WIN Reality Review: A Baseball Player’s Assessment


Steve Nelson Using WIN Reality

When it comes to training for baseball or softball, players are always looking for an edge that allows them to outperform their opponents. There are plenty of unique drills for hitting, fielding, and pitching that can help players be ready for a game, but one unique way of training that has caught the attention of players and coaches is the concept of virtual reality baseball training. I was also very interested in virtual reality training for baseball so I purchased WIN Reality on Oculus Quest 2 so I could find an answer to the question a lot of people are wondering – is WIN Reality worth it?

WIN Reality is worth it for players who are looking to improve their mental approach to hitting in baseball or softball. However, WIN Reality will not help a player improve their hitting mechanics.

I used WIN Reality for a month and I wanted to share my experience with anyone who was wondering what it’s like to train with WIN Reality. For the rest of this article, I’ll go over my overall impressions of WIN Reality, what drills they have, and whether or not I plan on continuing to use WIN Reality to help prepare for games.

If you’re going to give WIN Reality a try, make sure you have the correct equipment. Learn about the 5 Things Needed to Begin Your WIN Reality Training.

My Overall Impression of WIN Reality

Ratings of WIN Reality

Instead of saving this section for last, I wanted to first share my overall thoughts on WIN Reality training.

My opinion is that I will not continue using WIN Reality to train for baseball. Although WIN Reality is one of the coolest ways I’ve ever used to train for baseball, I simply enjoy the real-world experience of baseball over a virtual reality experience. Even if WIN Reality offered their product for free, I would choose to not use it.

I’ll cover the 3 main reasons I will not be continuing with WIN Reality, but keep in mind that these are my experiences with WIN Reality and your experience may be different. If you are interested in trying WIN Reality, head over to WIN Reality’s website or read more about the 6 steps to getting started with WIN Reality on Oculus Quest 2.

1) I Struck Out 3 Times in One Game After Training with WIN Reality

Simply put, I had a bad game after using WIN Reality.

To be fair, my bad game happened after training with WIN Reality for one week, and WIN Reality does recommend using their system for a year to see the best results. So it’s possible I would improve over time, but nonetheless – I had a bad first experience.

During the week I was doing some of their drills, I was fairly confident WIN Reality was off by a few inches on where they said the ball crossed the plate, but I adjusted and started treating pitches like they were about 2 inches below where I was thinking the ball was actually crossing. Want to take a guess at what I did during my game?

During my game, I ended up swinging about two inches below where the ball was actually crossing the plate and I struck out three times during that game. Luckily, I was able to adjust and I ended up going 2 for 5, but my two hits were not close the being solid hits.

2) I Don’t See the Benefit in Most of the Drills

WIN Reality had 11 drills at the time I was using it and I was not impressed with a majority of the drills. Out of the 11 drills, only 3 of them required you to swing at a pitch. The other 8 drills were completed by using the Oculus controller and pressing the trigger button at the appropriate time.

I’ve been to a lot of private baseball instructors in the past and I can’t recall any drills where the instructor wanted me to stand in the batter’s box, watch pitches go by, and then take guess on the location or pitch type, but this is what a lot of WIN Reality’s drills are.

I know I get a lot more benefit out of swinging and making contact with a pitch. If I make solid contact, then I obviously got the location and pitch type correct.

With that being said, I did really enjoy the Disappearing Pitch drill. The Disappearing Pitch drills forces you to watch the ball out of the pitcher’s hand and trains you to quickly identify the type of pitch. If you’re looking for any reason to try WIN Reality, the Disappearing Pitch drill is the reason you should give it a go.

3) I Feel Nauseous After Using an Oculus For Longer Than 30 Minutes

I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way, but I’ve noticed I don’t feel right after I’ve been using my Oculus for roughly 30 minutes or longer. It’s difficult to describe the feeling, but it’s some combination of finding my land legs (like I’ve been on a boat), feeling nauseous, and having a slight headache.

This weird feeling I get after taking off the Oculus headset is very minimal and it goes away after 30 minutes or so, but this after-effect was something that never really crossed my mind when I was thinking of trying WIN Reality.

So this really has nothing to do with WIN Reality because I get this weird feeling after any Oculus game, but this is something that should at least be considered for anyone thinking of giving it a try.

Pros and Cons of WIN Reality

All types of baseball training programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Let’s go over some of the pros and cons I noticed while I was using WIN Reality.

Pros of WIN Reality

1) WIN Reality Focuses on a Player’s Mental Approach to Hitting

The biggest takeaway from WIN Reality is that this program is specifically designed to help you improve your mental approach to hitting. Most of their drills revolved around quickly identifying pitch type and pitch location.

The idea is that the more times you see practice identifying pitches at actual speeds, the more your recognition time and reaction time will improve. And the great thing about WIN Reality is that you can see as many live pitches as you want.

