It’s getting warmer outside and for many of us, that means hitting the links, the courts or the diamond. Most of us take a pretty casual approach to our summer activities, but in the back of our minds many of us are always looking to improve our skills. I will never be a championship golfer, but I’d like to know why I can’t seem to get my drives past a certain yardage. I don’t play in any summer softball or baseball leagues, but I’m curious why it is I tend to hit fairly consistent drives at the batting cage and have always wondered how I could improve and pull my hits a little better.
Let’s be frank though; Some of us can’t afford or don’t want a swing or hitting coach. I’m only at the driving range 10 times a year max, and only hit at a batting cage once or twice a summer. While it’s all just good fun for me, the competitive side of me wonders how I can get that little bit better. If you’re just firing off the tee for fun, or for a round of drinks, chances are you don’t want to dedicate the time or money to professional coaching but you still want the upper edge on your buddies. Whether you want to dominate your recreational softball team, or track your progress at the driving range, there are wearables that you can use to help coach yourself toward a few extra yards or a new swing out on the diamond.
Zepp (no relation to Philadelphia Flyers goalie Rob Zepp) is one of the most all-purpose wearables out there. While you will be purchasing your Zepp starter kit for one purpose, you can quickly expand and purchase the addons for other sports too. I’d be personally starting with the golf swing analysis and going from there. The Zepp system allows you to capture and analyze each of your golf swings and once you’re ready to move on, you can use it to analyze your baseball and tennis swings too. While Zepp won’t give you the same hands-on coaching experience as a course or court pro, you won’t have to pay for dozens of lessons or can learn and improve on your own time. In addition to the multipurpose system they’ve set up, Zepp has also partnered with numerous sports pros to offer you an invaluable database and access to coaching tips, videos and more and all for the price of your next softball bat or 9 iron.
Back in Grade 9, I did my science fair project on whether a wristshot or a slapshot was a more effective shot based on the type of hockey you were playing. In reality, it was just an excuse to play a lot of street hockey (and the mark on that project reflected it unfortunately.) Had I had something like the FWD Powershot 2, however, I would have had some concrete evidence. The Powershot 2 slips over the grip end of your hockey stick and captures a 7 piece analysis of your shot. Whether you’re interested in your shot speed, angle or duration, the Powershot takes all of this and displays it to you in easy to digest data. If you desire to be the team’s defenseman with the big shot from the point, the Powershot even measures your flex gain to help you make sure you’re picking out the right sticks for it so that you can go from being your team’s Chris Webber to Shea Weber.
The Blast line of sports products give you a few different options. Like Zepp, it’s a performance sensor built for a series of sports. You begin with a single starter kit (whether it be for basketball, baseball or general sporting performance) and can eventually branch yourself out using other performance clips and apps. Take the baseball sensor for example – You attach it to the end of your bat and it can track and analyze your swings. Blast will measure everything from power to efficiency and even wrist release. Using the Blast Smart Video Capture, you can even record your swings and replay or Airdrop them for further assessment. While Blast only works on iOS platforms right now, a quick look at their job board suggests that they’re interested in bringing it to Android devices sooner than later as well.
Maybe none of those devices above interest you because your personal performance is tied to your morning walks or runs. No problem! Look no further than to the full range of Best Buy’s Activity Trackers, many of which can partner with your smartphone or PC to help you make the most of the limited time you have every day to get outdoors. With features like pedometers, distance meters, calorie meters and more, you can see just exactly effectively you’re using your exercise time and look for ways to push yourself even more if you’re interested in doing that.
You may be familiar with some of the industry’s bigger names (like Fitbit and Jawbone) but did you know that Razer got their own Activity Trackers too? If you’re familiar with Razer’s gaming products, you know that they strive for a high quality, high end customer experience while mixing fun and professionalism. If you’ve ever purchased their gaming mice or mechanical keyboards, have been happy and are looking for a wearable, why not give Razer a look?
The Razer Nabu Wireless Activity Tracker is a lot of action packed into a Wristband-sized wearable. Not only can you track your fitness goals and have your smartphone alerts discreetly bumped to your tracker, but you can track your sleep too. Perhaps the neatest feature of all for my fellow techies is that it features an open platform for third-party applications. Who knows what other sorts of neat things you could see abound from Razer and friends in the future?
My last recommendation is geared more toward the jewelry fan in your life who wants a wearable but doesn’t want to wear something around their wrist all day. Misfit offers an Activity and sleep tracker hidden inside a necklace. This Bluetooth enabled tracker goes around your neck and features a 6 month battery life. While your friends and coworkers think you’re wearing a necklace, this covert wearable does everything from track your sleep and sporting activities to measure calories burned and distance walked/ran that day. It can even go in the pool with you as its been waterproofed up to 50 metres deep! It’s a bit on the heavy side for a smaller necklace like this (around 240 grams) but it negates the need to wear something around your wrist all day if you’re the type that doesn’t like that feeling.
We all lead busy lives and when we’re finally able to get away for a couple hours, we may as well make the best of it. Best Buy is your destination for Wearable Technology. Check out a full range of Wearables now available at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca