Baseball, like much of the rest of the world is undergoing a technology and data revolution. Never has there been access to more information than there is right now. Anyone who has been to Elite Diamond Performance knows how much data drives the training that occurs here. Still, the vast majority of coaches and facilities stay away from technology and data. Today, I want to discuss why I believe the data that we collect is so valuable and is the focal point of training at Elite Diamond Performance.
If you had an injury, would you go to a Doctor who didn’t use X-Rays or an MRI machine and just told you to trust them rather than use technology? Probably not. That is the equivalent of hitting instruction in 2019. If you wanted to get your swing to the best possible point, wouldn’t you want to have the most information possible to help in that process? The certainly is the philosophy at Elite Diamond Performance. Lets take a look at why data is so important.
Whenever a hitter comes into Elite Diamond Performance, my first job is to be the detective and figure out what is either causing struggles or how to get more out of a hitter.
The more information that I can get on a hitter, the easier it is to tailor training to their unique needs and either figure out why they are struggling or how to get them to the next level. Everything that goes into hitting falls into 4 categories. 1. Biomechanical 2. Mechanical 3. Equipment 4. Mental. The data collected by all of the technology used at Elite Diamond Performance helps to shed light on 3 of those 4. The only one that cannot be measured is the mental aspect of hitting.
Once we have identified what is either causing struggles or areas of potential improvement, the data helps to tailor the drills, cues, and training modes that are used.
2. Shows Progress
Numbers don’t lie. In a way data makes my job easier. With all of the data acquired, building a road map to helloing a hitter improve is much clearer. It is easier when a hitter trends in the right direction with their numbers because that indicates that the training is working. It is also easier when a hitter’s number don’t move in the right direction because it is an indication that the drills used or cuing of technique may off and we can switch modes quicker. However, it also makes my job harder in a way. Since numbers don’t lie, the data holds both me and the hitter accountable for the progress or lack there of. It would be much easier to not use data and tell every hitter that they looked great, but the numbers tell the truth.
3. Increases Hitting Potential
Will increasing a hitter’s exit velocity, improving their average launch angle or maximum distance make them into a great hitter? Not necessarily, but it gives them the potential to do so. Let’s look at an example.
Say I have a hitter who comes in day 1 and their maximum exit velocity is 60 mph, average launch angle is 5 degrees and their maximum distance is 95 feet. They play on a MLB size (60/90) field. With those initial numbers, they may have all of the other components that go into hitting, but they are not going to be able to hit the ball hard enough or far enough to get the ball out of the infield. Unfortunately, hitters who can’t do that don’t have much success as they move up levels. If we can improve this hitters max exit velocity to 75 mph, average launch angle to 15 degrees and max distance to 200 feet, they have just given themselves the potential and the foundation to be able to be a more successful hitter.