Dec 20, 2016Improve Your Team’s Hitting Power by Measuring Exit Velocity
Hello, my name is Steve Goody, and I am the CEO and co-founder of Pocket Radar, Inc. When my partners and I started our company, we set out to create speed measurement products geared towards the everyday consumer. During our research we discovered that over the past half-century, radar has been used exclusively for the police or to measure the peak speed of a fastball. We came to the conclusion that radar speed measurement was being vastly underutilized in areas pertaining to athlete development, coaching and training. After years of working with some of the top professional and amateur coaches in the country to deliver an accurate, affordable and discreet solution to the big/bulky/ expensive “radar guns”, we introduced our Ball Coach™ radar.
The Ball Coach radar is a pro-level speed training tool designed to help athletes of all ages and levels improve multiple skills in a short amount of time, while having fun and being competitive. By making crucial results like hitting power, pitching speeds and throwing speeds instantly visible, the Ball Coach radar helps players and teams get better, faster. Which brings me to the title of the article, and why you should be utilizing Exit Velocity as a training key piece to improve your team’s hitting potential.
Exit Velocity, also referred to as Ball Exit Speed off the bat is the only direct measure of the power behind a hit. Studies have proven that for every extra 1 MPH added to Exit Velocity, the ball will travel an estimated 4-6 feet further of distance, depending on its trajectory and launch angle. That means it has a direct effect on whether a player has warning track power or homerun power, if they can drive the ball into the gaps for extra-base hits, and if they can hit the ball hard enough to put more pressure on the defense and slow down their reaction time. Incorporating radar into your hitting practice will provide players with instant objective feedback on performance that cannot be argued against, because numbers don’t lie. By setting a baseline every day for where you are, you will have an understanding of what players need to work on to improve those numbers, while keeping them motivated to work hard in doing so.
4x MLB All-Star and 2013 Colorado Rockies Hitting Coach, Dante Bichette, knows that Exit Velocity off the bat is the true measure of a hitter’s power. “When it comes to hitting, ball exit speed off the bat is what it’s all about. Using the Ball Coach radar with professional hitters and youth hitters, I’ve learned that players at all levels need instant feedback to improve in the shortest amount of time. It stuns me that most people in baseball still don’t measure exit speed. Everyone knows what a 90 mph pitch looks like, but they don’t know what a good exit speed is. An extra 1 to 2 mph can make a completely different hitter. If you want to become a better hitter, you need to start measuring your ball exit speed.”
Eric Rea of Petaluma, CA is the owner of the Athletic Edge training center and an experienced head coach of youth travel ball organizations. He has found the Ball Coach radar to be a powerful training tool during lessons and practices and has a great story to share about how he utilizes radar to help young hitters work on their timing. “The big thing with the Ball Coach radar is that it allows you to start with a starting point. Beginning of my season, I radar all of them as far as their Exit Speed. Gives me a good starting point, shows me the kids that are pulling off, what kids are getting through the baseball, and it’s one of those things they want to build. They know that little Joey is over there hitting at 48, they’re going to want to hit 49. That’s the biggest thing with the radar, giving them the ability to work towards that extra number.”
As for fun and powerful ways to utilize radar during practice, here is a story from Eric Rea about helping his youth hitters deal with an intimidating opposing pitcher. “With the younger guys, 8-11 or 8-12, timing is everything, and giving them the ability and upper-hand when they step in the box is huge.” Case study: “This last spring season we won the championship. This pitcher that we were facing, an 11 year old big strong kid had been hosing people down all season. So I went up there the game on Thursday night to radar him and he’s throwing 47, 48, 48… So Friday I went out to batting practice and threw 48 to the team, and the Saturday before the game I lined everyone up in our cages and put the pitching machines at 48 miles per hour. So we get into the game, we’re the visiting team, and scored 5 runs with no outs and everyone was in shock. The pitcher couldn’t do anything; we were hitting balls that no one else could hit all season.”
It is clear that using radar as a training tool to get instant feedback on performance in hitting is making a big difference at all levels of the game. The radar doesn’t lie, and by training with objective measurement players and coaches will have a better understanding of where they are and what they need to do to improve. Don’t get left behind by the forward thinking teams and players and start training with actionable data that will improve your hitting performance.