MU Faculty Member Presenting Research on Wind Mill Mechanics

Updated 7 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
MU Faculty Member Presenting Research on Wind Mill Mechanics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Suzanne Konz of the Marshall University College of Health Professions will give an oral presentation detailing her research on the mechanics of the windmill pitch in softball at the 60th annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conference Friday, May 31.

Konz, an athletic trainer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, said she conducted her study on roughly 30 athletes in game settings by filming their pitches and then analyzing the mechanical changes of each throw over the course of a game situation.

"We found a definite difference in angles, whether it's within an athlete's hips, knees or elbows," Konz said. "From a strength and conditioning perspective, we realized the overhead throwing position really affects the release. If strength and flexibility issues exist, we know the athlete will benefit from strengthening and flexibility at the overhead positon to increase their release velocity."

Konz, an assistant professor of biomechanics within the Marshall School of Kinesiology, said the reality of sports for any collegiate athlete is dealing with the daily wear and tear on the body.

"We ultimately hope to help an athlete's post-collegiate quality of life by bringing in a better standard of strength conditioning, preventive components or larger pitching staffs to the team," Konz said. "This research will allow pitching coaches to know what to look for in an athlete's mechanics that may indicate fatigue."

Dr. Gary McIlvain, chair of kinesiology and associate dean for the college, said Konz is a great asset to the school and her skills in biomechanical analysis are needed by athletes at every level.

"Dr. Konz is one of few women to be sought out by the NFL, as well as USA track and field and collegiate athletics, for her expertise," McIlvain said. "She has been the cornerstone of the new biomechanics major in the School of Kinesiology and we look forward to many more accomplishments."

According to the ACSM website, attendees from more than 70 disciplines come together from around the world to share new clinical techniques, scientific advancements and cutting-edge research in sports medicine, exercise science, physical activity and public health.  Dan Henkel, senior director of communication and advocacy for ACSM, said thousands of abstracts are submitted from all over the world by scientists, clinicians and others hoping to present their research at the ACSM annual meeting.

"The number tends to increase each year; more than 3,200 abstracts were submitted in 2012," Henkel said.  "The program committee reviews them all and selects those deemed to be of particular merit or interest. This should indicate something of the selectivity and high standards reflected in the presentations chosen for the meeting."

Konz said she was pleased to be given an opportunity to present her research and speak to audiences with very different backgrounds.

"I'll be presenting to a large, diverse group of professionals who will hopefully begin to think about things from a different perspective," Konz said. "At the end of the conference, I want an exercise psychologist, an MD, or an athletic trainer to be able to take my message, see the value and use it in their professional lives."

The conference will take place in Indianapolis from May 28 to June 1. For more information, visit

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