12 Jan 2018 Recap: American Baseball Coaches Association, Indianapolis, IN; December 4-6, 2018
After exhibiting at the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) annual convention in very cold Indianapolis last week, one thing is very clear. Baseball and softball are on par with football in terms of coaches’ interest in testing & measurement data.
The NFL Combine has existed for years, and the attention to the 40-yard dash with split times has been a focal point for years. Like football, testing data has been measured in baseball and softball for years, but only in the 2017 World Series did the broadcasters escalate their emphasis on data to lesser-known data points like exit velocities and launch angles.
Sure, there was a lot of hype about the ball being juiced in MLB this year. But athletes have been tracking exit velocities and launch angles for at a few years now, and young players emerging in MLB have engineered their swings to optimize both. One could easily argue that athletes who developed these skills over the past few years had at least some role in the high number of home runs hit this year.
No matter what your view on this is, it’s exciting to see the focus on data escalating. It’s even starting to appear in sports like volleyball and lacrosse as well.
The number of vendors offering solutions to measure a wide variety of data types has grown substantially during the past few years, and that was very evident at the softball and baseball coaches’ conventions over the past month.
The data revolution in grassroots sports is starting to happen, and SportsBoard will be right in the middle it, bringing all of it together so that coaches, parents and athletes can easily view it all in one place. Fasten your seat belts!