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Creating Adjustability in Hitters: Why Ryan Johansen Uses Blast

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bat speed and attack angle
Guest blogger, Ryan Johansen of Johansen Baseball, shares his thoughts, opinions, and experiences using Blast Baseball in his training programs.

At Johansen Baseball Inc. we’ve always been concerned with providing quality information about the swing, and hitting in general, beyond our own experiences. When bat sensors were first released a few years ago, we quickly jumped on the band wagon. We found that they were extremely inaccurate, difficult to calibrate, and definitely left a bad taste in our mouths.

When I first heard of Blast Motion, I 100% thought it was “just another sensor” and was very skeptical. Especially since we already had HitTrax and could infer a lot of information from that. However, after talking with David from Canyonside Cages in San Diego, I was more than intrigued and excited that there might be a product that could test the things we were interested in, one that was easy to change between players and bats, and that was easy to use for lessons and groups, like Blast’s “Coach Mode” feature.

One of Blast’s Account Managers took me through a very detailed demo and we were so excited, we immediately bought six.

After many tests and experiments of the best way to use Blast in our facility, we found that each number and metric is important to pay attention to in different environments. Our favorite environment to create is a hitter facing low reaction times against high velocity pitches. By looking at Bat Speed and Attack Angle, we can easily tell if a player is changing their approach to play “defense” in the batters box, rather than figuring out how to stay in an offensive mindset and create better timing with their best Bat Speed and Attack Angle. When velocities are high, sometimes exit velocity potential can be distorted, but with the Blast metrics we can tell if a player cheated himself instantly, and the player can use that instant feedback to make their own adjustments.

On the flip side, the other environment we can create is an off-speed environment where we still want to see high bat speeds. This allows us to help players learn to time up their fastest bat speeds in different environments, while improving and measuring their overall adjustability potential. Coupling this with our HitTrax system has such an immense value as well. We know everything the ball is doing, and now we know everything the bat is doing. It also gets us another camera angle connected with data by using the iPad at a different angle than our HitTrax camera.

I recommend Blast to any hitter or coach who is looking to give themselves or their players the “study guide” to the “test.”

Disclaimer: I gave the Blast team this testimonial not because they paid me for it or gave me free stuff (though I would’ve been okay with that). I wrote this because I truly believe the technology benefits everyone who wants to get better at hitting and wants to have more usable information.

For more details on our tests, how we create different hitting environments, and how we use Blast, read this article.

~ Ryan Johansen, Johansen Baseball