Study Shows Using Doughnut in On-Deck Circle Slows Down Bat Speed
Baseball using outdated practices despite technology teaching us otherwise. Where have we heard that one before? LBS contributor (and slow pitch softball stud) Rey sends in an article from The Wall Street Journal that says using a doughnut before batting is detrimental for hitters.
According to a study by P.E. professor Coop DeRenne, increasing the weight of one’s bat by 10-13% will decrease one’s bat speed from 3-5 miles per hour. “The results, he says, prove that deviating from a normal swing just before hitting activates slow-twitch muscle fibers. Marathon runners rely on these for endurance, but they deprive hitters of the explosive burst of energy they need, he says.”
I never really was a doughnut guy because I always felt it tired me out a bit. Even though that doesn’t match the scientific slow-twitch muscle explanation, it does show that doughnuts slow down one’s bat speed.
The problem is that players are creatures of habit, and if they’re used to warming up a certain way it’s hard to get them to change their routine. Then you have players like Hunter Pence who use the doughnut completely wrong. Not much you can do about that.
The article says Craig Counsell actually stopped using a doughnut after being shown the numbers. He’s probalby one of the few players who would listen. You could stick all kinds of numbers and statistics in front of ballplayers’ faces and most wouldn’t change their routine. Might as well ask them to quit dipping tobacco.