DIY Drills: Easy Guide to Building a Batting Cage at Home

Posted on

The pandemic has given baseball enthusiasts plenty of time to practice their pitches and swings. But batting at home can cause some minor accidents, no matter how skilled you are.

Take Joe Kelly, for example. The MLB pitcher had a home mishap when he was practicing his pitch in the backyard. He threw a changeup but the ball turned and went through the window.

If you’re planning to work on your game during this downtime, it’s a good idea to set up a batting cage at home. It allows you to pitch and bat as hard as you can without causing a Joe Kelly incident. You can bust out your Stalker radar gun and improve your off-speed pitches, hitting power, and fielding arm strength.

Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to building a batting cage at home.

Initial Steps 

You can order a frame kit with all the pieces, parts, and the net included. This is the easiest way to set up a batting cage, although it can get expensive. It’s a good option if you want a permanent cage since the materials in the kit are high-quality and will last for years.

A DIY batting cage is more affordable. Plus, you can customize it according to your preferred size.

First, determine the best area to construct your cage. The space must be at least 25 feet long and 8 feet wide. The ground should be even and free from obstructions. If you want to practice hitting pitches from farther away, you need a bigger area.

Next, choose your materials. You can use galvanized steel poles, PVC pipes, or wooden posts for the skeleton of the cage. The posts should be 13 to 15 feet tall. You also need nylon netting. The netting squares should be small enough that the ball won’t go through them.

Directions 

  1. Mark the size of your batting cage by setting up the support posts. The cage should have a support post on each side every 12 to 14 feet. A 40-foot-long cage needs three posts on each side.
  2. If you’re building your cage outside, secure two to three feet of the posts with concrete. For indoor cages, attach the posts with post bases, then secure them onto the floor.
  3. Screw an eye bolt every 3 feet of each post if you’re using galvanized steel or wooden poles.
  4. Drape the netting over the top of the poles. Don’t stretch the net too lightly. It has to be loose so that it stops the ball instead of bouncing it back.
  5. Clip the netting to the posts by tying them to the eye bolts. If you’re using a PVC pipe skeleton, switch out the eye bolts for cable ties. Zip tie the netting to the pipes every few inches.
  6. Secure the netting to the ground to prevent balls from rolling underneath.

Don’t pitch to a hitter inside the cage. Unless you have a pitcher’s screen, use a pitching machine when practicing your batting.

Improve Your Baseball Game While in Quarantine 

Invest in high-quality baseball training equipment if you want to get quality practice down like the pros during the pandemic. Radar Sports, LLC carries a wide range of baseball equipment and accessories, from radar guns to batting cage kits. We also have a variety of products for other sports, including tennis, soccer, and more.

Visit our online store today to get the equipment you need.

The Future of Baseball Games: What Stadiums Could Be Like in the New Normal

Posted on

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed states across the nation to enact stay-at-home orders to quell the spread of the virus. And though some of them have lifted restrictions, it’s mostly for people who need to go to work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still discourages mass gatherings.

As such, budding athletes like you don’t get to go to the gym or stadium to practice your craft, let alone participate in tournaments. You’re left with no choice but to practice your pitches with your baseball radar gun alone.

Pro Sports Continue Amid Lockdowns

Some professional sports leagues like the NBA and MLB are continuing their seasons, however, after suffering from multiple postponements because of the COVID-19 threat. Some teams had major outbreaks, according to a report by The New York Times. The Cardinals notably had 10 players and seven staff members testing positive for the virus. The Marlins had 18 players who showed positive test results as well. These surge in COVID-19 cases within the league have both fans and officials worried that some teams might not be able to complete their seasons.

Some members of the Cardinals are asymptomatic, while others were hospitalized for fevers, headaches, and coughs, the report added. The virus’s symptoms and complications can range from simple fevers to full-on respiratory and brain damage.

Although vaccines are being developed at record speeds, it would take months or even years before they’re deemed safe for public consumption. Some experts even theorize that the virus will eventually weaken and become a seasonal one like the flu or common cold. Plus, the United States continues to lead the world when it comes to active cases.

Whether we like it or not, we’re going to deal with this pandemic for a very long time. If the show must go on for sports leagues like the MLB, what would the stadiums look like during this new normal?

