Bristol Sorensen, Health Sciences
First of all I would like to thank you once again for choosing me as one of the recipients of the Office of Research and Creative Work Scholarship. The money I received from that scholarship helped tremendously in conducting research for my project over the past semester and I have some exciting results to report.
During the fall semester, I developed a preseason training program for baseball athletes high school age and under. Over Christmas break I went to a baseball camp in Mesquite, Nevada and presented my program to the coaches and athletes who attended the camp. I offered to volunteer my time to condition those teams who were interested in the program I had developed.
The director of the camp gave me an opportunity to work with the athletes for about an hour each day. I talked to them about the importance of conditioning and how a preseason training program could benefit them. By the last day of the camp, I was asked by the head coaches of three different teams to train their players for the upcoming season.
When school was back in session in January, I began training with these three teams. One team was from Cottonwood High School and the other two teams were 12-year-old all star teams from Sandy. The first thing I did was collect data on each athlete which included: 1) game statistics from last season (i.e. batting average, hits, REI’s, etc.), 2) their injury record, 3) baseline data on present physical condition (i.e. strength, flexibility, body composition, cardiovascular endurance, etc.), and 4) skill statistics (i.e. speed of fastest throw, 50 and 100 yard dash times) and then I created a file for each player.
I have spent three days per week since the first week in January conditioning the athletes for these three teams. Before the first game of the season I will retest all of the athletes on physical fitness and playing skills and compare them with the results that I collected in January to determine if there was any improvement. Over the summer I will collect data on the game statistics and incidence of injury of all the players in the league and compare the data of the teams that I conditioned prior to the season with the teams they played against.
My feeling is that the players who were involved in my conditioning program will perform better and have a lower incidence of injury when compared with the players of comparable skill who did not train prior to the season.
The scholarship I received has made doing this research possible and because it has been such an educational and valuable experience, it has influenced me to further my education. I have decided to apply for graduate study in the field of Kinesiology and Biomechanics of Sport at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Not only am I excited about completing my current research project, but I am also excited about doing more research in this field while pursuing a masters degree.