In baseball, there’s a saying that “90% of hitting is how you feel when you walk up to the plate.” There are so many details mentally that can affect your at-bat, but the other 10% can make a noticeable impact.
The most competitive teams are using video analysis at batting practice to create a more deliberate, focused learning environment. With the emerging technology in today’s game, the ability to record every practice at-bats has never been easier. What good is a swing without really seeing afterward how you might improve that swing?
Seeing yourself on film allows you to focus on the small details that can drastically improve results over time, and short form video is the easiest way to zone in.
How Trace Helps Players With Hitting
Most video can be tricky and time-consuming. The process typically involves manually recording with a personal device, then uploading and editing to do anything useful. This means that most traditional game film goes unwatched. Trace cuts out all that work and delivers individualized, short video that players can actually use.
Trace’s powerful software personalizes each at-bat, outfield play, and every video moment in between. By sending these moments in the form of a playlist several hours after the game directly to your email, you’ll now be able to review your gameplay like never before. Check out this example below, which can be seen through different angles by clicking the camera icon, just to the right of the settings tool.
During games, Trace tracks each athlete on the field and delivers playlists of at-bats. This is a quick, simple way to assess and analyze batting performance within hours of the game. Players and coaches can review fundamentals and situations in review sessions in detail, which would be impossible when relying on memory alone.
Along with playlists breaking down each moment of the game, you’ll also be able to record every angle along the field using MultiCam. This means that players can receive up-close, ESPN-style video footage of any angle on the field. One parent might choose to setup their phone on a tripod behind the batter’s box, and another might set up their phone along the outfield. Combined with TraceCam footage, players and coaches can view games from every angle.
Baseball teams are also using Trace at batting practice. You can easily set up the TraceCam and set up a tripod with an iPhone on any side of the batter. Trace captures the hitting practice from all angles and saves the footage. After practice, coaches have easy playlists to analyze form and technique. This visual learning leads to fast improvements in players.
What to Look For at Batting Practice
There are many aspects to being successful in the batter’s box, but a few basics are worth the attention if you’re looking for somewhere to start. Here are five of the most important.
The first component we recommend analyzing is your routine. “Routines offer players a base they can always go to, one from which they can always build.” Each player has a routine that they can always go back to when the going gets tough. All hitters have their ups and downs, so keeping a routine provides a stable starting point. Noticing small changes in your preparation could be why the at-bat went the way it did. Nobody knows your routine better than you, so make sure you develop good habits and be consistent.
Choice, judgment, and control are all factors that play into the more significant timing variable. You must be able to decide which pitches are worth swinging for, then match the bat speed with the pitch. It’s a difficult skill to master, but using video is crucial to understand where you’re at to make adjustments. If you’re late to the punch, there’s likely a trend behind it. Noticing these trends in your approach at the plate can often push you to get ahead of the curve for your next at-bat.
Stability at the plate allows a smooth transfer of energy from the body to the ball. When analyzing your balance during an at-bat, pay close attention to your stance, leg-kick, and follow through as the ball comes into the plate. Like many other sports, balance in the batter’s box can provide a confident and loose approach to each pitch.
Head movement and stability are essential to assess when reviewing your game footage. Keeping your head down through a full swing is one of the fundamentals of batting. By pulling your head out too soon and looking for the ball, you’ve likely lost focus on the direct contact of the ball. This can drastically change the result of the play. Our recommendation is to review several consecutive at-bats to understand trends where you aren’t quite following the ball into the bat.
A vastly underrated component of the game is situational hitting. Understanding the right time to make a strategic play can win you games by the slimmest of margins. Whether you’re bunting to advance a base-runner, popping the ball up to the outfield for a tag-up, or simply hitting behind base runners, Trace’s personalized footage can help you review any and all scenarios. A tool specifically designed for this is the player radar, which uses GPS tracking to locate the base runners movement and positioning at all times on the field.