A Different Kind of Live Audience

One of the most exciting things about sports is being able to see the games live. Nothing compares to the rush of taking time off work, buying tickets, and heading to the stadium to see your favorite team play right before your eyes. Because social distancing absolutely needs to be practiced, you won’t be able to do this for a long while.

The only choice that you have is streaming live games over the internet and sports TV channels. And though a lot of you’ve probably been doing this for a while, the games may look empty because there’s literally no crowd in the stands. The NBA has been doing this for some time now. For some stadiums, the crowd is replaced by awkward-looking cardboard standees and pre-recorded audience noises.

Others took an innovative approach. The Staples Center showed its fans connected through video chat on virtual seats. These changes may look awkward, but they’re honest efforts of the leagues to make the viewing experience more immersive for audiences.

Roster Changes Because of COVID-19

Because some people who get COVID-19 are asymptomatic, which means they don’t exhibit any symptoms of infection, it’s hard to track and quarantine them. Players interact with many people every day: their teammates, opponents, staff, and family members. As such, players may need to get tested regularly if they want to participate in games.

When they test positive, they’ll need to sit out for quarantine and treatment. People need to get two negative results after quarantine and treatment, too, before they’re officially considered COVID-free. This problem will lead to roster changes that may greatly affect the outcome of your favorite team’s games, especially if your star players catch the virus.

Strict Social Distancing

Leagues like the NBA have a sanitation procedure that players go through before entering a stadium. Others, like the MLB, also have a testing system in place for players and staff, which the league commissioner reviews every week. If they do permit crowds in arenas again, you may have to go through a long line just to get sanitized and tested before you can enter the stands. Still, your best bet to stay healthy while enjoying the game is just to stay home and stream it.

The recent pandemic left a lot of sports leagues in a bind. For one, they want to help their fans get through these trying times by providing exciting and fresh plays. However, it’s also their responsibility to keep their players and staff safe from the virus. Stadiums need to create compromises like procuring and using sanitation and testing equipment, creating and executing social distancing protocols for staff and players, and completely forgoing a live audience. These are necessary compromises to ensure quality entertainment that the fans deserve.

Make Your Practice Count During the Pandemic

If you want to get quality practice down like the pros during this pandemic, you need high-quality radar guns and baseball equipment from Radar Sports, LLC. We offer a wide variety of products for different games like baseball, tennis, soccer, and more. Each item comes from top brands like Stalker and Bushnell, so you’re sure to get accurate measurements with every pitch.

Visit our online store today to get the equipment you need.

Achieve an A+ Hard Shot in Hockey with These Two Techniques

Posted on

Three factors are necessary for beating a solid hockey goaltender: precision, skill, and better shot speed. Brute strength and pure size can help but settling on these alone is not enough. Players of any skill level or size can still add more power to their shot by perfecting the art of wrist shots and slap shots. Once you do, the reading on speed measuring radar guns will be off the charts.

Mastering the Art of Wrist Shot Speeds

Increase your maximum power potential by moving your hand to a position approximately halfway-down. Always stand at a 45-degree angle for a more open stance. Also, bring your puck closer to the line using your back heel. Putting the puck forward might sacrifice your power, but you can snap off a shot faster.

Another way to perfect your wrist shot is by tilting the edge of your blade forward over the puck. Cradle the puck towards the blade’s inner third. Use your lower hand to push the puck forward while you pull the top of your stick back using your top hand.

When making a shot, rotate your body toward the net. Once the puck reaches your foot, square your shoulders to hit the target. Immediately snap your wrists forward so the puck will roll to the edge of the blade then shoot.

Finish off your shot with a low swing or with a higher swing so you can hit the top of the net.

Mastering the Art of Slap Shot Speeds

Unlike wrist shots, you’ll have to position your lower hand below the blade shaft’s midpoint. This type of placement will increase the amount of kinetic energy and stick bend the shot contains.

Give yourself more space to hit by lifting the stick backward until it reaches the level of your waist. Unless your shooting form is perfect, lifting the stick above your shoulders might sacrifice your accuracy so swing it downward towards the puck.  Put more weight on your front leg and tilt the blade forward to increase the power of your strike. It also keeps the trajectory low.

