Brent Rushall's New Book (prev. Dick Mills' book)


#1

I received my copy of the Dick Mills/Brent Rushall book and am finding it to be a fascinating read. I highly recommend it even for the DM bashers out there.

What everyone needs to know about this book is that it really is NOT a Dick Mills book. In fact, I’d call it Brent Rushall’s book with Dick Mills adding a small component on pitching. Out of 9 “topics” in the book, the first 8 are by Rushall and only the 9th one is by Mills. Rushall = 85%, Mills = 15% by # of pages (approximated by me, not counted).

That being said, Rushall is making some very strong statements about the validity of most of the key research undertakings that baseball people have relied on for a long time. Those like DeRenne and ASMI on the effectiveness of using weighted balls to increase throwing velocities. He points out his reasons why they are not valid regarding their not adhering to scientific method and should therefore be seen as invalid for drawing conclusions.

He also speaks of training specificity and that baseball is just not getting it.

It’s a good read folks and it shakes the foundations of baseball coaching. So, remember, it’s NOT a Dick Mills book. It’s Rushall. Mills is just “along for the ride” for most of it.


#2

So I have to ask the big question.

Is it worth the $97, so that one may improve their pitching ablility/conditioning. I realize it’s a good read, but to drop a hundred on a book, if it doesn’t directly help to improve the way pitchers go about their business then idk…

When you say it is Rushall’s book, I had been curious if that would be true.

In my opinion only, if Mills was to write a book this big (majority), it would have to include his programs and such to a degree, which would take away from selling his programs separately…


#3

The whole point of the book is that Brent Rushall wants to address what he sees are flaws in the methodologies of the studies that have been accepted for years. These studies have been quoted by various baseball people over the years and have led to whatever conclusions regarding mechanics and training.

If Rushall is right, then the implications for how we approach training and maybe mechanics are huge. For example, the conclusions drawn in this book would cause us to look at long toss differently. It would not be for developing velocity. You might use it as a conditioning tool but not for velo increases. Weighted balls would not be used as a means to increase velo either. He says that they will actually serve to reduce velo.

So, his conclusions would have major impacts on how pitchers train. Another one is training specificity. He postulates that, since long toss is an activity that bears little resemblance to the pitching act (throwing down hill from a mound to a relatively small target with no crow hop, only a windup), it trains the body for an activity that you don’t do in a game.

His whole premise is to point out flaws in the methods of the studies baseball has relied on for years and to use studies that do not have these flaws. The ones he recommends cause different conclusions to be drawn.


#4

No new news there re: long toss & weighted balls…imo. Also, an something that may be of interest re: the crow hop . Last summer I began using it in the pregame bullpen , from the normal pitching distance to help emphasize weight transition while maintaining balance , prior to throwing to the glove. My experiences have shown me that it often helps pitchers really get “whole body” working together and when they settle into their windup (for us this is a stretch) they are ready to go. Interested in any thoughts or similar experiences …


#5

Rushall’s point here would be that this is anecdotal and thus not science and also that the skill you have developed in that activity isn’t transferrable to a different skill with different performance parameters.

I’m trying to not defend Rushall’s statements but only pass on what he’s saying. You need to read the book to get the real background. I’m no scientist.


#6

My son did his 6th grade science project on using weighted balls to increase velocity. We saw an almost immediate 2 mph increase which we attributed to simply learning how to put more effort in throwing harder and then about a 1.5 mph additional increase over the 9 week period of the experiment. We used the overall trend of the data rather than 1st week and last week to determine the speed increase as using first and last week would have shown a greater increase but could easily have been just a good day throwing on the last day or a bad day on the first day. 1.5 mph over 9 weeks is a significant increase at that age.

This correlates well to Bagonzi’s findings that players see an almost immediate increase in velocity when they start using weighted balls. It also implies that there is a longer term increase in velocity due to training with weighted balls. My son gave up bullpens in order to throw the weighted balls so one cannot say that it was an increase simply due to an increased number of throws. The results also imply that the long term gains will not be quite as spectacular as some advocates say.

