The 2021 season for softball and baseball players will likely feel like a rebirth given the disruptions and delays forced upon the sports world by COVID-19, and that means many athletes will be looking to review everything about their skills.
What feels different? Where has there been a regression? And what does it mean for the future?
This is where College Sports Evaluation (CSE) can be of concrete use, with CSE’s multi-faceted approach to assessing the mental and physical standing of athletes bringing order to the slippery question of, where does an athlete really stand? When it comes to pure data metrics and identifying strengths and weaknesses in swinging the bat, CSE is pleased to lean heavily on technology pioneered by Blast Motion.
Based out of Carlsbad, CA., Blast Motion has evolved a swing analyzer that attaches to the knob of a bat. The movement of the swing is channeled through sensor data, video capture technology and cloud-based software services to fully diagnose what the athlete brings to the table. As you pick up the bat and take your swings at a CSE session, Blast Motion does some heavy lifting of its own when it comes to data measurements:
Hitting Power: Bat speed, Rotational Acceleration, Peak Hand Speed and Power
Hitting Contact: On-plane Efficiency, Attack Angle, Vertical Bat Angle, Connection at Impact and Early Connection
When the data is fully processed, you’ll walk away from your Blast Motion exercise with some critical information — your current performance, how those figures match with what you’d expect at the college level, and then a sense of where improvement can occur. The full CSE experience will deliver this information along with thoughtful review and suggestions from a College Coach, which genuinely lays out what the athlete can do, and how that compares with college players who have already made the jump.
Blast Motion is best understood as a truth-teller for the batting swing. Information is revealed; there’s black-and-white evidence about what you are doing; your CSE results help demystify what to do with that evidence. One of the exciting aspects of Blast Motion technology is the intimate look at why a swing looks the way it does, rather than just focusing on what happens when a player grabs the bat.
“Most tech products in the baseball space have historically revolved around result-oriented metrics such as exit velocity, launch angle, pitching velocity, etc. Right now, there’s a pretty strong trend on capturing more process-oriented metrics, which are metrics that help us better understand the why into those results,” said Joe Tourville, Account Manager with Blast Motion. “Blast metrics are very focused around what’s happening with the player as opposed to what happened. One isn’t necessarily better than the other but you for sure get more context to the results when you focus on process-oriented metrics like Blast.”
Customers of CSE can take comfort in another piece of evidence regarding Blast Motion — it’s being actively embraced at every level of softball and baseball. The cost-effectiveness and ease of use of the sensors create converts every day of the week.
“I log into Twitter every day and see a picture of a new big leaguer at Spring Training with a Blast Sensor on his bat. Or I see the University of Oklahoma softball team break the record for home runs in a game while using the new Rawlings Mantra bat with Blast Sensors embedded in them,” Tourville said. “It’s just really cool to see the adoption at the highest levels and how valued our metrics are. I think Blast has really helped democratize access to tech and data in baseball and softball.”
CSE is proud to anchor its analytical view of the batting swing with Blast Motion technology; the CSE College Coach Evaluators can suggest new approaches or refine your current plan at the plate with each dive into Blast Motion’s insights.
Madi Schmidt, from the Data and Analytics division of CSE, explains the value and utility of Blast Motion from the view of the athlete:
“In today’s baseball and softball worlds, there are plenty of coaches who all think they have the ‘right’ technique when it comes to teaching hitting fundamentals. The truth is, there is no single way to perfect the swing – each player is different, so each swing should be different. Blast Motion technology allows players to understand their swings more in depth and can help them make the necessary adjustments to be their preferred type of hitter. With the PCR profile (Plane, Connection, Rotation) the hitter can break down their swing piece by piece and truly begin to understand what kind of hitter they currently are, whether it be contact or power, and how to make the necessary adjustments to become an all-around threat at the plate.
“As far as the value it adds to CSE, players can see both the objective data (Blast Motion) and the subjective data (College Coach feedback) and pair them together to get an accurate picture of how their current swing stacks up to the college level. Both sets of data are needed to gain a complete picture of the athlete.”
CSE will host evaluations throughout 2021 at numerous softball and baseball tournaments, both as free-standing events and in association with Triple Crown Sports, our sister company. Get your Blast Motion sensor data taken this year at one of our upcoming events!
-Written By Kyle Koso