In most sports played by athletes today, ball velocity and velocity of the human anatomy both have an exceptionally high correlation with the effectiveness in that sport. Athletes who can perform at a fairly high velocity, or that can put objects in high velocity, tend to excel in their sport, especially power sports. Due to the importance of velocity in most power sports, the student researchers found it intriguing to learn more about how peak velocity of a ball can be generated. In this study, the student researchers will examine the different factors affecting the velocity of a volleyball spike by breaking down the major actions of a full approach and swing of a volleyball hit. The Student researchers will find both linear and angular velocity of the hand, vertical and horizontal displacement, and BMI through precise measurements and extensive testing found through computer software. Vertical displacement will be measured through a simple vertical jump test. Horizontal displacement will be measured through a broad jump test and also through the actual movement of the volleyball hit. The vertical and broad jumps are direct measurements of an athlete’s hip and lower body power and explosiveness. Subject BMI and limb measurements were also taken into consideration for testing the individual differences. The student researchers will explore the subject’s gross anatomy to see if it alone has effects on ball velocity. The student researchers assume that greater lower body power and explosiveness along with lower BMI and longer limb measurements will have a significant influence on increased velocity of a volleyball spike.
Review of Related Literature
Several previous research studies have tested the factors correlated with a volleyball spike. Although many influences are at work during a volleyball spike, there are a specific few that researchers show special interest in. Some of these factors include: height, weight, body mass index (BMI), vertical jump, horizontal displacement during a full three-step approach, length of arm segment, and whether the participant is an athlete or non-athlete. In addition to these factors, much focus was placed on analysis of the arm swing at the shoulder and elbow. While physiological characteristics such as BMI, height or weight had some significance on the overall outcome of a volleyball spike, ultimately, the action at the shoulder determined final torque, acceleration, and success. A general consensus of the studies was that a quicker arm swing was beneficial not only in increasing torque on the volleyball, but it also had a positive correlation with countermovement in the lower extremities, such as vertical jump. In the study performed by Hsieh and Heise , the researchers compared the arm swing and jump performance between female volleyball players at the advanced and recreational levels. Prior to this study, research showed that arm swing increases torque, angular velocity and overall performance of countermovement of the lower extremities. Results from this particular study prove that the arm swing is one of the most important components to the overall jump height in the volleyball swing. The overall purpose the study was to compare arm swing patterns between the advanced and recreational female college athletes. Twenty subjects were chosen from college level teams. Ten subjects for the advanced group were chosen from a NCAA Division-I competitive volleyball team, and the second ten subjects were chosen from a local recreational facility. Both groups consisted of actively playing athletes. All subjects participated in a five minute warm up as well as several practice jumps prior to testing performance. Each subject performed ten full approach volleyball spikes, and they were filmed with a 60Hz camera from an angle parallel with the net....