Even so, once my son is past high risk of further injury, probably between his sophmore and junior seasons, we’ll almost certainly undertake a overload/underload throwing program in hopes of adding those few extra mph that added to a solid pitching foundation might make the difference between JV and Varsity as a Junior.

You might call it Rushall’s book but he is following the Dick Mills party line to the T. Sounds more to me like one of the “scientific experts” that lawyers buy to try and snow juries.


#7

Please don’t take these question out of context, I’m just curious because I am always asked about weighted balls. Before I use this as an example, I just want to make sure I am clear on all the details.

  1. Type of radar gun used to check velocity and accuracy tolerance of gun.

  2. Prior to beginning to use weighted balls, how many throws were charted and what was the time frame? 9 weeks like with the weighted balls?

  3. What was the expectation (hypothesis) going into the experiment? Was the thought that weighted balls do or do not increase velocity?

  4. My biggest question is whether or not their were any mechanical adjustments or noticeable changes in delivery from prior to throwing weighted balls vs after (stride length, arm slot)

  5. Last thing, there are boat loads of weighted ball throwing programs out there. Did you follow one or develop from a variety of programs?

Looks like you and your son did a great job with an enjoyable project for both of you! Thanks for the info and look forward to your answers.


#8

[quote=“CADad”]You might call it Rushall’s book but he is following the Dick Mills party line to the T. Sounds more to me like one of the “scientific experts” that lawyers buy to try and snow juries.[/quote]You sound like a prototypical DM basher. There are many around. That would normally mean that nothing included in the book will ever be good enough for you. I believe your hatred for him has clouded your judgement. This isn’t about Mills.

Rushall is a big boy and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt in having a mind of his own. Yes, he’s been discussing all of this with Mills but, as I just said, Rushall’s a big boy with an impressive background.

Did you read the book? If not, you should before you dismiss it. Rushall has written a lot here and we really should treat it that way. If you have issues with him, read the book and then make your comments based on the same rigor he is using. If you have nothing but anecdotes, you have nothing comparable to his writings.


#9

Wrong. I don’t hate Dick Mills. I don’t know him at all. I have read enough of his postings to know that his party line on weighted balls and long toss is what you put in your post. Now a “scientist” comes along who writes something that backs his party line and refutes solid studies. It is not a big leap to realize that he wrote the book and the “scientist” was added in an attempt to make it credible.

Maybe the dm59 is not so far off after all despite claims made on another site.


#10

[quote=“CADad”]Now a “scientist” comes along who writes something that backs his party line and refutes solid studies. It is not a big leap to realize that he wrote the book and the “scientist” was added in an attempt to make it credible.

Maybe the dm59 is not so far off after all despite claims made on another site.[/quote]So, I see you’re going to resort to cheap shots at people. Nice CADad. Real nice. I, unlike you, give the benefit of the doubt to people and keep an open mind. I also don’t resort to cheap attacks on people. So, you think what you want to think and enjoy your bitter little style, just like that other site you mentioned.

Does anybody else want to speak to actual issues and stay away from the mud slinging?


#11

[quote=“CADad”]Now a “scientist” comes along who writes something that backs his party line and refutes solid studies.[/quote]The whole point of Rushall’s writing is that these “solid studies” aren’t so solid, in his estimation, and he describes why and how he can say that. He doesn’t just say they’re wrong, he says why. Now, others can address his reasoning and point out where he himself might be wrong.

[quote=“CADad”]It is not a big leap to realize that he wrote the book and the “scientist” was added in an attempt to make it credible.[/quote]You can think that if you want, which you obviously do. That’s fine and fits perfectly into the anti-Mills philosophy. There’s another possibility here, though. How about Mills having read various studies about training specificity which lead him to his ideas and then Rushall comes along with a background Mills just doesn’t have and corroborates? Then 2 people with similar ideas decide to collaborate. Don’t you think that happens all over?

Now that it’s out there, in order for it to be refuted, you’re going to have to actually read it and then use the same or better analyses. Anecdotes and personal attacks just don’t cut it.

I have no idea if Rushall’s correct. That’s for the scientific community to determine. We can say what we want but we don’t have Rushall’s reputation.