Position yourself at a slight angle to hit the shot with your weight on the back foot and your feet about shoulder-width apart. This position increases the amount of force you can put in a shot. Put the puck in line with the middle of your front foot.

Another way to perfect your shot speeds is to strike the ice about two inches behind the puck. Position the center of the blade behind the puck before you strike.

As the puck heads your way, snap your wrists forward. Maximize weight transfer by rotating your front toe toward the net. Also, stay as low as possible to the ice so you can hit the puck inside the goal instead of above it.

Practice makes perfect — an old saying that still applies to any hockey player who wishes to improve their shots or achieve a perfect hard shot. By mastering the art of wrist and slap shot speeds, you can aim for a hard shot easily.

Measure your performance with radar guns from Radar Sports, LLC. Get in touch with us today.

Fast and On Target: Improving Your Slapshot Accuracy and Power

Posted on

The slapshot is the most powerful shot in a hockey game. With this shot, a puck may reach speeds equal to or greater than 100 miles per hour (mph). The hardest (and fastest) slapshot on record is a blazing 109.2 mph.

Slapshots are easy to learn, but they take time to master. Simply hitting the puck as hard as you can doesn’t qualify as a powerful and precise hockey shot.  You’ll need the right techniques, as well as the right tools, like a professional-grade sports speed gun, to help you develop and execute a winning slapshot.

Follow these steps to refine your slapshot:

  1. Shift Your Weight Properly

Weight transfer is crucial to producing a powerful slapshot. Your body generates more power when you shift your weight from one area of your body to another. If you’re practicing a slapshot, train your body to seamlessly move the weight from your back leg to the front leg.

  1. Bend Your Knees

Amateur hockey players often make the mistake of executing a slapshot with straight legs. As a result, they’re unable to shift their weight properly and generate a powerful shot.

When positioning your body for a slapshot, bend your knees toward the direction of your shot. This technique enables you to push off with your back leg easily and produce a decent slapshot.

3. Perfect Your Arm Form

Accuracy is just as important as power. A powerful hockey shot won’t be worth it if you miss your target. When you want your slapshots to be precise, you’ll need to practice your arm form. This helps your shots to stay consistent every single time.

When doing a back swing for your slapshot, avoid positioning your arms like you’re swinging a golf club. You won’t be able to flex your hockey stick properly and produce a powerful shot with that posture. Instead, position and move your arms like a pendulum — straight back, then straight down. Keep practicing until you develop a consistent form.

  1. Use Your Hockey Stick Correctly

Your stick plays an important role in keeping your slapshots as accurate as possible. Make sure that you’re holding the stick in the right spot. Also, the hockey stick should cup or make contact with the ice or ground before hitting the puck.

  1. Use Hockey Practice Equipment

A sports radar gun and a shooting tarp are a couple of tools that can hone the speed and accuracy of your slapshots.

If you’re going to shoot pucks regularly, use a high-quality speed gun to know how fast your slapshots are going. Once you know your shot speed, adjust your technique or form as needed to help you generate more power to your shot.

When improving your accuracy, use a hockey tarp that contains the five target areas (the five-hole and the four corner holes of the hockey net). Target these holes when performing your slapshots.

Radar Sports, LLC offers speed radar guns, as well as hockey training equipment, to help you improve your shot speed and accuracy. With our extensive inventory of sports products, you’ll find the right equipment to hone your hockey skills and score goals on the rink.

Let us help you improve your hockey shots. Call us today for more information about our products.

Sports at Home: How Do You Keep the Kids Active during Quarantine?

Posted on

Stay-at-home orders are common across the United States and around the world. And while the US and other countries are slowly relaxing these orders, it’s going to take a while before things fully return to normal. This means we have to practice social distancing for longer. It isn’t an easy adjustment for any of us, and it can be particularly frustrating for kids who are used to burning off their energy outside or in school.

Staying at home doesn’t necessarily equate to a sedentary lifestyle. Try limiting your children’s screen time and focus on activities that stimulate their physical well-being and creativity. Rather than letting the kids watch TV or play video games all day, get creative with sports in your backyard.

