Dick Mills?


#1

Do you guys buy into all the things he preaches? He’s big advocate of forward momentum and what not, and that moving the body as fast as possible to the plate will result in high velocity. He also says a huge stride length will also contribute to velocity. He admires Tim Lincecum, and i mean he has absolutely NASTYY stuff but I don’t know if you guys watch the highlights but his control can sometimes be horrendous. Is Dick Mills the real deal?


#2

It seems that he preaches about stuff to get people to buy into his products but I really don’t know him that well.


#3

IMHO all these guys bring something to the table. Different ways of looking at the action of pitching. One picks up something on one guy that helps, another helps another guy. You can tell someone the same thing over and over again, but then someone else comes along and says it in a slightly different way and the light bulb flickers on.
Teaching and observing pitching mechanics shouldn’t be like being a fan of one team or another. I promise you can learn something from each of them if you listen closely and filter out the BS. All of them are selling something. That doesn’t impeach their advice. Neither does their abrasive attitude. You just have to rise above the BS and listen!

Cheers;

O


#4

Good insights from Orygun. Although I’ll disagree with the “abrasive attitude” comment as it pertains to Tom House. House does not condescend like one of the others. Nor does House bag on the others on his website like another of them does.

My only other comment is this. House once published a mechanics model in which he called the elements of the model “absolutes”. He still has not lived that one down. We all know today that there are no absolutes. Teaching absolutes equates to taking a cookie-cutter approach with pitchers. However, the experts are in the business of selling and they have to have something to sell. The just need to make sure they don’t step over the cookie-cutter line and start pushing absolutes. House has since taken the approach of analyzing the top pitchers in the game and identifying what they have in common. These commonalities then form the basis of his mechanics model. But he stops short of calling them absolutes. And the model does not define every aspect of the delivery thus leaving room for individuality.

Mills, in my opinion, is starting to cross the line and tread in the waters of absolutes. Examples of this are the big step back as well as the stride length of 100% of one’s height. I think Mills should have stopped short of specifying these things. Now, on the other hand, I think Mills has some other ideas that are good. So, as Orygun said, filter out the bad and absorb the good.


#5

Apologies for implying that they all have abrasive attitudes. Just meant that when one is turned off by such that one shouldn’t ‘throw the baby out with the bath water.’ Still try to listen and learn as much as possible… At least listen long enough to understand what is being said. Apply the principle to what you already know, find the consistencies and flaws and adjust from there…
Roger cites the big step back from Mills as an absolute that he (Mills) preaches. It’s certainly not for everyone. That whole ‘pump and drive’ philosophy is subject to numerous mechanical errors that can come from rushing delivery. Just because Bob Gibson had a large step back in his delivery doesn’t mean everyone should do it! However it does illustrate the importance of momentum directed towards the plate in delivery. It’s simply an extreme example of what many preach all the time.

Cheers;

O


#6

[quote=“Orygun”]That whole ‘pump and drive’ philosophy is subject to numerous mechanical errors that can come from rushing delivery.[/quote]I disagree with this assessment. “Rushing” the delivery is a different animal than moving fast, which is what pump 'n drive recommends. Yes, one can rush the delivery (upper body ahead of the lower) but people make all kinds of mistakes in this thing called pitching. In non-Mills methods, people do things like open the shoulders early or they don’t get hip/shoulder separation or … Does that mean that the method itself is flawed? No. It just means that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it perfectly. So, the fact that he recommends moving the body fast, doesn’t mean “rushing” is going to be the result. It will if you do it wrong. People “do it wrong” in every method recommended. That’s why we’re not all in the bigs.


#7

Perhaps I should have been more thorough in my answer. I didn’t mean to sound flippant, and I absolutely do see value in the idea that momentum towards the plate is of paramount importance.
“Rushing” the delivery is doing anything too fast that disrupts the timing of a specific sequence of events. Teaching the pump and drive philosophy to youngsters has that inherent risk. IMHO better to teach correct mechanical movements and proper timing and then go to a faster rate after mastery of the basics.
I think we’re saying the same thing actually, just in different ways…

Cheers;

O


#8

[quote=“Orygun”]“Rushing” the delivery is doing anything too fast that disrupts the timing of a specific sequence of events. Teaching the pump and drive philosophy to youngsters has that inherent risk.[/quote]…but teaching ANYTHING has the risk of the student doing it incorrectly. It’s just another method. As I mentioned in my last post, a correlation would be how, in the traditionally taught model, things don’t always go exactly as we want them to. A kid will get various timing elements out of sync. I don’t see how Momentum Pitching is any worse off than any other method in this regard. People spend many years on pitching mechanics and most never really do get it “right”. My point really being that we shouldn’t throw out a method just because it has a certain challenge. Every method does.

