Is It Helping Or Slowing You Down?

Donuts can slow us down.

You may not think that is breaking news, but I am not talking about the glazed kind. I’m talking about the baseball kind.

If you have ever been to a baseball game, you have probably seen them. They are circular weights found in the on-deck circle. A batter hangs the weight around the barrel of his bat and much like how Krispy Kreme adds a few lbs to our midsection, the baseball donut adds weight to the bat.

The idea is that warming up with the weighted bat will allow a hitter to increase his bat speed when he removes the donut and faces the pitcher.

Turns out, those weights may be having the opposite effect. According to one study, increasing the weight of one’s bat by 10-13% will decrease one’s swing speed by 3-5 miles per hour.

This happens for two reasons:

  1. It does not accurately simulate what the batter will do in the real game.
  2. It deprives the hitter of an explosive burst of energy.

Coop DeRenne, the physical-education professor at the University of Hawaii responsible for the study, says that rather than use the donut,

the batter should mimic in his warm-up what he will do in the game—the same weight, the same motion.”

What are the donuts in our lives that we thought would speed us up? Are they helping or hurting? Maybe it is time to take a look and see if what we think is going to improve our work is really just zapping our energy.

Check back in tomorrow and I will share a story of how a donut slowed me down as a writer.

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