For Sports Lovers and the Not-So-Sporty

Sports inflatables aren’t just for birthday parties, social gatherings, and special occasions. While social distancing is implemented and large gatherings are prohibited, interactive inflatable games are a great way to keep your kids physically active. It prevents them from getting bored or irritable.

There are different types of inflatables to match your kids’ interest:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Soccer

Even if your children aren’t inclined toward any of these sports, they’re sure to have a good time playing in the inflatables. It might even cause them to discover a passion for a specific game.

Make these inflatables even more enjoyable for the kids by using them as a reward. Now is the time to teach them about household responsibilities so you might consider allowing them to play only after they finish their household chores. Don’t hesitate to join them, either. They would enjoy it even more when you do.

These inflatables wouldn’t be in your backyard forever, though. Eventually, you might want to consider renting them out to friends and neighbors. It’s a win-win situation, really.

For Baseball and Softball Enthusiasts

If there’s one sport that exhibits social distancing, it’s baseball — except for when fielders rush to tag the batter or other runners, that is. High school, college, and major league baseball diamonds have a 90-feet baseline, for example, while Little League fields have a safe 60-feet baseline.

This doesn’t mean that it’s okay to play the game during the quarantine period.

It’s understandable if your baseball or softball-loving kid feels down because they can’t be out on the field. They don’t have to stop practicing their pitches and improving their swings, though. You can set up a makeshift training area for them in the backyard using any of these equipment:

  • Batting cages
  • Pitching cages
  • Pitching machines
  • Pitching mounds
  • Speed radar guns

There’s no reason to give up their favorite game or get rusty just because they currently can’t be on the diamond. They can develop their batting technique and pitching strategies in the safety of your yard.

Combine this physical activity with balanced eating and a good night’s sleep. Your children might feel restless for staying at home for a prolonged period but a healthy daily routine helps reduce their stress.

Keep your kids active at home. Contact us for inquiries about sports inflatables and equipment.

Practice Makes Perfect: How Do You Become a Better Pitcher?

Posted on

In modern baseball history, many pitchers aim to have the same fastball skills as Mariano Rivera, a Hall of Famer who constantly generated broken bats on the field. Or maybe you’re more interested in Sandy Koufax’s record of 4 no-hitters in just 4 years. Another classic inspiration is Don Drysdale, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher whose intimidating style and beast-like durability remain legendary.

But whoever your pitching idol is, just know that they weren’t born that way. They spent countless hours under the sun, trying to perfect their aim and speed up their pitch. Make the most of modern baseball equipment so you, too, can eventually pitch like the legends.

The Best Equipment to Improve Your Pitch

Better pitch skills begin with the right equipment. These are the essential equipment to invest in:

  1. It all starts in a pitching cage.

Practice your fastballs and curveballs in the safety of a pitching cage. Next to the field, it’s the best place to practice your speed and accuracy.

  1. Practice being on the mound.

Casual pitches are different from pitching on the mound, where you have limited space. It doesn’t feel so limited anymore, though, when you get used to it.

  1. Track your speed with a radar gun.

Your coach can tell if your form is good but nobody can determine how fast you pitch — except a baseball radar gun. Nothing beats its accuracy in measuring speed.

We’re a leading authority in speed measurement. Our equipment can help improve your pitch.

Other Tips on Becoming a Better Pitcher

Nobody starts out being a great pitcher. Some people may have the natural form, power, and accuracy for the baseball position but everyone still has to undergo training to hone that skill. In addition to consistent training and mental focus, here are ways you can improve as a pitcher:

  1. Start the conversation with your coach.

Your coach isn’t there to yell at you and tell you what to do. They’re there to guide you and help you improve as a pitcher. So talk to them during practices. Ask them to observe your form and give you suggestions on how to improve your style and stance.

  1. Be mindful when you’re practicing.

It might be easier to just go through the motions of practicing your pitch in a speed pitch cage. But you have to be mentally checked in if you want to speed up your pitch or improve your accuracy. Take note of what you need to improve on and what’s working for you.

  1. Hold yourself accountable for your play.

One of the most important things that every athlete should practice is ownership. You have to hold yourself accountable for everything you do on the field during practice and in games. Don’t beat yourself up about it, though. Just find ways to be better.

