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How Huntington Beach High School Enhances Player Development with Blast

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We recently caught up with Benji Medure, Head Baseball Coach and Math Teacher, of Huntington Beach High School. Here’s what he had to say about the program and how they utilize Blast as a player development tool at the high school level:

“We have six seniors right now committed to colleges: three Division 1 and three Division 2 schools. We’ve had some success in the last 10 years of not only winning baseball games and a CIF Championship and the State Championship, we’ve had success sending kids on to college.

We made a point about six years ago that we were going to take the best kids into the program, not the best players. We turned away really good players that were just highly skilled. On the field you’d say, “Yeah, we want that kid,” but we turned them down. We cut them because we didn’t feel their character was what we wanted. We’re high on integrity and character, and we feel that if we have those qualities in a player, then we’re good enough coaches where we can make them into good baseball players.

And Orange County, California baseball is, without insulting anyone in America, the best baseball in the country. I will argue that to my death. But if you don’t stay ahead, you’re going to struggle. That’s where Blast comes in. I think that Blast provides us with an edge over people. It really is something that’s going to make all of our hitters better.

Being math teachers [the hitting coach is also a math teacher], we understand the numbers Blast provides, and we can put the numbers to a type of swing and be able to visualize it and really help the kids that way.

We got started using Blast because showing the numbers and showing the kids exactly what’s going on piqued my interest. We went with it and the more I learned about it, the more it made me feel good about the fact that the kids have ownership of their swings. They get the numbers; they’re competing with their numbers to be better than their partner or whatever. That makes them take ownership of their swing and work harder individually by themselves off the tee, soft toss and all of that.

This is not a coach standing above saying “Hey, you got to do this.” Blast makes them work on their swing constantly by themselves and if they don’t, then we get the feedback and we know exactly what they’re doing.

I think sometimes kids get a little frustrated because they’re hitting the ball well and the numbers don’t show it as far as Blast goes. And I think I have to look at that and kind of step back and say, “Hey, the kid’s feeling good. He’s hitting well, whatever his numbers are… We’ll just let those go for right now.” But there are some kids that don’t get it. So we pull Blast and say, “This is hard data right here. This isn’t lying.”

I think more than anything, Blast gives us coaches credibility. It’s like saying, “This is what we’ve been telling to you. You’re not slotting your elbow. You’re too much down on the ball.” Their disbelief becomes belief because something tangible shows them exactly what’s wrong.”

Additional Reads:

Implementing Blast at the High School Level: Alamo Heights Baseball

Q&A with MiLB Coach Jose Puentes: Blast Increases Accountability

Getting to Know the Mission Behind the San Diego League

 

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