Diamond Kinetics at Ripken Baseball

Frank Cinicola
October 13, 2021

Anyone who has spent a weekend at a baseball tournament knows there’s a lot of downtime between games. The first game of the day might be in the morning, while the second game can be under the lights. Players are left to mess around on their phones, run around the facility, grab lunch at a nearby restaurant, or go back to the hotel as they wait for their next game to start. At Diamond Kinetics, we thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if players could use that ‘downtime’ as a way to learn more about their skills and improve as baseball players?” Thousands of youth players that played in Ripken Baseball tournaments this summer had that exact opportunity by taking some swings in the DK Rip Cages at their host Ripken facilities.

Players had a blast swinging Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker in the Rip Cages, seeing swing metrics like Max Acceleration, Max Barrel Speed, and Impact Momentum. The players enjoyed friendly competition, seeing how their metrics stacked up against teammates and siblings. The coaches learned a little more about their players by looking at SwingTracker’s 3D swing models, enabling them to advise their players on attack angle and contact point. It was especially rewarding to see “light bulb” moments for the young players when they would make a swing adjustment to improve a metric or their contact point. The smile on their faces and the pride of their parents and coaches when the adjustment would click was one of the coolest things to see at the tournaments. That’s just one way DK made the Ripken tournament experience even better this summer.

Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker was not only used in the Rip Cages. The technology was also a key component of the Home Run Derbies that kicked off each weekend’s tournament. As the 8u-12u players launched balls over the fence, the announcer would read out the hitter’s swing metrics, like potential exit velocity, attack angle, and max barrel speed. The metrics would also be compared to the top 10% of hitters in each age group to give the players, coaches, and parents some context on what the metrics mean. The players that were not competing in the Home Run Derby would use SwingTracker app to play in-app hitting games to stay sharp for their next game and improve their skills all while having fun.

Coaches at each Ripken tournament were thrilled to see the players just as excited to take batting practice or warm-up with SwingTracker as they were digging into the box for their first at-bat of the tournament. The players’ excitement stemmed from receiving instant feedback and being able to improve their swing in a tangible way. As thousands of players, at different skill levels, passed through Ripken Baseball tournaments this summer, SwingTracker proved to be easily accessible and appealing to everyone, regardless of their learning styles. We’re happy to report that SwingTracker and Rip Cage experience made a positive impact in the development and confidence of many young ballplayers this summer.

We’re already looking forward to next summer!