WIN Reality also has a large library of pitchers to choose from. Each pitcher has a slightly different type of delivery and the type of pitches varies from pitcher to pitcher. Also, you’re facing a virtual pitcher so they will never get tired.

2) WIN Reality Price is Reasonable When Compared to Traditional Batting Cages

From what I’ve seen online, people are either happy or upset about the price of WIN Reality. WIN Reality requires a membership before anyone can use it, but when you compare the price of a WIN Reality membership to the price for a traditional batting cage or the price for an instructor for an hour, WIN Reality is cheaper.

In general, WIN Reality costs about $1 per day with a monthly membership and it can be cheaper with a yearly membership. But prices can always change so make sure you visit WIN Realty’s membership page to see their current price.

On the other hand, renting a batting cage for an hour can cost around $40 and a one-hour session with a private instructor can cost $60 or more. Of course, these prices vary depending on where you go, but these prices are generally what you’d see.

3) Players Can Swing a Real Bat with WIN Reality

WIN Reality Bat Attached to Oculus Controller

Even though WIN Reality is a virtual baseball training program, it does have a bat attachment that allows you to swing a real bat for some of the drills.

The bat attachment is sold separately on their website and it is not required to use WIN Reality, but I’d highly encourage anyone to use a bat attachment if you’re planning on using WIN Reality. It makes the experience a lot more realistic.

If you do get the bat attachment, make sure you read this step-by-step guide to attach the WIN Reality bat attachment.

4) WIN Reality has a Lot of Drills

At the time I reviewed WIN Reality, they had 11 drills to choose from. But the good news is that WIN Reality is software so they can always release new drills in the future.

The drills they have include things like locating pitches, identifying pitch types, and situational drills where you have runners on base. Keep scrolling to learn all about the different types of drills.

Cons of WIN Reality

1) WIN Reality Was Bad at Communicating

Communication is the easiest thing for WIN Reality to fix, so it’s possible they’ve already implemented some new things to improve communication, but I found it extremely difficult to find any information on any questions I had.

The biggest pain point for me was that my membership included one-on-one coaching, but I never received any information about this. There was no email about how one-on-one coaching worked, no information within the game, and no information when I logged into my dashboard about it.

Under the “Workout” section, there was a button I pressed to have someone create some custom workouts for me. I would press that button and see a message saying that they are working on a custom workout and I should check back in a few days. I went through that process three to four times and I never received a custom workout.

So I never actually did the one-on-one coaching because I had no idea how this worked. This was unfortunate because I was looking forward to it.

2) WIN Reality Does Not Improve a Player’s Hitting Mechanics

WIN Reality is specifically designed for training a player’s mental approach to hitting, not their actual hitting mechanics.

When you think about it, this makes sense. All you’re using is a headset and an Oculus controller so there’s not a great way for them to track your body while you swing. So players never receive any feedback about their hitting mechanics.

Timing and recognizing pitches are both important, but my hitting mechanics are the one thing that almost always needs minor tweaking. WIN Reality will not help with those changes to a player’s hitting mechanics.

3) Headaches Come Easily When Using Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2

I always feel weird whenever I’ve been using my Oculus for about 30 minutes or more. I’m guessing others feel the same way, but I have a feeling this will vary from person to person.

When my Oculus headset is on I never notice any weird feelings, but when I take off my Oculus headset I feel slightly nauseous and have a slight headache. It almost feels like I’ve been on a boat and I’m trying to re-orient myself to the real world.

I get this feeling from basically every game on Oculus so it’s nothing against WIN Reality, but it is something to keep in mind if you haven’t tried virtual reality before. The good news is that it doesn’t take that long for this feeling to go away.

4) Not Much Value Without the Bat Attachment

When I first started using WIN Reality I didn’t have the bat attachment and I remember thinking that I wasn’t getting much use out of these drills. But then I got the bat attachment and it changed my perspective.

The WIN Reality bat attachment makes the hitting drills feel more realistic. You’re still not hitting a real baseball, but swinging a real bat helps improve the experience on those drills where you need to swing. The bad news is that the bat attachment costs extra.

If you end up using the bat attachment, make sure you read this step-by-step guide to attach the WIN Reality bat attachment to any bat.

What Drills Does WIN Reality Have?

