The good people at Major League Baseball get sports technology and so does the founder and CEO of Big League Analysis, LLC, Tyson Hanish, who was gracious enough to speak to the Sports Techie blog about the debut of their tech platform and proprietary software tools, despite being a day away from being a Father for the second time. It turns out there is a brand new mindset at MLB.com that is focused on connecting youth baseball through the use of technology. To help the MLB sports tech cause, you will find an exclusive myHits coupon code for the Sports Techie community to use and share around the world later on in this blog below.
MLB.com Digital Academy powered by BLA
Big League Analysis (BLA) and MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM) just publicized the debut of myHits, a patent pending, automated video analysis instructional technology, and the launch of its online destination at MLB.com/digital academy. Kids ages 8-13 may upload swings via a smartphone, tablet or digital camera for instructional comparisons at http://mlbdigitalacademy.com/. I asked about T-ball and Tyson shared that he has, “seen a 6-year old T-baller myHits breakdown.”
The initial list of players to compare with is epic and includes All-Stars Derek Jeter, Miguel Cabrera, Ichiro, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jose Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, Evan Longoria, and Ryan Howard, for a total of 72 active players to choose from. The second release in about six weeks will bring the total to 100 current players.
“We are excited to deliver our innovative myHits technology and believe it will be a great supplemental instructional tool to help support the millions of youth baseball players,” said Hanish.
Websites that are collecting information from children under the age of thirteen are required to comply with Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
As a new parent myself, I was happy to hear to that BLA is COPA compliant. They use a parent verification tech to ensure the safety of youth baseball players. The security layers are in place to make sure that kids are Internet safe at the BLA from wherever they log on.
MLB.com/digitalacademy myHits Full Overview
BLA uses a youth player’s baseball training or performance video inserted into proprietary swing analysis tool, myHits, where players can compare their swing side-by-side next to an MLB pro and receive professional instruction instantly.
They also offer teaching techniques, a curriculum and Leagues plus Development Programs which were built around their sports business relationship with MLBAM. One of the MLBAM and BLA goals is to gamify baseball with technology that allows youth to challenge friends and teammates with user friendly products.
The myHits system can do that. It operates on tokens that are sold at the web site in packs or 10, 4 or singles. Leagues, players and coaches, and parents and family friends, can purchase group buys to save money.
Sharing your myHits reports with friends and family is fun gamification. High scores earn myHits trophies in your personalized virtual clubhouse. I like the Optimize video recording tips they provide in their videos. Uploading team photos is encouraged.
myHits Analysis Depth Report
Match up against today’s best MLB players with the BLA interactive and instructional myHits tool. Every swing will be analyzed by the BLA Artificial Intelligence (AI) that automatically annotates each video with six tips – three positive keys along with three pointers that need work.
The six myHits swing analysis criteria are: Stance, Timing, Hitting, Rotation, Contact and Extension.
The scores range from 1156 down to zero and are based on 300 instructional notes. Mastering the 6 stages of a biomechanically correct swing is the goal and an outstanding path to the Big Leagues if you so choose young Sports Techie. These reports need to be viewed on a PC or Mac only, other digital devices are not supported at this time.
League and Club Websites
BLA is offering infrastructure in the form of customized websites for your baseball League or Club. I have sold online registration for sports organizations in the past and understand the value of using a secure database and payment system. This BLA offering is robust and full of the following usable league and club features.
- Website Builder
- Social Networking
- League Management
- Sponsorship Areas
- Payment Management
- News & Articles
- Reporting & Admin
- Communication & Marketing
- Group Email
- Unlimited Support
- Team & Roster Tools
- Go Mobile
- Scheduling & Standings
Coaches Corner and Players Clubhouse
Coming soon are the following features in the Digital Academy Coaches Corner and Players Clubhouse web pages and services.
- Unlimited access to member-only areas
- Customized Clubhouse,
- MLB Instruction,
- Eye Training
- Youth Baseball Content
- Membership plans starting from $5.00/month USD
MLB Advanced Media manages the official league site www.mlb.com and each of the 30 individual club and minor league sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet.
MLBAM continues to pioneer the morphing of sports and technology, this time with the online MLB.com Digital Academy.
