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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Physical Education

First Advisor

S. Thomas Stubbs

First Committee Member

Doris Meyer

Second Committee Member

J. Connor Sutton

Third Committee Member

Roger Katz


Throughout the decades, both professional and amateur athletes has been trying to enhance their performance with regard to hitting a baseball. Even through the methods for attaining this goal have changed many times since the early beginnings of the sport, there remain differing opinions as to the best method of acquiring a high level of hitting efficiency. For the purpose of this study, hitting efficiency will be defined as the degree of solid contact made by the performer when attempting to hit a baseball.

It was the intention of Coach Al Endriss (1986) to invent a hitting aid that would not only increase the amount of solid contact by his players, but also produce less strikeouts and consequently, more productive hitting. Endriss' philosophy is that the more solid contact the hitter can achieve, the greater chance there is of reaching base safely. These concepts sparked the beginning of the Thunderstick, which is now produced from sizes for the little leaguer to the intercollegiate athlete who seek to sharpen their visual-motor skills. The Thunderstick is recognized as registered trademark of the Easton Aluminum Company. For a comparative diagram of the Thunderstick and a regulation aluminum bat, refer to Appendix A.

The Thunderstick is a specially designed batting device that possesses unique and revolutionary characteristics that separate it from a regulation aluminum bat.

A review of the literature on batting practice techniques revealed several different methods by which an individual can increase his hitting skills through a variety of practice drills such as the batting tee drill, soft-toss drill, screen-toss drill, and live hitting off a pitching machine. The practice drill that was chosen for this study, to be used in combination with the Thunderstick, was the batting tee drill.

A need to gain more knowledge of the specific ways that athletes of all ages may improve their hitting skills through practice techniques would appear to facilitate the question posed as to how using the Thunderstick affects hitting efficiency. If it can be proven as a valid and reliable means of increasing solid contact, the Thunderstick would prove helpful to the entire population of participating baseball players.





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