I have mentioned my coaching exploits many times. I just finished my twelfth season as the head girl’s fastpitch softball coach. We had the best regular season in school history staying undefeated until losing in the state playoffs. One thing that has really changed over those twelve years is pitching. High school pitching now is as good if not better as some college pitching when I started coaching. With the pitching rubber only 43 feet from the plate, the speed of the pitching is a huge issue in my line of work. Most teams own a radar gun to not only keep tabs on their own pitcher, but also scout the opposing teams. I unfortunately do not have room in my budget for such a tool.
Pocket Radar recently sent me one of their units to test and review for the site. I was actually as excited as a small child waiting on Santa Claus as I thought of all of the ways I could use the product. In my line of work, the Pocket Radar is truly a must have tool.
From Pocket Radar:
The Pocket Radar™’s innovative technology allows you to measure the speed of anything from freshly pitched fast ball, to a 300 mph drag racer with accuracy within one mile per hour. It’s industry leading point and click interface easily allows you to instantly get in the action with the touch of a single button. The Pocket Radar™’s ultra slim and portable size, along with its rugged and durable exterior, makes it perfect to enhance the experience of not only coaches and athletes, but fans alike in any number of sports including; baseball, tennis, track and field, racing, soccer, cycling, and tons more.
During my softball season as well as other times during the year I could actually see myself using this device on a daily basis. My starting pitcher this year was a Freshman and had a great year. I actually had a dad on an opposing team use his radar gun to clock her just so I had an idea how fast she was throwing. Since she was so successful this year, several guns were seen at all of our games from our opponents as well as other teams scouting us. I started to see the benefits of using a radar device as a scouting tool. The ability to know how fast the next pitcher throws can be quite valuable for the team. The girls begin to understand and visualize the speed of the pitches. The Pocket Radar could also be used to accurately set our pitching machine to the speed of our next opponent. It would probably be in my pocket anytime I was on the field during the season!
To use the Pocket Radar, simply press and release the large red button. You must time the press to occur to just before you want the radar to clock an item. This is not too difficult for use with a constant moving item like a vehicle, but takes some practice for things like pitching. Hold the radar upright (like you would be filming if it were a cell phone) with the back facing the moving object. You should be directly in line with the object which may be moving toward or away from the radar.
The Pocket Radar comes with a nice carrying case and a wrist strap much like you would find for a camera. The size is similar to an iPhone that is a little thicker. It truly does fit in a pocket. The size and simplicity of the Pocket Radar makes it easy to carry at a game or practice or even at a car race or RC car race. Anytime you are interested in finding the speed of a moving object, the radar can be there ready to work. As a coach, I must get one of these for my team and I am sure that all of my opposing coaches would love one also. Check it out here at the Pocket Radar web site where you can order your own.
What I like: The idea of having a radar gun that fits in my pocket is an invaluable tool for my job. The fact that it works great is even better.
What could use improvement: It takes some practice to time the button press when timing a pitch.