1) Pitch Recognition

WIN Reality - Pitch Recognition Drill 1
Select where you think the ball crossed the strike zone
WIN Reality - Pitch Recognition Drill 2
Select the pitch type you saw
WIN Reality - Pitch Recognition Drill 3
Get feedback on whether you selected the correct pitch and how far off you were on the location

Objective: Locate where pitches crossed the strike zone and identify the type of pitch thrown.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Use your Oculus controller to identify where you think the ball crossed the strike zone
  • Use your Oculus controller to select the type of pitch you saw

2) Batting Practice

WIN Reality Batting Practice - 2
Get feedback on whether you were on time, early, or late.
WIN Reality Batting Practice - 1
Feedback after swinging at a pitch
WIN Reality - Bunting Practice
Get feedback on your bunts

Objective: Swing at live pitches and only swing at strikes. Batters also have the option of enabling the bunt modifier to practice bunting.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Swing and make contact when the pitch is a strike
  • Do not swing at pitches that are balls

3) Disappearing Pitch

WIN Reality Disappearing Pitch - 1
The pitch will disappear once it reaches the blue screen
WIN Reality Disappearing Pitch - 2
Select the type of pitch you saw before the ball disappeared
WIN Reality Disappearing Pitch - 3
Get feedback on whether you were correct

Objective: Identify the pitch type before the ball disappears

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • The ball will disappear once it reaches the screen that is located somewhere between the hitter and the pitcher
  • You will guess what type of pitch was thrown
  • If you correctly guess the pitch type, the screen moves closer to the pitcher

“Recognition Window” Drills in WIN Reality

4) Recognition Window – High Velocity

Recognition Window - Pitcher Delivers Pitch
Pitcher delivers the pitch
WIN Reality Recognition Window - High Velocity 2
Press the trigger button when you recognize the pitch is “high velocity”
WIN Reality Recognition Window - High Velocity 3
Do not press the trigger button when you recognize the pitch is “off speed”

Objective: To quickly identify if a pitch is “high velocity”, which is defined as any pitch that is a fastball, cutter, or sinker. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the pitch is a “high velocity” pitch (fastball cutter, or sinker).

5) Recognition Window – Off Speed

Recognition Window - Pitcher Delivers Pitch
Pitcher delivers the pitch
WIN Reality Recognition Window - Off Speed 2
Pressing the trigger button on a “high velocity” pitch will show red
WIN Reality Recognition Window - Off Speed 1
Pressing the trigger button on an “off speed” pitch shows green

Objective: To quickly identify if a pitch is “off speed”, which is defined as any pitch that is a changeup, curveball, splitter, or slider. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the pitch is “off speed” (changeup, curveball, splitter, or slider).

6) Recognition Window – Strikes

Recognition Window - Pitcher Delivers Pitch
Pitcher delivers the pitch
WIN Reality Recognition Window - Strikes 1
Press the trigger button as soon as you recognize the pitch is a strike
WIN Reality Recognition Window - Strikes 2
You’ll see red if you guess a strike, but the pitch is out of the strike zone

Objective: To quickly identify if a pitch is a strike. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the pitch is a strike

7) Recognition Window –  High Velocity Strikes

Recognition Window - Pitcher Delivers Pitch
Pitcher delivers the pitch
WIN Reality Recognition Window - High Velocity Strikes 1
Do not press the trigger button if the pitch is a ball or an “off speed” pitch
WIN Reality - Recognition Window - High Velocity Strikes 2
Pressing the trigger button when the pitch is “off speed” will show red

Objective: To quickly identify if a pitch is both a strike and a “high velocity” pitch, which is defined as any pitch that is a fastball, cutter, or sinker. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Watch the pitcher deliver a pitch
  • Press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the pitch is a strike and a “high velocity” pitch (fastball cutter, or sinker).

“Release Point” Drills in WIN Reality

8) Release Point – Reaction

WIN Reality - Release Point - Reaction 1
Look for the color of the ball
WIN Reality - Release Point - Reaction 2
Pitcher delivers the pitch. Watch their hand for the color of the ball.
WIN Reality - Release Point - Reaction 3
Press the trigger button as soon as you recognize the colors match

Objective: To quickly identify the color of the baseball out of the pitcher’s hand. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Before the pitcher begins their windup, you’ll see a screen that shows you the color of the ball you’re looking for
  • As the pitcher delivers the pitch, press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the color of the ball matches the color you’re looking for
  • If the color doesn’t match, you let the ball go by

9) Release Point – Advanced Reaction

WIN Reality - Release Point - Advanced Reaction 1
Look for the color of the ball
WIN Reality - Release Point - Reaction 2
Pitcher delivers the pitch. Watch their hand for the color of the ball.
Release Point - Advanced Reaction 2
If the colors don’t match, press A or X on your Oculus controller

Objective: To quickly identify the color of the baseball out of the pitcher’s hand. Press the trigger button if the color matches what you’re looking for or press A or X if the color doesn’t match. Try to get the lowest time possible from when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand until you press the trigger button.

