Jeff Cottrill, fifth-year softball assistant coach at Oklahoma State, works primarily with hitters. He originally started as the Director of Operations for two years before transitioning into the pitching coach for two years and then moving on to becoming the hitting coach. Here’s what Coach Cottrill had to say about using Blast technology:
“With Blast, I wasn’t totally on board at first because we tried using a couple of other things and they faded out. But we met with some of the Blast representatives and decided to go ahead and try out the technology. I fell in love with it right away just because of the instant feedback.
I’m a person that likes to coach with my eyes. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to use this information for somebody that prefers to coach with my eyes, but it actually helped me set benchmarks for each kid. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to separate the information enough to let the kids still be individuals and use their own talents.
My belief is that if you recruit a kid, you recruit them because you like their tools. So, I wouldn’t understand why you would want to change somebody. You make adjustments and I think that’s what Blasts allows you to do. It gives you the data to see small adjustments that you can make to help a kid improve. I mean, you don’t have to overhaul a swing. You don’t have to make grand scale changes. Blast gives you the data where you can just make minor changes and focus on one thing at a time to be able to help kids improve.
I’ve been able to do that by benchmarking them and not worrying so much about what the metrics say, such as when they have a good swing. For example, I’ll baseline athletes to see where they are with their style. I don’t create a cookie cutter approach. We have a kid that can have a 70 to 72 mile an hour bat speed, but really her better swings are at 65 to 67. It’s being able to use that data with Blast and have them be able to feel what that good swing and what that good bat speed are that helps those kids.
Honestly, I think one of the things that Blast has done best for us is create a dialogue. Blast has given us a vocabulary, like a universal vocabulary. I might’ve tried to explain things in a way without the vocabulary of Rotational Acceleration or Attack Angle. I might’ve tried saying those things, but they might hear it differently from someone else. It’s kind of created a universal language that all of our girls have learned to speak and understand what those terms mean.
That’s huge because no one is confused when we talk. I know in our early years, before I was working with the hitters, a lot different things were being said when we were trying to explain the same thing. With Blast creating that universal language, it’s been helpful for our kids and our staff.”
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