It was a memorable 2021 season for the La Jolla High School varsity boys’ baseball team. Not only was it a chance to return to the field after the 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was a season that yielded impressive results.
With Head Coach Gary Frank at the helm, the Vikings turned in a 24-9 record on the season, including an 8-4 record in league play. Their record was their best since the 2015 season, when the Vikings recorded an identical 24-9 (8-4) mark.
Located in picturesque La Jolla, the Vikings are just a short drive away from the Blast Motion headquarters. The team first began using Blast sensors in 2018 and have continued using Blast ever since.
Frank feels that the Blast sensors have been beneficial in giving the Vikings insight into their swings.
“We like to use [Blast sensors] a lot with our cage work and let the players see where they’re at,” Frank shared. “It’s an invaluable tool because it gives them self-feedback and they can feel a good swing and look at the numbers and see where that is… or if this something feels off, they can look at the numbers as well and see what part of the swing is breaking down and what we need to work on with them.”
“They can take what they’re feeling and what they’re seeing with those numbers, and then when they go practice on their own and use the sensor, they get the same results and they can keep it consistent and know exactly what the misses are, along with what they need to do to get better and be more consistent and get more barrel contact.”
Not only have the Blast sensors proved helpful with the Vikings’ cage work, but they have also used them during games as well. Frank wants his players’ swings to be the same in all settings, and Blast sensors provide the data to show how each swing compares to the rest.
“We like to do both [in game and at practice]… because we want the swing to be consistent throughout everything,” Frank said. “We want the same swing off the tee, to be the same swing in batting practice, to be the same swing that they get in the game. Putting it on in the game allows us to see the difference.”
“In baseball, consistency is the key,” Frank added. “If we can be consistent in our swing and be repetitive, it’s going to be more barrel contact more consistently, which is going to be a better batting average, more people looking at you, longer career, all those good things that you want more of.”
Frank appreciates the data-driven approach which Blast sensors provide. The insights help him and his staff identify the areas his players need to improve upon.
“Like anything, what you see with your eyes sometimes is different than what’s actually happening,” Frank said. “[It helps] being able to look at the numbers and go, ‘Well that’s not what we thought was going on.’ We can adjust and give them some specific drills from what we see off the numbers that maybe we weren’t picking up with our eyes.”
The data provided by the Blast sensors is not only benefitting the Vikings in the present, but in the future as well. Frank notes that he has used the metrics provided by Blast when speaking with college coaches, with bat speed in particular being a metric that often comes up in discussions.
The Vikings are currently on summer break but will look to continue their success in the 2022 season. Their 2021-22 academic year is scheduled to begin on Aug. 30.
For more information on utilizing Blast for baseball and Blast baseball swing metrics, click here.
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