ABCA Recap 2019 — Everything You Need to Know

ABCA Recap 2019 — Everything You Need to Know

by Cameron Hobson, Human Performance Product Engineer


Another American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Convention has wrapped and, this year, it was a home run! We showcased Swing Catalyst Baseball, a turnkey swing analysis tool that integrates high quality 2-D video with research grade ground force data analysis. Developed in partnership with Swing Catalyst, producers of high-end sports video analysis software, Swing Catalyst Baseball provides measurement excellence from Bertec force plates along with the most robust software in the industry.

Here are three takeaways from ABCA 2019:

1. Changing Attitudes Toward Force Plates in Baseball

The reaction we received in 2019 to force plates was immensely different from the one in 2018. Last year, most of our conversations with coaches were about how the system worked. This year, coaches wanted to know how to combine their knowledge with this tech to make athletes better. Everyone was certainly more receptive, and this is a huge step in the right direction.

We used to think that, unlike golf, baseball was reluctant to adopt force plate technology. These attitudes have changed. Software like Swing Catalyst lets us display ground forces in real-time and sync it up with high-speed video, which provides us with valuable insights into performance, frame by frame.

You can take this tool and actively coach a hitter or change your mechanics and see the effects those changes have on your ground forces in-between cuts.

2. Product Developments That Improve User Experience

We've made huge strides in conjunction with Swing Catalyst over the last year. In the past, we looked at force plates individually. There was no way to analyze overall body metrics. Now, though, we can look at an athlete as a whole, which provides us with insights into how the feet affect the entire body.

At ABCA 2019, we invited coaches to ask questions about pitching mounds. Coaches said they want to be able to view the load and drive from the pitching rubber and gain insights into the "breaking force" produced by the front leg. We're working on this, and there's even a prototype in the works.

3. Expo Theater Presentation

Our Expo Theater presentation, Using Ground Forces to Improve Swing Power and Efficiency, was the highlight of ABCA 2019. Dr. Scott Lynn presented an overview of swing biomechanics and shared his experience at the highest levels of golf. After this, Justin Stone discussed the biomechanics of the baseball swing. We’ve posted the presentation below: 

Analyzing the baseball swing through the lens of ground reaction forces may be in its infancy, but it's hard to ignore the positive reactions from coaches at ABCA 2019. The number of people who use force plates to analyze baseball is increasing all the time.

We look forward to being the leader in bringing ground forces to baseball throughout 2019 and we’ll see you in Nashville for ABCA 2020!

For more information on Swing Catalyst Baseball, please complete the form below and a Bertec representative will contact you.

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