We recently sat down with the Virginia Unity travel softball organization to learn more about how they have implemented Blast into their program. In this blog, we hear from Owner Josh Johnson, Assistant Coach Cam Byars, Assistant Coach Joe Braden, and Unity parents Randy Jones and Robert Parish about their experience with Blast, the value of parent buy-in, and helping their kids reach the next level with the help of Blast technology.
What has your experience been so far with implementing Blast into your organization and your workflow?
Josh, owner of Virginia Unity: Implementing Blast was really easy for us. We had great parent support and buy-in trust as coaches wholeheartedly. I feel like every parent wants to give their kid a chance for success. If they feel like somebody who has their best interest at heart believes that this is going to make them a better player, then there’s no kickback.
Joe, assistant coach: I actually took it upon myself to go through and print out each metric, the definitions of it and what it does, and I made a little spreadsheet. I hung it up for the parents in the facility so that they can see it and get an understanding of all the metrics that Blast is capable of achieving.
Do you mind sharing how the Unity organization encourages parents to get involved with looking at the numbers and going home and working with their daughters?
Randy, parent: My daughter’s gone to a hitting coach since she was 10, but recently we incorporated the Blast into her routines. With Blast, we were able to pick apart her swing and really see where she was lacking. Attack angle was a big deal and Rotation was lacking. She does a lot of tee work at home. I tried to make sure she doesn’t look at the metrics while she’s swinging so she doesn’t get caught up.
Josh, owner: I could speak for my daughter a little bit. She’ll set her iPod, get some music going and get some swings in. Then at the end, she’ll bring the metrics in the house and say, “Dad, here’s what I got. What do you think?” We break it down and as a father and daughter, not just a coach and player.
As an organization, we’ve got some parents that really have taken on this responsibility in working with their kids outside because it’s their hard-earned money that they’re putting into it. Nobody likes buying inventory and sitting it on the shelf.
How does Blast help with accountability?
Cam, assistant coach: It’s been great so far because I put my team on the 600 swings a week. This way, the first thing we do in a weekend practice is see who got their swings and who didn’t, and then understand why. The players were instantly saying, “This 100 to 150 swings a day is really paying off for me.”
What was the main message about using Blast and the sensor, and incorporating the price into dues and things like that? How did you make the decision to buy-in to using Blast?
Josh, owner: When you’re talking about a tool such as Blast, such as the value it can bring to a player, a family and a team, it’s minuscule when you start thinking about organizational dues cost. When you’re talking about $1,000 or $2,000, and another $300-$400 for a bat, plus about $100 cleats and $100 gloves and uniforms, the value it brings supersedes all the other. I shouldn’t say all the others, but Blast is definitely going to carry its own weight.
When you’re talking about implementing something more than $100 into your development as a player—people are paying $60 to $75 for a lesson—you’re talking about something that can help you eliminate lessons and allow you take ownership of your own swing. The value is a no brainer for us.
Can you speak to the value that Blast provides?
Josh, owner: Blast is something you can use on a regular basis. It’s a onetime cost for the year and then a the premium subscription. It’s less than half of what a 45-minute hitting lesson would be and where you can take complete ownership of your swing. You can hit with it 24-7.
Any words of encouragement to other parents thinking about making an investment?
Robert, parent: I would say that if your daughter is committed to getting better, this tool will be a great asset to help you reach her goals. It’s $150. There are a few girls that I work with and help out their hitting and I would strongly recommend this to them if they ask me or if they even think it’s an option for them.
Josh, owner: If you’re going to invest in Blast, invest in Blast. Jump all in. Don’t just dabble in it. The subscription is a must if you want to get all the metrics you want to get out of it. And challenge your kids. Do you want them to be great? Allow them to be great by simply supporting them in this whole process.
To see more of the Virginia Unity testimonials and drills, visit our Youtube page.