Volleyball Radar Gun Review
Thinking about buying?
With great hesitation I purchased the Bushnell Speedster II for use in my volleyball practices. Reviews of the Bushnell Speedster (Also exactly the same as the Bushnell Velocity) I read said things like, “too hard to use”, “doesn’t get the speed every time” “inaccurate” and more. I purchased mine from OpticsPlanet.com, but you can find them at a lot of stores.
To my surprise the negative reviews were WRONG! The radar gun is AWESOME!
I first started using the radar gun to track volleyball serves. I told the boys that the only way I would tell them how fast they hit it would be if they served it in the court, and then the balls were flying. The radar gun didn’t miss a single volleyball. It may be that the volleyball is bigger than say a baseball and the radar gun has an easier time finding the fast object.
Next I moved on to outside attacks. Once again, it didn’t miss a single attack! The setup which I will explain in a little bit is a little different, but the radar gun clocked every volleyball that was hit.
As a side note, it does clock how fast someone is running and the speed of a shoe flying in the air. (It’s all I had when I opened the box)
How to use a Radar Gun as a Coach….
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the radar gun for volleyball, it was just something that I had always interested me. What I can say is the results of using the radar gun in our first practice were eye opening. Obviously the boys were trying to swing harder on their serves. With the requirement for it to be in the court to get your score, they tried really hard to serve in also. After we did serving for a while, I did give them their speed on their missed serves, just to make it a little fun. My ideas for future use would be making a specific goal. Something like 10 serves in the court at 45+ mph and then we can clock our outside hitting, or then we can move on to playing a game.
When I went to use the radar gun for hitting from outside, the radar gun encouraged the boys to approach more aggressively and swing hard while keeping it in the court. The biggest change I saw here was that the boys didn’t want the ball to hit the tape. They reached higher and swung hard at the same time. If the ball hit the tape, it usually slowed the ball down, so they would get disappointed.
For athletes who don’t hit the ball so hard, sometimes digging or blocking a 50 mph attack is motivation also.
Our fastest jump serve that went in was clocked at 53 mph with an average between 43 and 48mph. Not as fast as they were hoping. Our fastest outside attack was 45 mph, with an average near 40 mph. Our average float serve was between 32 and 34 mph.
Things to remember after you buy the gun…
The Bushnell radar gun is only designed to track objects that are moving in a straight line either towards or away from the gun. This means that the angle of the radar gun must approximate that of the attack or serve angle. If my attacker is contacting the ball at 9 feet, it is best to get a box and clock the hit from 9 feet. My advice is that you have your athletes attack the ball towards the back line. If you want to have someone track a volleyball with your radar gun during a game, you may want to consider calculating the speed using the correct mathematical formula.
If you have questions on how to use the gun, here is a manual to help with calculating the accuracy of your radar gun. Click Here