The data revolution got started in golf about 12 years ago. AboutGolf developed vision technology to capture highly accurate data on a golf ball. Their simulators today remain super accurate. They are used by Callaway and The Golf Channel. Others in the golf industry have also adopted vision technology. Trackman came on the scene right around the same time, but they use radar technology. Today, there are numerous options for devices to capture data on a hit golf ball, and virtually every lesson or session with an instructor has ball data available.
The MLB was the next organization to hop on board about five years ago. Trackman was installed in all the stadiums, and all of a sudden, different pieces of data were being captured during games. While the initial reasons were to provide “cool” data for the broadcast, teams began to see how beneficial the data could be to player development. The teams began to hire high powered analysts to work with the data and make it easy for coaches to use. Now, “this horse is far from the barn” at the MLB level. Every team is demanding data throughout their system and has a huge staff finding ways to create little advantages. Slowly but surely, the coaches are getting on board.
The Revolution Reaches Colleges
This revolution has continued to spread, most recently reaching college baseball. Upwards of 50 colleges are collecting in-game data. Another 40 to 50 have bullpen units to assist with improving pitching. BaseballCloud has emerged as a great database company with analytics to assist the coaches. The momentum is clearly there now, and teams are all looking for technology they can implement to improve their team.
The data revolution is now starting to be recognized in softball. At least one major program is installing an in-game system. Softball academies are popping up, as are large facilities for holding very large tournaments – and these facilities are interested in in-game systems as well. The price point is reasonable, and coaches are understanding the value for player development.
“When performance is measured, performance improves. And when it is then reported, improvement occurs again.”
These coaches leading the data revolution in softball also see the value in being able to better recognize high school players for recruiting.
At Yakkertech, we are so excited to be a participant in supporting softball programs. Our in-game and bullpen system are ideal for enhancing player development. So to all the folks in the softball world – enjoy the revolution! It’s here!