Athletics is a term encompassing the human competitive sports and games requiring physical skill, and the systems of training that prepare athletes for competition performance. Athletic sports or contests are competitions which are primarily based on human physical competition, demanding the qualities of stamina, fitness, and skill.
A Bit of History
The documented history of sports goes back at least 3,000 years.
In the beginning, sports often involved the preparation for war or training as a hunter, which explains why so many early games involved the throwing of spears, stakes, and rocks, and sparring one-on-one with opponents. With the first Olympic Games in 776 BC—which included events such as foot and chariot races, wrestling, jumping, and discus and javelin throwing—the Ancient Greeks introduced formal sports to the world.
In 1894 Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, a champion of sport in education, launched his plan to revive the Olympic Games, inspired by the Peloponnese in Ancient Greece and founded the International Olympic Committee to help build a peaceful and better world by educating young people through sport.
Today, athletic sports form the bulk of popular sporting activities, with other major forms including motorsports, precision sports, extreme sports and animal sports.
In 1940 a prodigious and innovative young outfielder from Ringtown, Pennsylvania by the name of Danny Litwhiler joined one of the worst teams in the history of the National Baseball League: the Philadelphia Phillies. From 1940 through 1942 the Phillies finished last each year, compiling a combined record of only 135 wins against 323 loses. However, in 1942 Litwhiler was the first player to complete the season without a single error, a feat that earned him entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. During that same season, he became the first player to stitch together the fingers of his glove. He retired from professional ball in 1951 and in 1955 began coaching for the Florida State University, leading them to three College World Series titles.
During his brilliant coaching career Litwhiler invented a very effective method of drying baseball fields after rain using calcined clay, which was marketed as Diamond Grit, enabling play to resume very quickly and in the process saving organized baseball millions of dollars over the decades. In 1962 he was awarded a patent for the batting cage. Then in 1974 he pioneered the idea of using radar technology for timing pitches, which effectively revolutionized the assessment of pitchers – and the way we measure speed in every other sport.
The Measure(d) Revolution
Today, radar guns are a dependent resource to measure speed as it is a necessary component to be successful in most sports. From baseball to cricket to track & field and even motorsports, speed is a measure of ability, competitiveness and – yes – value.
Radar guns benefit athletes to make them aware of their speed and help them improve. It also benefits coaches because they can determine the speed of their athletes and use this information to strategize and design training programs.
For over 68 years, Decatur Electronics has been providing radar speed measuring products for a wide range of applications and uses. Decatur’s radar products incorporate cutting edge patented technology, operator friendly features and are engineered with the user in mind.