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Kinesiology professor to present research at national, regional industry conferences

May 28, 2013 | Education, Research and Development

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Dr. David Szymanski, an associate professor of kinesiology and strength and conditioning coach for baseball at Louisiana Tech University, will present research during a poster session at the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) 60th Annual Meeting on Friday, followed by a 90-minute presentation at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Midwest Regional Conference on June 8.

Szymanski, who holds the Eva Cunningham Endowed Professorship in Education in Louisiana Tech’s College of Education, will present a research poster to ACSM attendees in Indianapolis, Ind. titled, “Effects of 8 Weeks of Over-weighted Implement Training on Bat Velocity of Novice College Students.”  The research was conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Texas A&M University.

Dr. David Szymanski

Dr. David Szymanski

“In baseball and softball, it is important to increase bat velocity because a faster swing will decrease swing-time and increase decision-time,” said Szymanski.  “This allows the hitter to wait longer before deciding to swing and to hit the ball with greater exit velocity.”

The research poster shows that although performing over-weighted swings in combination with a standard bat did not provide additional improvements in bat velocity for male college athletes, it did improve bat velocity in female athletes.  Since the test subjects were inexperienced, college students, Szymanski and his colleagues suggest that future research should examine the effects of this training approach on competitive baseball and softball players during offseason training.  This lead to another research study conducted with the Choudrant High School baseball team this past fall.  That research will be presented at the NSCA’s National Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. in July.

Szymanski will follow his poster presentation to the ACSM with a formal presentation to NSCA members titled, “High School Baseball Resistance Training Program Considerations.”  The 90-minute presentation in Houston, Texas will address rotator cuff exercises, functional movement assessment, resistance training, annual periodization, over and underweighted implement training, and a long toss throwing program.

“This presentation will provide attendees with numerous specific options on how to resistance train high school baseball players during the off season, preseason, and in-season,” Szymanski said.  “My goal is to inform attendees on how to put the entire resistance training program together in a manageable way so that each aspect of training is addressed.”

Szymanski currently serves as vice president of the NSCA’s Board of Directors and is an NSCA Fellow – an honor reserved for professionals whose frequent and sustained contributions to the profession have promoted the goals and activities of the NSCA.  NSCA Fellowships are intended to promote excellence and leadership within the NSCA by recognizing high standards and extraordinary professional development.

As a member of the Louisiana Tech faculty, Szymanski was the 2008 recipient of the Virgil Orr Undergraduate Junior Faculty Award and the College of Education’s Outstanding Faculty Research Award.  This year, he is a nominee for the University Senate Chair Award, which is awarded annually to a full-time tenured faculty member whose research, teaching, and service are seen as significant contributions to the mission and purpose of the university.  Szymanski also served as Louisiana Tech’s University Senate President during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Szymanski’s research interests include baseball/softball bat swing and batted-ball velocity, baseball and throwing velocity, sports performance, and body composition.