In 2020, a new pro-league was introduced to the world; Athletes Unlimited.
For everyone involved, players, executives, and fans, this was an exciting beginning. A pro-softball league that took a new spin on how teams were put together, and how the players themselves would be ranked at the end of the season.
But the beginning of a new league presented an important question to its players. How would they practice and get up-to-speed with all athletes scattered across the country, and varying degrees of access? For players like Nadia Taylor, this was a primary concern. While they had zero doubt about their overall ability as softball players, they weren’t going to be afforded a long-ramp up like college teams get, or a true spring training that we’ve grown accustomed to as fans.
“I was just planning on hitting off the machine and getting some local college pitches to throw batting practice. There was some uncertainty if I would be ready for live and in-game tempo.”
Before Taylor left for the first week of practices and scrimmages however, she was introduced to WIN Reality, and immediately recognized the possibilities for herself, and the rest of the players headed to the AU. Taylor said it “felt like a cheat code” and one that she’s used time and time again. “When I got my hands on WIN Reality, I knew I was set. It allowed me to get my game swing off early during my AU season… As a professional, [it’s helped] improve [my] plate discipline and zone awareness.”
As the inaugural season at AU has progressed, the number of players using WIN Reality’s training tool has increased dramatically. Players like Jessie Warren, Haylie McCleney, Anissa Urtez, Amanda Chidester, Jazymn Jackson, Kelsey Stewart and others have taken advantage of the daily access to the VR training programs in AU’s Innovation Lab. Hitters can step into the virtual world and get game-speed at-bats to work on pitch recognition, swing decision timing, and even the ability to combat pitch tunneling.
While the AU represents some of the best softball talent in the world, Taylor sees the VR training tool as something for everyone, not just those playing at the highest levels of the sport. “I would recommend WIN Reality to all hitters in the game of softball to work on game tempo, plate awareness, and discipline.”