  1. Make a commitment to the game.

You’re not going to improve as a pitcher if you’re only 50% committed to baseball. This doesn’t mean ignoring your other responsibilities. It simply means going all in when you’re on the field and never hesitating with every pitch you throw.

Let us help you hone your pitching skills. Call us at 1-800-914-4008 to learn more.

Baseball Basics: Equipment You’ll Need for Pitching Training

Posted on

Baseball pitchers who want to improve their skills on the mound need constant practice and training. They need to put in the hours and perform pitcher-specific workouts to build arm strength and add velocity to their throws.

Besides training, they should use the right equipment that will shape them into athletes made for Major League Baseball (MLB). If you need to train pitchers on your team for an upcoming match, make sure you have the following baseball equipment and tools ready:

Radar Guns

You’ll never know how quick a fastball is if you use a speed gun to measure the velocity. This portable piece of equipment allows pitchers to work on their pitching speed. It also helps you monitor a player’s throwing intensity. Radar guns from Stalker give precise and reliable results from a crystal-clear LED screen. Coaches can depend on Stalker’s accurate measurements to help improve a baseball player’s pitching velocity.

Weighted Training Balls

These balls train pitchers to throw stronger, faster, and farther on the field. They usually weigh between 4 and 15 ounces depending on the type of ball.

During training, your pitchers can use an underweight or overweight ball. The first type hones the arm speed of a pitcher while the latter boosts pitch velocity and arm strength. Both balls help develop the forearm and the wrist.

Strike Zones

Power isn’t everything in a throw. Players need to make sure that their pitches are accurate. With a strike zone, pitchers can improve the accuracy of their throws on the diamond. This equipment offers instant feedback to a pitcher. If the player pitches within the outlined strike zone, there is a high probability that the throw will result in a strike.

Resistance Bands

These bands allow pitchers to strengthen their arms and boost their throwing power, accuracy, velocity, and distance. If you’re looking for a resistance band-specific for baseball players, choose J-Bands. Alan Jaeger, the man who made these bands, designed this training equipment primarily for baseball throwing development.

Baseball Nets

During practice, you need to make every second of practice time count. The last thing you and the other baseball players want to do is to chase down baseballs thrown by pitchers or hit by batters. Before you begin your practice sessions, make sure you invest in a quality baseball net that can catch balls thrown at high velocities.

Baseball nets have two forms: knotless and knotted. Knotless nets are flat and contain strands sewn together. Knotted nets, on the other hand, have knots composed of a minimum of three strands twisted together. Either option is okay, so long as you choose a quality net that lasts hundreds of training sessions.

If you’re going to practice pitching outdoors, make sure that the materials used to build the frame are durable and resistant to rust. The frame should have a strong and thick base that won’t topple over when one of our pitchers throw a powerful fastball.

These tools and equipment can build a powerful team of pitchers. You can’t do without them.

If you’re looking for high-quality speed guns for your baseball training and practices, Radar Sports, LLC is a good place to go. Get in touch with us to learn more about our speed guns.

Make It to MLB: Secrets to Becoming a Professional Pitcher

Posted on

Ever dreamt of surpassing Randy Johnson, who struck out over 329 batters in five straight seasons in his prime? Or if you’re left-handed, maybe you’re inspired to someday average an astonishing 5.73 strikeouts per walk, like Clayton Kershaw did at his peak. Whatever your goal is, start working on  your pitch now.

It isn’t easy pitching to a target who’s 60 feet 6 inches away. Even the greatest pitchers in MLB history trained for a long time and played many games before they got a good command of the strike zone.

You won’t learn how to throw more strikes and reduce the walks you give overnight. It takes time to be consistently precise. Improve your pitch command by focusing on control, accuracy, and velocity.

Learn How to Control Your Pitch

Cy Young set the bar high for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s the all-time leader in career wins, boasting a total of 511 wins. He also holds MLB records for most innings pitched (7,335) and most games started (815). He led his league to victory for five seasons and pitched three no-hitters during his career.

The secret to his success seems simple. Control, he shared, was what kept him relevant in MLB for 22 years. Indeed, your long-term success as a  pitcher depends on how well you control your swing.

