Bryan Harper Masterclass on Bat Speed | str8bat Cricket Bat Sensor

Bryan Harper Masterclass on Bat Speed | str8bat Cricket Bat Sensor

A general wondering of all cricket fans seems to rise whilst watching your favourite batter knock ‘em out of the park like they eat maximums for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and that is “If Travis Head can do it, can I also hit a six at the Wankhede or Eden Gardens?” 

Str8bat’s sensors are a growing testament to the dream of playing beside your cricketing hero ever achievable. In a conversation with Cricket Australia's Coach Development Specialist Bryan Harper, we talked about the importance of bat speed and how it is a crucial factor in improving your batting performance on the pitch.

What is Bat Speed?

Bat speed is the speed at which a batter swings the bat to make contact with the ball during their shot. Mastering this aspect of batting helps a batter better their skill in other avenues as well, which includes timing of the shot, shot selection, power hitting, etc.

How to improve bat speed?

While playing aggressively as a batter, your main aim should be to swing the bat as fast as possible. “The focus should be on bat speed and not contact. Get the player to generate as much speed as possible, which is measured in kilometres per hour (kmph) using the str8bat sensor” says the development specialist. It is ideal to place the sensor at the back of the bat and practice taking shots in the nets. Make sure to feed the balls up close and personal to practice playing vertical shots and perfecting your cover drive to a point which would make Kohli proud, eventually moving onto shorter balls fed to the stomach and chest area to improve on your Rohit Sharma-esque horizontal shots.

Shadow batting and implementation of footwork are essential practices one can administer in their practice to improve bat speed. The beauty of the sport is that rigid practicing in certain areas of the sport can allow you to improve your game in other areas without even intending to. This is due to all aspects of the sport having to work together in perfect harmony to achieve impeccable execution. Implementing weight and strength training into your regime helps improve the swing speed by a massive margin. Adding these into your game can give you the Chris Gayle feel in no time, leaving the spectators with a “how did he do it” perplexion and inspiring them to do better simultaneously.

How to optimise the data?

Giving in to the human mind's curiosity, Bryan Harper advises questioning the data in a few areas to determine the criteria required for outstanding results. These questions include:

· What did the numbers show?

· Are you able to swing the bat faster?

· How did you feel trying to swing the bat fast?

· What helped you swing the bat fast?

· What impedes you from swinging the bat faster?

A tip provided by him was to find the right balance between a light and a heavy bat. Weight makes a huge difference; a heavy bat with a lot of wood and a massive sweet spot can help you send the cricket ball back to the Stone Age, but it is essential to remember the importance of maximising bat speed, which can be better obtained with a lighter bat. Harper says “Be careful to marry up the amount of mass and weight in the bat with being able to swing fast. The best results are obtained by finding the right balance between the bass of the bat and the swing speed.”


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