Diamond Kinetics Encourages Players With At-Home Opportunities
The Diamond Kinetics Play At Home initiative has gained traction in the baseball and softball worlds with the support of USA Baseball, Perfect Game, Easton, Marucci and others as the Pittsburgh-based company looks to encourage players to stay active and engaged in baseball and softball.
“We are trying to reach as many baseball and softball players as we can who are stuck at home with seasons canceled or postponed and summer tournaments in question,” says Jeffrey Schuldt, Diamond Kinetics chief commercial officer. “We are trying to keep them engaged in the game while still developing their skills.”
Diamond Kinetics, creators of SwingTracker and PitchTracker, mobile apps that connect with a SwingTracker Bat Sensor and PitchTracker Smart Baseball to record data on a variety of metrics, opened up the platform’s premium services with a free three-month subscription with no purchase required. USA Baseball has since enabled the company to increase that to a free six-month subscription.
Paul Siler, USA Baseball’s executive director and CEO, says that given the current global climate because of the pandemic, partnering with Diamond Kinetics for the Play At Home initiative offers a “fantastic way to help players continue to develop their baseball skills while at home.”
The mobile app includes a library of educational and instructional hitting content, including USA Baseball’s 38 hitting drills that can be done at home. Players using the sensors can also engage further by joining the app’s leaderboards.
Schuldt says Diamond Kinetics is continuing to develop and add content to the library, along with the USA Baseball hitting drills, the app includes pitching drills from a former collegiate pitching coach, strength and conditioning training activities and information on the best equipment to use, wrapping those resources all together in one place for players and parents. They are also working on a page for coaches, helping them engage and keep a team active even when they can’t be with them.
On April 10, Perfect Game launched a SwingTracker swing count leaderboard on their site, broken into groups based on graduation years, which is just another way to allow players to “compete and encourage them to go out and take swings,” Schuldt says.
Working with so many different companies has helped Diamond Kinetics get the app to more players and bring fresh content along with it. “The development team is working all the time to make more programs available in the app from our partners,” Schuldt says. “We are building out an infrastructure to allow other partners to bring their content into the app and make it easy to use and access. That could be a hitting instructor or a training academy, it is going to be open and easy.”
The in-app swing count leaderboards are already there to encourage players to get out there and take swings and Diamond Kinetics continues to work on in-app challenges they can present to players, such as a virtual home run derby. “We want to keep players engaged while playing at home in a fun and competitive way,” Schuldt says.
While Diamond Kinetics is focused on Play At Home, Schuldt says it isn’t lost on them the challenge this time has presented for collegiate programs who have had seasons canceled and travel ball teams wondering if they will be playing this summer. He says they are working on ways to support those specific groups.
Having the support of so many different groups has been important in the latest effort. “Baseball has always been a sport, at any level, where people come together to help one another and collaborate, but never more so than now in the midst of COVID-19,” Schuldt says. “Every partner we have reached out to or reached out to us, they are all saying if there are ways to work together and make this better, let’s do that. Everybody without exception has had that same attitude. It has been a bright spot in an otherwise not positive time.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.