Monday, July 1st marks the advent of the USA Softball International Cup– a seven-day tournament featuring national teams from around the globe. Throughout the course of the event, crowds in Columbus, Georgia will have the opportunity to see the world’s most prolific pitchers and hitters duel from 43 feet. Thanks to Blast Motion, a motion sensor-based training and in-game solution, hitters may be at an advantage during the event.
Blast Motion’s “Blast Softball” solution, launched in 2017 following the company’s successful release of golf and baseball training tools, makes it easy for hitters to improve their swing through immediate feedback. Players need just attach the Blast Motion sensor to their bat and swing analysis and recommended drills are immediately available to help drive improvement.
Over the last two years, Blast Motion has seen widespread adoption of its solution across youth and professional softball teams as well as individual athletes.
“From a player’s perspective, they use it as a training mechanism,” Greg Sabella, Sr. Director of Sports Marketing said. “Our new app automatically asses every swing and provides a score based on three major categories of the swing: plane, connection, and rotation. As a user you take swings, and they come up red, yellow, or green. From there, our product gives you a specific drill to help improve where you’re deficient.”
The three pillars that Blast Softball targets all influence the softball swing in different ways. Combined they represent an effective softball swing.
Swing plane refers to a hitter’s ability to match the ideal angle for contact throughout the course of their swing. The longer a hitter is able to reside “in-plane” throughout their swing, the more likely it is he or she will make consistent hard contact with the ball.
Connection for a hitter is the relationship between a player’s bat angle and their body tilt. Great connection for a player means their upper and lower body are working together to drive the softball. Being able to do this across varying pitch locations provides hitters with the ability to make powerful contact throughout the entire strike zone.
Rotation measures how quickly a player is able to sequence their swing. The faster a player can rotate their bat through the strike zone, the greater the impact they can drive the softball with. Additionally, fast rotation ability gives a player additional time to internalize the type of pitch, the location of the pitch, and to determine whether or not to swing. Hitters with fast rotation are able to stay behind off-speed pitches and catch up to fastballs.
Hitters who are adequately able to perform all three aspects of the swing have the ability to hit for average and power and are dangerous every time they come to the plate.
According to Sabella, Blast Motion has thousands of youth players across the country utilizing their product as well as many college and pro athletes. Improvement for many of these athletes has been drastic.
“On the softball side, countless teams have told us certain players used the product for two weeks and were able to significantly improve an aspect of their swing,” said Sabella. “This year, 14 of the 16 teams in the NCAA Softball Super Regional used Blast, including the NCAA Champion [UCLA Bruins].”
Sabella also detailed how the Houston Astros have implemented Blast beginning in 2015. When the Astros began using Blast Motion’s product, they were 28th in Major League Baseball in hitting statistics. After a year of implementation, among other things, the Astros were number one in every hitting category other than home runs and triples and came away with a World Series title.
For hitters interested in mimicking the world-class efforts of players participating in the USA Softball International Cup, Blast Motion offers additional information and testimonials on their website. For players who can’t wait for their Blast system to arrive, the website also includes a bevy of free drills for softball hitters of all ages to improve the 3 pillars of their swing.