There’s no use throwing hard if it isn’t consistent or if it rarely hits the spots. You’ll eventually advance to the major leagues if you can consistently throw strikes, get the ball over the plate, and limit free passes.

Accuracy is Key to a Strong Start

Once you have a better command of your throws,  it’s time to work on the accuracy of your pitches. But how exactly do you become an accurate pitcher?

First, focus on the mechanical aspects. Observe your pivot foot alignment along the front of the mound. Start on your throwing hand’s side of the rubber for improved horizontal control. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on your back pivot foot, not just on your heel, when your knee comes up.

Control arm extension, too. Make sure it isn’t too high, too low, or too far away from the body.

Your mental process is also important. Learn how to block out internal and external distractions to focus on your pitch. Be courageous enough to face stressful situations. Know your strengths and limitations. All these mental aspects of the game affect your confidence and, in turn, your accuracy.

Finally, you have to be in good physical condition to hone the accuracy of your pitch. Good posture and balance are important in the delivery of a clean pitch.

Gradually Increase Your Velocity

The third major factor that defines your future as an MLB pitcher is velocity. Start maximizing your ball speed because major league pitchers are only throwing even harder every year. There’s a rapidly increasing number of MLB pitchers whose pitching velocity is at least 95 mph.

It’s time to bring out your baseball radar gun and gradually increase your throwing speed. Major league pitchers are only getting stronger so start setting personal velocity goals and measuring the results.

Work on your speed and stamina — and make sure it’s accurate — and you’ll eventually reach your goal of being an MLB starting pitcher.

Let our baseball equipment help you gauge and hone your skills. Call us at 1-800-914-4008 or send us an email to learn more.

Radar or Laser: Choosing a Speed Gun for Your Department

Posted on

When a driver gets ticketed for violating the speeding limit, they can decide whether to pay the ticket and move on or to contest the ticketing in court. When a driver chooses the latter option, they must prove that the officer made a mistake in determining the speed of a vehicle. If that is the case, the court dismisses the charge.

Speed guns help police officers detect the accurate speed of vehicles in traffic. Placed at a reasonable distance before a speed sign, it captures the speed of a vehicle and displays it by the time a driver passes by the sign.

Currently, there are two types of speed guns in the market: the radar gun and the laser gun.

The RADAR Speed Gun
Radar guns have been the go-to measurement tool of traffic enforcers for years. This type of speed detecting device uses what is known as the Doppler Effect, which refers to a change in wave frequencies reflected from or generated on a moving object.

For example, a radar beam aims a frequency toward a moving vehicle, which returns a different frequency that is used to calculate the speed of the car. Significant changes in frequency mean a fast speed, resulting in the vehicle getting pulled over.

Although radar speed guns are known for their convenience and ease of use, they might produce less accurate readings during heavy traffic. The waves coming from the gun are wide by nature, so if you point it toward a car, it will also strike other nearby vehicles. The speed detected by the gun may not be the actual speed of the target vehicle.

The waves of radar guns can also be picked up by radar detectors from a long range away, giving drivers enough time to slow down before they approach the traffic enforcer.

The Laser Speed Gun
Laser or LIDAR (light detection and ranging) guns operate the same way as their radar counterparts. The gun sends out pulses of light and measures a vehicle’s speed based on the returned wave frequencies that bounce off the car.

The difference is that the waves are narrower, making it easier to pinpoint a vehicle from traffic. Some laser guns can record a video image of the car and its license.

The narrow beams of laser guns also make it difficult for radar detectors to pick them up. Sometimes the sensor will pick up the signals only when the vehicle is within the visual distance of the traffic enforcer, giving the driver little warning.

Choosing the Speed Detector for Your Department
Choosing the right speed gun for your department depends on your agency’s needs. Consider the following factors to determine which unit you should buy:

#1: User-Friendliness
Whether you want a radar or laser speed gun, choose devices with features such as:

Displays bright for daytime use but can be dimmed for nighttime
Waterproof and dustproof surfaces
Protective bumpers
Easy-to-use touch-screen menu controls
Can be charged by the vehicle or operated from rechargeable batteries
For laser speed guns, make sure that it has an encryption system that prevents image alternation.