[quote=“Orygun”]IMHO better to teach correct mechanical movements and proper timing and then go to a faster rate after mastery of the basics.[/quote]I don’t believe one actually can have “proper timing” and “correct mechanical movements” if you train at a different speed and then try to speed things up. It all needs to be done within a holistic context, especially the timing components.


#9

Golly…I guess we don’t agree… Perhaps you’re splitting hairs, DM…

“Pump and Drive” pitching requires that you move fast thru the pitching motion. Other methods require that one go thru the motion at a comfortable rate, ie, not hurrying.
Again, as I have said before, I appreciate the concept of speeding up one’s momentum toward the plate. My OPINION is that teaching the speed of a delivery first carries with it inherent risks of incorrect mechanics.
ALL methods have risks, or there would be only one way to teach pitching. Any mehtod can be done incorrectly. That’s not the point.
Pump and Drive certainly has merit in that it speeds up momentum to the plate. I very much appreciate what Mills, House, Marshall, and others bring to the table. I do NOT mean to toss out any pitching philosophy. I just think there’s a time and place for all of them, and, with all due respect, I do not believe that teaching the Pump and Drive method should be the first one taught to a kid. I believe he can learn that after he learns a correct delivery. Once he can deliver correctly at a comfortable rate, then he can learn to speed it up, and that’s a good place for P and D to come into play.
If you teach him a rapid delivery first it’s almost impossible to correct mechanical flaws. In order to do so, he has to slow down to correct them, then speed back up. Why take the extra steps? Why not teach the correct mechanical movements and proper timing at a comfortable rate of speed, then once learned and mastered and relatively consistent, then add speed? Seems imminently logical to me, and also seems to be relatively successful in practice.

Cheers;

O


#10

[quote=“Orygun”]My OPINION is that teaching the speed of a delivery first carries with it inherent risks of incorrect mechanics.[/quote]Nobody said the recommendation is to teach speed “first” and then “correct” mechanics. An integrated approach is what he’s doing. It’s similar to the “reverse progression” I believe is so effective. He calls it “pitching backward”. “Chunking” instruction has been done for ages but, lately, reverse progressions have been catching on as a method that keeps everything in context. It’s a very effective way to learn a complex motor skill, like pitching. So, that’s what I’m really pointing out. He’s not recommending teaching speed of movement at the expense of mechanics. He’s not doing them separately at all. His basic premise is that he teaches the whole thing in context and videotapes constantly. Adjustments are made, in context. So, if we’re going to critique, let’s do it on the actual method, not assumptions on it. I’m only trying to ensure that we’re accurate with our assumptions. Mills is so widely despised that his entire methods are sometimes not accurately portrayed.

[quote=“Orygun”]I believe he can learn that after he learns a correct delivery. [/quote]What constitutes a “correct” delivery. Obviously there are many. You see, this implies that an incorrect delivery, or none at all, is being taught. That’s not necessarily the case.

[quote=“Orygun”]Once he can deliver correctly at a comfortable rate, then he can learn to speed it up, and that’s a good place for P and D to come into play.[/quote]We definitely will disagree on this one and I’m not suggesting that you change your views. I don’t believe it’s necessary, or even effective, to separate training into phases like this. It really is possible to do it holistically, all in context, through the use of a reverse progression approach.

[quote=“Orygun”]If you teach him a rapid delivery first it’s almost impossible to correct mechanical flaws.[/quote]This isn’t what’s being recommended.

[quote=“Orygun”]… he has to slow down to correct them, then speed back up. [/quote]It is my “opinion” that this is not a productive training methodology.

[quote=“Orygun”]Why take the extra steps? Why not teach the correct mechanical movements and proper timing at a comfortable rate of speed, then once learned and mastered and relatively consistent, then add speed? Seems imminently logical to me, [/quote]Because the speed of movement is part of the whole and when you change that, everything changes. Teach 'em both, simultaneously.

By the way, this kind of disagreement is PRECISELY why this board is so great. I bear no animosity and actually respect your thoughts on this. You’ve been very respectful and I hope I have been too. Other boards I’ve been on are not as cordial as this one when thoughts differ. Good discussion, Orygun. I hope other readers get something out of our “disagreements”.

Thanks.