For the past three years, Kevin Williams has served as the Head Coach for Booneville High School Baseball in Booneville, Mississippi for both the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams. He discusses his experience using Blast high school baseball teams:
A few months ago, after seeing someone he followed on Twitter achieve positive results with Blast Baseball, he brought it to his school. This first-person testimonial coupled with the product’s affordability drove this decision. “Obviously, as a high school baseball team, we’ve got a limited budget. So, we went ahead and bought a couple sensors and got going,” says Williams.
In such little time, he found these results:
Players take their own initiative. Williams found that Blast’s technology shifted his coaching methodology from a hands-on approach to more of a guide-by-the-side coach. “My guys, they’ve grown up in the age of the smartphone and the digital age. They respond to the metrics better than they do me giving them cues or telling them anything.” He found he can serve as an effective coach by setting up the parameters and desired outcome, and then giving his players the sensor, a bat, and iPad, and saying, “Hey, you go figure out how to get there.”
Williams also says the sensors allowed him to do a lot of things better “without having to be sitting there giving cues and standing inside the cage telling them every swing, ‘Do this, adjust that.” He feels he is a better teacher for it, and Blast gives learning ownership to his players.
He gets extra help. With his assistant coaches coaching other fall sports, Williams is alone often. But because his players have a good understanding of how the sensors work and can take measurements and apply them to their swing, Williams can send them over to the cage by themselves, and go coach in another area. “Some days, it actually takes the place of having another coach being able to be there with them, doing drills,” he says.
The players learned how to use the technology fast. Once Williams’ players understood the metrics and where they wanted their numbers to fall, they began taking swings and started figuring out how to make adjustments and manipulate their numbers.
For himself, Williams admits Blast Baseball took some getting used to because it was different than how he learned the sport. “There was a little learning curve for me, and I did do a little teaching,” but, for the most part, he says, the players have really taken to the technology.
He can make practice extra enjoyable. On Fridays, Williams plays a cage game. He tells the team that they are going to hit 85-mile-an-hour or 90-mile-an-hour simulated fast balls.
He explains the game: “I came up with some parameters to allow [the players] to score points. If you hit a ball and your Blast Factor was between 70 and 79, you got a point. If it went up to 80, you got two points. If it went up 90 plus, obviously, a very good swing, we would even give you three points.” He also added in some extra factors, like metrics he liked to focus on more (especially Time to Contact). “We didn’t focus on Attack Angle as much, but Power.” Williams ended up seeing that the players figured out the rules of the game and adapted to it, and their numbers started to go up.
Overall, Williams says that with Blast Baseball, his players’ swings keep getting better and better because they are locked in on metrics, and most importantly, the team is really appreciating it.