#2: Software
Choose speed guns with computer-based software used for transferring, collecting, and reporting data. Some speed gun software packages collect speed and traffic patterns that can help you identify problems and come up with solutions.

Choose Speed Guns by Radar Sports
Speed guns have tremendously helped traffic enforcers manage traffic in their area and minimize accidents. Whether you choose a radar or laser gun, consider what solutions your department needs.

Radar Sports offers a variety of speed guns, from the traditional radar guns to the more advanced LIDAR guns. Equip your precinct’s fleet with our pieces of tech to keep the roads safe from aggressive drivers.

Get in touch with us to order your laser speed gun or directional radar gun. Call us at 1-800-914-4008 or fill out our contact form and receive an additional $10 off your purchase.

Hand Cannon: How to Increase Your Fastball Velocity

Posted on

Many baseball fans and amateur players aspire to pitch fastballs like their idols. It may be impossible to have access to the sort of training and conditioning professionals have, but it is possible to take some steps to improve your personal best. If you want to increase the velocity of your fastball, try these tips.

  1. Gain Weight

Yes, you read right—pack on some pounds, but only if you’re underweight for your body type. You need the body weight to increase the force of your leg drive before you release your fastball. Don’t use this as a license to pig out on junk and beer, though. Strive to gain more weight via muscle mass and not unhealthy fat.

  1. Work Out

Your coach should know what sort of exercises you should perform to increase your endurance and muscle mass. Don’t take your workouts or the right habits for granted; get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and tobacco to maximize muscle gains. If you don’t have access to a gym or weights, you can do these arm exercises at home to help you throw harder. All you’ll need is a pair of light dumbbells—3lbs for younger pitchers, 5lbs for adults—or a couple of soup cans.

  1. Keep Score

To know how much velocity you’d like to add to your fastball, you’re going to need a radar gun. Get a good one like a stalker radar to determine the current velocity of your fastball. Take steps to up your speed, then check your new velocity. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t hit your targets or your results are below expectations.

  1. Work on Your Technique

Proper technique is definitely key to improving your fastball. Start with your stance, maximize your leg drive, perfect your hip-to-shoulder separation, and master your throw. It may seem simple, but each and every stage of your fastball throw determines whether the ball sputters or gains real speed.

  1. Drink Lots of Water

A hydrated pitcher is a better pitcher. Not only will your physical performance be hampered, but your mental performance will be off, too. In a study, it was found that even mildly-dehydrated people have their mental faculties impaired, making them unable to work at their baseline levels of performance.

  1. Use the Four-Seam Grip

It may not only be your stance, leg drive or throw—your grip on the ball can also impact its velocity. To increase the velocity of your throw, you can try the Four-Seam Grip. You do this by placing your index and middle fingertips perpendicular to the seam. The seams should look like a horseshoe to you when you turn the ball over. Position your thumb on the middle of the horseshoe at the bottom of the ball. Don’t hold the ball tightly, but allow a gap to exist between the ball and the base of your grasping thumb. The loose grip and gap are important to minimize friction with the ball when you release, and this will give it maximum backspin and velocity.

  1. Use What Nature Provided

Another secret to increasing your fastball, unfortunately, lies in your genes. If you’re tall, you can take longer strides, and longer strides mean more energy transferred from your leg drive to the ball before release. Longer arms mean more power when you release the ball. Major League Baseball’s fastest pitcher, Aroldis Chapman, owes his record-shattering 105-mph fastballs to his particular height and insanely fast and long stride, and quick release from his long, strong arms. You can watch this video to see why he’s baseball’s top pitcher.

These are a fraction of what you could do to improve your fastball’s velocity. And although it would be good to be able to throw them like MLB’s legends, pulling off 100-mph fastballs is a feat not everyone can do. Remember that even if you don’t improve your speed by much, it’s still possible to throw decent fastballs and score no-hitters when it’s your turn on the mound.

Did you find this article informative? As the leading authority in speed measurement tech in sports, we have the products to help you gauge and improve your performance in baseball, golf, tennis, hockey, and even in racing watercraft and automobiles. Contact us to know more.

X