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Something old, something new for softball teams

When coaches want to take a second look, there’s an app for that

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Fielding ground and fly balls, batting practice, pitching exercises and base running drills are part of most girls softball practices.

Those are some of the tried-and-true methods coaches rely on, but increasingly, coaches turn to new technology to help prepare players.

“There is some available technology out there for softball,” Mountain Vista coach Bret Grammerstorf said. “I use an app (to capture images) and it can slow down a swing or a pitcher’s motion, as well as compare images side by side.”

Softball teams opened practice Aug. 14 and will use a variety of practice methods to prepare for the four-team, regional state-qualifying tournaments that will be held Oct. 14. State tournaments for 3A, 4A and 5A teams are scheduled Oct. 20-21 at Aurora Sports Park.

“As a coach, you should be continually learning,” Legend coach Kristen Shirk said. “There are definitely new drills and new variations to drills that I will be implementing this season.”

That’s a combination of the old and new.

“A typical practice defensively for Legend involves breaking down drills for infield and outfielders to the very basics and then coming together as a whole unit to work on cuts and situational defense,” Shirk said. “Offensively, there’s lots of tee work, bunting drills and front toss.

“There are definitely times technology comes in handy. Offensively, it gives the batter a good view of their approach to the ball. If they’re moving too much or if they are not very compact, they’ll be able to see this. Defensively, we can look at footwork, if the head is being pulled out and so on.”

Northglenn coach Molly Huffman said she stresses fundamentals at practice, but adds that technology is a definite boost.

“Technology helps with practice from the simple ability to let players know when and where we are practicing all the way to being able to film the players doing different skills and being able to help them see what they are doing and see what they can do to improve,” Huffman said. “I have several apps that I use... even some fundraising apps.”

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