“Improving the enjoyment and success around youth baseball is an important initiative to help grow the game and myHits will support that through its unique online teaching experiences,” said Noah Garden, EVP, Revenue, MLBAM.
Tyson played Professional minor league baseball for the New York Yankees. His company was founded five years ago and is based in Raleigh, N.C.
There is no investment by MLB in BLA. The seed money came from angel investors. They have 7 employees and several contractors in place. After five years they are finally in a growth mode.
I asked if the BLA programmers played baseball and Tyson said, “Yes, they have baseball backgrounds.” Why is this important? Because the best technology or games are made by coders who have a passion for what they are writing code for, in this case it is a love of America’s pastime.
Social Media is an ongoing opportunity for BLA, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, along with their YouTube channel and Google+ Hangout.
Partners include Louisville Slugger bats, Franklin batting gloves and the Baseball Youth magazine for kids. Louisville Slugger is currently running a myHits campaign where you challenge your friends and win prizes based upon total score. Franklin is presenting a free batting gloves promotion for their contest winners.
“The BLA Sponsorship area is primarily for the equipment space,” according to Hanish.
Online events are on the horizon and will feature Q & A opportunities for Academy members to interact with Pro’s and other specialists.
I asked about animation, 3D and virtual reality possibilities. He emphasized how this soft launch is the most important company objective but down the road they are willing to look at these and other technologies to complement their mission together with MLBAM.
As for other sport opportunities, Hanish made it clear that they are a baseball centric company. Down the road they may explore other business however not in the foreseeable future.
Look for a pitching and fielding version sometime in the future. My Sports Techie input was to develop the fielding application ASAP because too many kids who want to play shortstop, pitcher or wherever are placed in right field or somewhere against their will. I suggested that a kid could show his fielding score to his coach or at tryout and earn a legitimate shot at playing where he or she pleases.
About Big League Analysis, LLC
Big League Analysis, LLC is a leading video analysis technology company. The company also delivers solutions and resources for sports organizations, inspires participation, education and ensures a positive online experience for youth, high school and other amateur players, coaches and leagues. Contact [email protected] .
myHits Sports Techie Coupon Code
Our Sports Techie community can use this exclusive coupon code that will improve your child’s game by comparing his or her swing to an MLB pro’s swing via MyHits.
The code is SPORTSTECHIE913 (case sensitive) and is good for $5 off a myHits token until 9/30/13.
Sports Techie, As a kid and to this day, I love watching myself play sports, and both baseball and softball are no exception. If you look inside of you it might be the very same no matter the age or activity. It is fun to behold and you can see your perfections and flaws in order to mimic success or make corrections to improve performance.
Our 12 year-old Yankees team that won the Redmond Little League Championship would have loved to compare to the swings on the “Big Red Machine” and my favorite “bleeding Dodger blue” team. See http://dodgershistory.mlblogs.com/tag/big-red-machine/.
MLBAM has a new agenda that I personally love. The competition for a young athlete’s heart and mind is fierce in terms of the pull of playing traditional sports such as baseball and spending time, energy and focus on newer action and fringe sports that also appeal to the new-gen of children. Inner city American youth, kids growing up in China, India and Africa, and the Netherlands and Italy, are all one and the same to the MLB Digital Academy. For now the Digital Academy is in English but Spanish, Japanese, and other language localization is in their long range business development plans.
Baseball is incredibly fun and to stop and realize that by successfully hitting 3 out 10 times you can earn a scholarship to college and perhaps even play your way to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, if you have the kind of longevity and statistics that are necessary for entrance.
Many kids are visual learners. We grew up with a supportive Father who was an Athlete-Coach. My Pops helped us to learn the ability to visualize athletic movements in our brain but not everyone has a resource like this, in comes the Digital Academy.
In future releases look for more active MLB players. They are in the process of negotiating with the likes of MLB retired alumni like Ken Griffey Jr., Hank Aaron and even Babe Ruth.
The MLBAM dual branded license model is open to other companies to join in on the fun and create sports technology to help change the game of baseball for kids so they will enjoy playing, practicing, and possibly learning a lifetime profession.
Remember, our coupon code is SPORTSTECHIE913 (case sensitive) and is good for $5 off a myHits token until 9/30/13.
“Batter Up” and “Let’s Play Two” at the MLB.com Digital Academy powered by BLA.
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