At the amateur level I’m not a big fan of radar guns and the like.Although I have a couple myself and some other gizmos, I keep them stored away. Besides, if these things weren’t issued to me I wouldn’t use them anyway.
In the amateur game these devices promote nothing but brute force from a youngster.And there in is the biggest fallacy and drawback with using these things. At say, eighteen years old most pitchers aren’t concerned with location and finesse - as much as they are with firepower. I wish I had a nickel for every pitcher that came to a club that I was coaching who had Flamethrower for a nick name. Then, at about the third inning– when the flame went out because the apposing bench was adjusting – I get this look of …” Ahhh, what did you want to teach me coach??”
In addition, they can be easily damaged by someone who’s not trained in their proper use. Not to mention, very few coaches at the amateur level –including the big name colleges, know how to articulate these devices for the pitch selection of any given player. For example, if you’re known for your fastball by location – can you adjust your fastball by five miles per hour and still command location? IT DOES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. Mind you, I’m still talking fastball, NOT a change-up. Again, it does make a difference.
Also, a radar gun in the proper hands cans give you refinement from the left/middle/right side of the rubber for your pitch selection. Using the entire front of the rubber – in increments, can definitely change the Angle of Attack on your incoming pitch and the highest probability of the desired predictability.
I don’t want to beat this subject to death –any more then I have, but, if you plan to be a competitor at any level, learn the issues of control and finesse. Learn to work the corners, set your pitches up at the right time and for the right reasons, constantly ask .”why does this work?”, pitch yourself smarter – not harder.
A final note on the subject of radar guns and the like – your coaches are trying to prepare you for the opportunities that avail themselves at the NEXT LEVEL, or even a scouting –op in the near future. As you get older you’re going to get stronger, your endurance will increase and so will your tolerances. Incorporate control and finesse now – firepower will come around soon enough.