Every player quests for the Holy Grail; that little something to improve your game and give you that winning edge. With ever-advancing technology, there’s no shortage of devices and products on the market that promise to deliver just this. While we don’t want to weigh in on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of any of these products, we do know one thing that can truly help and you’re likely holding it right at this very moment. You guessed it… your smartphone.
Gone are the days of clunky, one-trick-pony mobile phones. Today’s smartphones inform, empower, educate, and connect us like no technology has ever done before. We have the world of information at our fingertips, instant connection across the globe, and an impressive array of capabilities and life-enhancing apps to boot. With one device, we are able to communicate, do our work, learn about virtually anything, and be entertained at the touch of a screen. It comes as no surprise, then, that our phones can also be used to enhance our baseball or softball game and help make us better players and coaches.
3N2 is here to help you command the power of your smartphone to improve your swing and better your game. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to make the most of that magical device you already know and love.
A Little Equipment Goes a Long Way
First, let’s talk about what you’ll need to maximize your training using your smartphone. Obviously, you’ll need a phone. Make sure yours has slow-motion video capabilities and sufficient storage space for new photos and videos. If you’re nearly at capacity with all of those fabulous selfies, make room by moving your photos to a hard drive or Cloud storage.
Next, you’ll need a batting tee. A tee is great for batting practice because it gives you a good focal point and also keeps you from swinging at garbage pitches. Live pitches vary from pitch to pitch, but hitting off a tee removes the variable and allows you to focus on mechanics. It also ensures that your swings can be accurately compared. Making good, accurate swings time after time helps to build muscle memory so that when it’s time to swing for real, your muscles will instinctively know how to do it right.
A tripod isn’t a necessity, but it is handy. You can use a full-sized tripod or one of the many mini tripods that are made specifically for phones. Find whatever you think will work best for you. If you don’t have a tripod and don’t want to buy one, no worries! It’s not too tough to prop your phone up on something so you can take videos.
You’ll also need a bat. Make sure it’s the one you plan to use during games so that your mechanics won’t have to be adjusted for a different bat come game time. Our favorite is the Pro Clutch Maple Wood Bat, made of the densest Maple wood known to man. Featuring a tapered handle and made with a proprietary forming technique that compresses the wood to make it denser, the 3N2 Pro Clutch bat is one of the highest quality wooden bats on the market.
Now that you’ve gathered a few things, let’s get to work! Start by setting up your phone, either on a tripod or by propping it up nearby. Check to ensure that your camera is at a distance from the batter that isn’t too close but also not too far away. Take your videos from the side, facing the batter’s chest when in batting stance. Clean your camera lens so your picture is nice and crisp, and make sure your lighting is good so that you can see every detail of the recorded swing when you play it back. It doesn’t hurt to take a few swings and replay right away to check that you have everything just the way you want it.
Of course, you’ll need something to carry your batting practice gear, including your smartphone. 3N2’s Big Bag is perfect for holding all of your essentials, whether you’re heading off to practice or traveling to tournaments with your team. A huge interior compartment and two exterior zippered side compartments combined with a padded shoulder strap and rugged roller wheels make this the perfect bag for holding all of your gear.
Time to Swing!
Select the slow-motion setting on your phone’s camera and start recording those swings! Recording in slow motion is important so that you can break down the mechanics of the swing and catch all of the gritty details from start to finish.
As you practice your swing, set your tee at different heights and move it around to various spots to simulate different kinds of pitches. Be sure to practice all of the pitches you might be up against when it’s game time:
- Outside low
- Outside middle
- Outside high
- Middle low
- Middle middle
- Middle high
- Inside low
- Inside middle
- Inside high
Swing many times at each height and placement to perfect your swing at all of them, and if the tee can be set low enough, pay particular attention to the knee-high swing that you’re sure to repeat over and over during games.
Make sure to keep your feet cool and comfortable when batting practice heats up with K-Nit Trainers from 3N2. You’ll love their support and breathability, responsive BOUNCEBACK cushioning, and moisture-wicking KZONE sock liner that keeps your feet dry and comfy. A HYPER-LIFT insole made of memory foam gives you the best in comfort and support. Feather light and supremely versatile, the K-Nit is perfect for training or everyday wear.
Pop Some Popcorn and Watch the Show
Time for the moment of truth! You can replay your videos right on the field or wait until you’re home to watch the footage. On the field viewing gives you the advantage of making corrections in real time; you can watch the swing then make the necessary adjustments right away. Watching at home gives you the luxury of really spending time watching each swing in detail. You can also send the videos to a laptop or even a smart TV so you can see the footage on a much larger screen.
Compare your swing footage to slow motion footage of the pros. Take notes on the similarities and differences between your swing and theirs. Even the best players can have flaws in their swing, so see if you can spot things they could do to improve and incorporate those improvements into your own hitting.
Keep your videos and watch them periodically to notice any habits that persist and see how you improve over time.
3N2 Has the Best Gear for Batting Practice and Beyond
Shopping for baseball and softball gear can be a pain. 3N2 is here to make it easy for you with high quality, comfortable, style-forward apparel that can take you from batting practice to the big game. Here are some of our favorites. We know you’ll love them too!
- For women’s softball pants, you can’t beat 3N2’s NuFit Knickers. Supremely comfortable and made to hug your body in all the right places, you just may want to live in these pants. The low-rise front and high-rise back have you covered so you’re not constantly adjusting your pants while 4-way stretch poly-spandex fabric allow for free movement so you can make the plays.
- Our Change-Up Pullover is your secret weapon against whatever Mother Nature sends your way. Removable sleeves let you adjust to changing conditions. Leave one sleeve on to keep your pitching arm warm or remove them both when the action heats up. A soft windbreaker shell keeps the chill out while the poly liner helps to keep you dry.
- 3N2 can also outfit your entire team in custom sublimated jerseys. With 28 styles to choose from, a simple step-by-step process, fast turnaround, low minimums, and unbeatable pricing, why would you go anywhere else for your team uniforms?
When you’re ready to practice your swing, head over to 3N2Sports.com to check out the latest and greatest in softball and baseball apparel. We have everything you need to take to the field in comfort and style, whether you’re training or hitting the tournaments.