; all groups: p < 0.001) and that tee and toss batting imagery appears unchanged as age increases. However, batting imagery seems to develop around 11-12 years old, and at the age group of 13-14 years old players are able to impact the same position on the bat regardless of the batting trials.