Experimental Procedure (Materials and Methods)


In order to determine the most effective method out of the four possibilities (meditation, controlled breathing, visualization, and relaxation music) the following materials were used:
Pasco Science Workshop Interface
EKG sensor (compatible with Interface)
EKG electrodes
heart rate sensor (compatible with Interface)
temperature sensor (compatible with Interface)
small rubber band (to be wrapped around the tip of the sensor)
tape (to fasten the sensor to one's arm)
baseball bat
baseball helmet
on-deck-circle (at an actual field)
waist pack, or phany pack (to hold the Interface and its outgoing cables connecting the sensors)
stop watch

In order to determine the most effective method out of the four possibilities (meditation, controlled breathing, visualization, and relaxation music) the following steps were taken:

Prior to any actual experimentation took place the participant placed the measuring devices on his upper torso. First, the heart rate sensor which attaches to the ear was connected to the interface. Next, the EKG sensor (and patches) were placed on the body and connected to the interface. Lastly, the temperature sensor which must be taped over the palm of one's hand in order to measure the change in temperature was installed and connected to the interface. Once every device had been prepared for the experiment, the interface was placed in a waist pack facing forward on the subject. To begin, the "log" button on the interface was pressed and data began to be collected. First, the subject performed a light, monitored jog in place for two minutes, or 120 seconds (seconds is the time unit used in the results). The purpose of this jog is to raise the batter's heart rate to levels comparable to those experienced during the anxiety prior to an at-bat. Following this interval, the batter, now situated in the on-deck circle, immediately applied one of the four techniques. The batter remained in the on-deck circle for 2 minutes, after which the data logging stopped. Prior to each method's application the participant reviewed the necessary steps in order to ensure as true of results as possible. For controlled breathing, the participant, while in the on-deck circle, placed one hand on his stomach and the other on his chest. The purpose of this is to ensure that the player is using his entire lung capacity, thus, abdominal breathing; only the hand on the stomach should move. For meditation, the player was told to clear his mind and concentrate only on his breathing. Visualization involved mental preparation for one's at-bat, so the player envisioned himself batting. The last run involving relaxation music had the participant placing head phones upon his head and concentrating for the entire two minutes on listening.

That's me! A scientific specimen...