11U and Little League Coach James Weight explains why the Pocket Radar Ball Coach is his go-to coaching tool…for batting.
Lots of coaches and parents know about using a radar gun to measure the speed of a fastball. Most major league ballparks show pitch speed on the scoreboard. But not many understand how using a radar gun during batting practice or at games can help your hitters. Here are four techniques we have used with the Pocket Radar Ball Coach that have paid big dividends.
Measuring exit velocity in the batting cage
I like to use the Pocket Radar Ball Coach when we are at the batting cage, both when the boys are hitting off the tee and when we do front toss. It’s easy to see where the ball goes and if they make solid contact. But the naked eye can’t determine which hit has the highest exit velocity. The Pocket Radar BallCoach gives immediate and accurate measurement. Players can’t argue with real numbers. Hitters immediately learn which mechanical adjustments produce the highest exit speed
Determining which bat is best for each player
We also have players who aren’t sure which bat to use. Naturally, a bat needs to feel good as you hold it in your hands. But if there are a few bats that seem about right, which one do you use? We let them try multiple bats and use the Pocket Radar to measure the exit velocity, and that can make the decision easier and more objective.
Add competition and increase focus at practice
Most athletes, and certainly the boys on my team, really respond to competition. They want to win. In a batting cage, it can be difficult to say who is hitting ‘the best’. But you can’t argue with the numbers from the Pocket Radar Ball Coach. When I measure and call out everyone’s exit velocity, they try harder, focus better, and do what they can to hit the ball better than their teammates.
Confirm growth and improvement over time
Our coaches often tell our players to ‘hit the ball hard somewhere.’ But how do they know how hard they are hitting the ball or if they have improved from last month or last season? Measure their exit velocity with the Pocket Radar Ball Coach and keep records of exit speed, just like you track batting average and slugging percentage. Players can’t control exactly where the ball goes or if it is caught. But if they consistently hit the ball hard, eventually they’ll get results.
Players can’t argue with real numbers. Numbers are objective. The immediate feedback and accuracy of the Pocket Radar Ball Coach has helped my players improve their mechanics, confirm their bat choices, and strive to be the best they can be.
From 11U Travel and Little League coach Adam Marshall…
The Pocket Radar Ball Coach is an incredibly useful tool, and not just for coaching our pitchers. Of course, I use it to measure fastball and off-speed pitches so we can document a pitcher’s progress and ensure that he or she is creating an effective difference between the velocities of those pitches, but I also use it to see how fast our catchers are throwing down and our fielders are throwing across the infield, and to measure exit speeds when hitting. The Pocket Radar Ball Coach provides instant feedback when making mechanical adjustments, and it’s huge to be able to show a player that a minor adjustment can create an immediate difference. What sets the Pocket Radar Ball Coach ahead of the “traditional” gun-style radars is that, as the name implies, it fits easily in my pocket. I can take a few quick shots as needed and quickly get back to actively coaching. It’s smaller than my cell phone, so I’ve also used it to measure opposing – and our own – pitchers during games without bringing attention to myself.