How to perform drill:

  • Before the pitcher begins their windup, you’ll see a screen that shows you the color of the ball you’re looking for
  • As the pitcher delivers the pitch, press the trigger button on your Oculus controller as soon as you recognize the color of the ball matches the color you’re looking for
  • If the color doesn’t match, press A or X

“At Bat” Drills in WIN Reality

10) At Bats – Directional Hitting

WIN Reality - At Bats - Directional Hitting 3
You’ll see green if you hit the ball to the correct area of the field
WIN Reality - At Bats - Directional Hitting 1
You’ll see red if you hit the ball to any other part of the field
WIN Reality - At Bats - Directional Hitting 2
You’ll see red if you miss the pitch

Objective: Hit the ball to the correct area of the field

How to perform drill:

  • Prior to the pitch, you’ll see what area of the field you need to hit to
  • Regardless of where the pitcher throws the ball, you need to swing
  • You’re successful if you hit the ball to the correct area of the field and you’re unsuccessful if there is any other outcome (like missing the pitch, not swinging, or hitting to another area of the field).

11) At Bats – Situational Hitting

WIN Reality - At Bats - Situational Hitting 1
You are given your situation. Sometimes runners are on base.
WIN Reality - At Bats - Situational Hitting 2
Put the ball in play if the pitch is a strike
WIN Reality - At Bats - Situational Hitting 3
See your stats for all 9 turns

Objective: This is like a real-game scenario with a real count. Sometimes you’ll have runners on base. Swing and make contact with strikes. Draw a walk if the pitcher throws balls.

How to perform drill:

  • Analyze the scenario given to you (the scenario will vary on how many outs there are and how many runners are on base)
  • Treat each pitch like you would in a game because you have a count that increments based on what you do
  • You’ll want to either make contact with a strike or draw a walk
    • If you make contact with a pitch that is a ball, the ball will always go foul
  • 3 foul balls and you are out

*** Side Note – watch out behind you. This drill also shows players on the field and if you look behind you, you’ll see a catcher and an umpire. I was not expecting these 2 guys to be behind me and it freaked me out the first time I did this drill.

WIN Reality - At Bats - Situational Hitting 4
Watch out behind you in the Situational Hitting drills!

Players Get a Weekly Usage Report

Once a week, players get a usage report that outlines what they did in the prior week. This report shows a breakdown of how many pitches you’ve seen, what type of pitches you’ve seen, how often you performed each type of drill, and what type of pitchers you saw. It also has some stats from your entire time using WIN Reality.

At first glance, this report seems kind of cool because you can recap what you did. And it’s formatted well so it’s easy to read. However, I’m not a fan of this report. I might be in the minority of people who don’t like this report so let me explain.

This report does not tell me what I struggled with or what I could do to improve – it simply outlines what I’ve already done. And I already know what was done because I was there when it happened.

What would be more helpful is if this report showed me what I was struggling with (locating pitches crossing the strike zone, guessing the correct pitch type, etc) and then recommending drills I could do to improve my skills.

Just to drive home my point further, feel free to download this weekly report I received from WIN Reality and see if you can answer these questions:

  • Did I spend enough time training?
  • What did I not do well?
  • What did I do well?
  • What should I do to improve?

Frequently Asked Question about WIN Reality

How Often Should You Train with WIN Reality?

There is no set limit to how often you should train with WIN Reality, but it’s generally recommended to train for a minimum of 15 minutes each day. WIN Reality also recommends training with their program for one year to see the best results.

How Do You Get Started with WIN Reality?

You can get started with WIN Reality by first downloading the app from the Meta Quest Store and purchasing a membership. It is required to purchase a membership to use WIN Reality.

For a full walkthrough of how to get started, I recommend reading the 6 Steps to Getting Started With WIN Reality on Oculus Quest 2.

Does WIN Reality Actually Work?

Like with most baseball training programs, WIN Reality will work if players put in the effort. The more a player uses WIN Reality, the better they should be on game day.

If you look at all of the reviews on their Oculus page, you’ll see a mix of people who get a lot out of WIN Reality and people who are unhappy with the product. So it really comes down to the individual player and how much they enjoy this program.

How Fast Do WIN Reality Pitchers Throw?

The pitchers in WIN Reality can throw anywhere from 30mph to 100mph.

What is WIN Reality?

WIN Reality is a virtual training program for baseball and softball players. WIN Reality training focuses on a player’s mental approach to hitting by incorporating drills to help improve a player’s timing and recognition of pitches.

WIN Reality is available on Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2. If you are interested in trying out WIN Reality and don’t yet have a headset for virtual reality, I recommend getting this Oculus Quest 2 from Amazon. This headset is the same one on Amazon I used when trying out WIN Reality. And you can just start with the 128 GB Oculus Quest 2 since WIN Reality was only about 617 MB when I downloaded it.

Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball on two different adult baseball teams in the surrounding area.

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