Game gear along with many different tips & techniques can help you be a better baseball coach and be more effective at player development. Disclaimer: Everything I recommend here I personally own and use. My endorsement as a baseball dad and youth baseball coach is strictly based on my own personal experience. I have NO relationship with the manufacturers and they don’t even know I’m giving them a free promotion. So here’s my Great Gear Recommendation #1: The Glove Radar.
The Glove Radar is a small and relatively inexpensive Doppler radar velocity sensor and microprocessor which easily attaches to any baseball or softball glove and measures the incoming speed of the ball just before it is caught. Constructed of high-impact plastic, this device is water-resistant under normal use and weather conditions, operates on a single lithium battery and features an LCD display which reads the ball’s speed in miles per hour.
Glove Radar can be used wherever it is helpful to measure ball speed. During bullpen sessions I use it both to determine the actual “working speed” of a pitcher’s arsenal of pitches, and to quantify the velocity of a pitcher’s off-speed pitches in relation to their fastball. It is also helpful to measure velocity improvements which result from proper throwing mechanics.
Glove Radar works with balls thrown from any distance, and is a tool also used by pitching coaches in Major League Baseball. Unlike more expensive radar guns, the Glove Radar does not need a long-range reading capability and can be used directly by the coach while in the act of catching the ball. No extra hands required. Also, the Glove Radar is an actual microwave Doppler radar, not an impact sensor nor a timer which requires a precise throwing distance for accuracy.
And speaking of accuracy, the Glove Radar actually measures ball speed within a variance of 1 MPH of readings obtained by radar guns which are measuring the same velocity over the same flight path. I’ve proved this to myself and can attest that it is absolutely true.
The Glove Radar is available through resellers or direct from Sports Sensors, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH. Cost is around $79.00, although you can find specials which knock the price down to around $65.00. If you want an inexpensive, accurate radar that is easy-to-use while you just keep playing catch, check it out and let me know what you think.