Blast Motion: A Better Way to Fix Your Softball or Baseball Swing?
When it comes to ways to improve your softball or baseball swing we often hear advice like, “have a level swing path” or to swing “on plane with the pitch.”
It’s good advice.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a complete picture of what the baseball or softball swing path should be.
One of the best stories we’ve heard to illustrate this comes from former MN Twins shortstop and founder of Pro Baseball Insider, Doug Bernier.
This story from Doug contains an important lesson that all hitters should be aware of:
I Spent the Entire Off-Season Working on my Baseball Swing
“In 2015, I was fighting to get back to the Major Leagues with the MN Twins.
This was right around the time that analytical hitting tools were beginning to get more popular.
Thanks to the new technology available, players all over baseball started to realize that the sage advice of “swing down to the baseball” was not technically accurate (though it might be a helpful mental trigger for some hitters… but that’s a topic for another day).
I knew I had to make a good impression in spring training if I were to have any hope of breaking with the Major League club. I knew I had to rake, or I had no chance.
So I made the decision to try to change my decades-old habit of swinging down on the ball.
And I had one off-season to make it happen.
So I worked hard at it all off-season. I would take hundreds of swings every day. And finally, I began to see some progress in changing my old swing habits.
Or so I thought…
I showed up to Spring Training eager to test my new swing against Major League pitching.
I felt prepared. I felt hopeful. I knew it was going to be the best-hitting year of my career.
Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
After my first week of real games, I began to realize that I couldn’t touch a pitch to save my life.
I was behind everything, and late for every pitch.
Finally, after enough at-bats to make it clear, I realized I had to make an emergency decision to go back to my old way of hitting.
All that work, all that hope, flushed down the drain.
Where Things Went Wrong
So what happened?
What I realized after the fact was this: Even though my swing was on a better plane, I had developed a long, loopy bat path. I was much too slow to get the bat where it needed to be against elite pitching.
Now that more time has gone by and bat sensors are being used by nearly all pro teams and many youth/high school/ college teams, I’ve come to realize how one of those tiny, unassuming bat sensors could have saved me from that entire disaster.
The Blast Motion Swing Analyzer (used by 83% of professional teams, according to their website) has a number of things they analyze, relating to impact, ball flight, and swing metrics.
One of those metrics in particular is called “time to contact.”
Blast also provides benchmarks by age/player level, so I could have known that the average time to contact for a pro is 0.13-0.17 seconds.
If I had a sensor during that off-season, I would have realized my mistake much sooner… rather than waiting months to be able to test it against real pitchers before I realized the problem!
But I didn’t have a sensor.
So I spent months working on the WRONG THING.
All that time was wasted because I was relying on “feel” rather than objective data.
I didn’t hit well that spring. I didn’t break with the big league club. And I can’t help but wonder if things could have been different if I just had the proper tools.
That little sensor takes 90 seconds to set up, and it could have made all the difference.”
— Contributed by Doug Bernier, Pro Baseball Insider
Use Blast Motion Hitting Technology for Better Outcomes
These days, baseball and softball players have the advantage of getting instant feedback and making quick changes to fuel continuous improvement.
And if you aren’t benefiting from it, you can be sure that others are.
If you want to cut out the wasted time and opportunity that comes from guessing, then check out Blast Motion Swing Analyzer, the preferred bat sensor at Tanner Tees: