Dicks Mill's Blog

I just found his website and began reading his stuff and now I’m really worried that I messed myself up with long toss or weighted balls, etc. It seems really scary that there is conclusive research conducted that shows that many things I do are bad for my pitching future. I don’t know what to do!!! :shock:

I agree about weighted balls, but don’t spend much time in worry over this, Mills (As I explained to Ristar) says things to set himself apart as a marketer, I believe the “real” point he’s trying to make is that you have limited time in which to condition, practice and prepare for our art, I think his message is that it is important to use that time in the most effective manner that you can. This is why he preaches “game speed, from the mound” as much as possible in practice. Viewed from that perspective it makes some sense (Not that I purely agree but his argument has validity).
In our art it is important to establish a base line (This is what you are and where you are at right now) from that point you need to assess and have input to assess your level of skill and come up with a program that will allow you to reach and go beyond whatever goal you set for yourself (Set goals and establish a plan of action). Once you get started down the path, if things aren’t going how you want, at that point, adjust. Now I say this for this point, you will hear a zillion of different things as to how you can be or do better…it won’t hurt to listen, but anything that moves you outside of your plan is to looked at very skeptically, remember the more you change course the longer it takes to reach your goal and kids have a very limited time…so it better show either great promise or show immediate success or it has no real use for you. So don’t be confused, you haven’t wasted your time, you have just done drill work that one or two people don’t agree is the best method to get better…you’ve committed no crime.
The reason I don’t agree with weighted balls is that most kids who use them, are pre-puberty or just into puberty and their body isn’t conditioned to be stronger in one place over others. Now Mike Marshall has his students throw with heavy iron balls, but if you look at them, they are very highly conditioned kids (At least the ones I’ve seen doing it). Too darn many dads and coaches think they (Weighted balls) are some kind of short-cut to higher velocity and they do disservice to the kids they have use them, if that is their belief. As a rule of life, thumb what ever…write it on the wall…there is no, I repeat NO shortcuts and you should run as fast as you can from anyone that declares that there are any.

Well I have been using weighted balls for some time but about 7 months ago my dad said that he was looking on the internet and thinks that I should only do it occasionally in the off-season, if at all. So do you think that I (who once swore by weighted balls) have done any damage to myself.

Do you feel any weakness, pain or irritation? If not, then you likely haven’t damaged yourself. I see conditioning as something that has to be the whole body. Going forward I’d say things will be good, just get yourself a plan and set about making it happen :smiley:
And HAVE FUN!

Actually, sometimes during and after I pitch my shoulder does hurt so I’m just really worried that I have done damage, because yes, my arm does hurt almost always after I pitch. I play year round ball and I don’t really take any breaks so I’m pitching all year round practically. I think I should just shut down for a couple months.

Do you have an off-season workout?

EVERY PITCHER NEEDS A OFF-SEASON WITH A WORKOUT PROGRAM. A young pitcher should not play year round with no rest or off-season of at least 3 mounths to rest/workout.

Well what can I do? I’m trying to make my Legion team for the spring. It would be devastating if I got cut, because I want to play so much.

Well would you find it devestating to find that your body can’t perform as well as it could. Look, we all know how hard it is, but just ask yourself what is important, 1 Legion season or a future playing baseball at higher levels (And if you talk to your perspective coach …if he’s worth anything he’ll understand and make allowances…if he doesn’t then you shouldn’t worry about it)? Have you ever gone to a doctor about your pain? You are acting irresponsibly towards yourself and future if you don’t address issues like this. Get checked, get treated, get better and have a great future…or don’t and watch your future diminish with your skills…you make the call.

Relax, my friend. Mills takes most traditional pitching and performance-related principles to the extreme. What you’ll find on this site and from some of our administrators is what’s actually being practiced by big league clubs.

For instance. Mills is against longs toss. But the fact is, every major league pitching staff long tosses. Every one. Period.

The weighted baseball issue is different. I have suggested only doing it in the off-season; only using 4, 5, and 6 ounce baseballs; and only doing it after you’ve developed a solid month throwing base. It’s not a good idea to do in-season because it stresses the arm, especially when you’re throwing/pitching regularly. But I always incorporated it into my off-season training as part of my overall strength and conditioning plan, and I was very pleased with the results. But everyone’s different.

You can get some useful information from Mills’ website, particularly in his “articles” section on strategy. But if you look around the big leagues and take a closer look at what big league pitchers are doing, you’re actually not going to find it on Mills’ site … sorry.

Here are some additional resources for you. Every one’s got his or her own philosophy.


www.pitchingcentral.com
www.setpro.com
www.krisbenson.com
www.curtschilling.com
www.baseballideas.blogspot.com
www.drmikemarshall.com
www.chrisoleary.com
www.asmi.org
www.nationalpitching.com
www.onbaseball.com

You’ll also note that Steven is/was a well conditioned athlete with a full conditioning program while using them as part off an off-season complete program. I doubt he was 12, 13 or 14 when he was using them…but as he said we are all different. :wink:

“Was” is the operative word here, jd :slight_smile: Gone are the good ole’ days of 8% body fat, sets of 405-pound squats, and 95 mph fastballs.

Well I did tell my Dad that I wanted an MRI or something of my arm just to be sure. It’s not like I think I’ll need physical therapy but I think a medical evaluation would be good.

The act of pitching itself has no doubt left you with some injuries and muscular imbalances. (Every sport will to a certain degree.)

This is where Mills’ teachings start to become ridiculous. A good strength training program will re-establish a level of muscular balance that will prevent injuries and aid in performance. Mills has his head firmly entrenched in the sand, saying that all you need to do is continue to pitch, nothing else. The problem here? The more you continue to pitch, the more you reinforce the imbalance.

This is also why many of the best athletes you will find participated in multiple sports throughout their childhoods (most notably seen in the USSR olympic training program). Each sport has different demands, resulting in different muscular adaptations. The end result? Stronger, faster, more coordinated, and less likely to get injured.

KC you are right about the training BUT 100% wrong about the dick mills comment He does think that working out is a very important part and you should do both. He does think that off-season program is very important to a pitcher, it’s just he doesn’t think it should all be heavy lifts but more functional.

Dick mills has just started in the last couple of day’s to tone down his mechanics approach and has now said that a leg lift would be ok to use during the wind-up. Since Nolan Ryan and Sandy Kofax both used on along with whitey ford. So Mills is becoming more norm now.

[quote=“kc86”]This is where Mills’ teachings start to become ridiculous. A good strength training program will re-establish a level of muscular balance that will prevent injuries and aid in performance.[/quote]I’m assuming you have some sort of evidence that this is actually the case. From what I see, injury rates have not gone down despite all of the “programs” out there.

[quote=“kc86”]Mills has his head firmly entrenched in the sand, saying that all you need to do is continue to pitch, nothing else.[/quote]Do you have all of his programs? How can you say this if you don’t? He does not say this. He has a conditioning program.

[quote=“kc86”]The problem here? The more you continue to pitch, the more you reinforce the imbalance.[/quote]True, and Mills would agree with you there. It’s just as unfair to him to generalize about what he says, without the background to support it, as it is for him to do that to others, as he does, which I really dislike.

[quote=“RIstar”]So Mills is becoming more norm now.[/quote]Ain’t gonna happen. No how. No way. His marketing strategy is to be anti-norm. 8)

Well, just about every study of athletic performance shows that overspecialization in athletes will lead to lower performance levels. I do not have the study in front of me, but I am pretty sure it was Verkhoshansky that documented it. Regarding injury, Pete Egoscue lists muscular imbalance as one of the main causes of pain in his book, Pain Free.

I apologize if Mills’ has changed his views on strength training recently. Everything I have seen on his site continually states that strength and weightlifting are somehow bad. But I do understand that his views are constantly in flux, following whatever makes him seem like a rebel.

And finally, this whole episode just underscores why I cannot stand Mills propaganda. Some poor kid reads the opinions found on the site and then immediately thinks that what he has been doing all along has been harmful to his pitching. If Mills wants to go against the mainstream, thats fine by me. But to try and coerce people to believe you by saying that other ways are dangerous? Give me a break.

[quote=“kc86”]Well, just about every study of athletic performance shows that overspecialization in athletes will lead to lower performance levels.[/quote]As usual, there are studies that show the complete opposite. I have some that I can send you that state that the learning of a particular skill is very specific and that it will not transfer to a different, similar skill endeavour.

[quote=“kc86”]… muscular imbalance as one of the main causes of pain in his book, Pain Free.[/quote]Again, Mills understands and believes this too. Remember, all of Mills’ trash talk about throwing being the best to prepare the body to pitch is AFTER a level of overall fitness is reached, including balanced strength about a joint.

[quote=“kc86”]I apologize if Mills’ has changed his views on strength training recently. Everything I have seen on his site continually states that strength and weightlifting are somehow bad. But I do understand that his views are constantly in flux, following whatever makes him seem like a rebel.[/quote]His views have been like they are now for quite a while. I don’t recall him saying that strength and weightlifting are “bad”, only that a focus on arm strength is futile. He is OK with weightlifting in the context of the overall body fitness he espouses. It’s being “arm specific” that he doesn’t like.

[quote=“kc86”]… the opinions found on the site …[/quote]He would argue with you that he is just the opposite of “opinion”, that he is the only one out there NOT just giving opinions. That really is his marketing pitch.

His latest thing is to say that his approach is now totally based on the valid scientific studies that exist out there. The book he wrote with Rushall is based on their review (which is where they can be wrong) of the studies out there, Rushall’s evaluation of their validity re: scientific method, dismissing the ones that don’t stack up, keeping the ones that do and then basing everything they do on those. Now, the potential fallacy in all of this is that the evaluation phase of that approach is completely by Rushall. He hasn’t gotten independent verification of his evaluations. Rushall, as far as I can tell, is fairly credible and before dismissing his evaluations, someone needs to read them. Too many people are dismissing them solely because they don’t like Mills. Read them and then evaluate the evaluations.

Having said that, are you saying that everything said on this, or other, sites is NOT “opinion”? I’d say it’s ALL opinion. Where’s the evidence or backup for anything said on this site?

“Where’s the evidence or backup for anything said on this site?”

Now hold on there…just a minute. All evidence is subjective, who’s evidence are we talking about?
My mom will tell you that everything I say is without a doubt true, does she have evidence? Well from my perspective she is a “saint” so obviously that is evidence of my validity. You on the other hand may not concour based on “evidence” you have that I suffer from SIS (Severe Idiot Syndrome). Well maybe this clears up nothing :shock:
Let me reach for another straw here and one that may pertain…Steven, still promotes the use of weighted balls…his evidence is personal and proveable, he’s had personal results…and at an extremely high level. He’s done an exceptional (My opine and perhaps others agree) book on conditioning based on his personal experience playing at the highest levels of the game and I’m certain used the personal experience of several of his friends and associates at that high level. That is prima facia “real” evidence. Now I’m associated with a guy who played at the same levels, has a bio-mechanical degree and many years of personal experience, training youth and having them reach the highest levels, he on the other hand doesn’t recommend the use of them, based on the “evidence” of his experience…Who is right?
My opinion :roll: is that what we do has an artistic component that allows a sort of latitude which makes many approaches have validity…This is the key to why no one scientific method will make a “great” pitcher. If it did we’d all be Rockets (Well I’d be Maddux… :wink: ), thusly we have Dick Mills and his approach, and Leo Mazzoni and his approach…then at the low end of the spectrum we have jdfromfla and his approach :mrgreen: (Hey it’s worked for my kids, they’ve reached a high level…why aren’t I as good as them?).

You two IMO have both a great amount of skill and approaches to this great art. I appreciate the validity of both of your individual points. Dick does too, I’m sure he has an accountant out there telling him his bottom line is padded nicely when he provokes thoughtful discussions such as this because it drives eyeballs right onto his site, where he can then make them feel inferior in knowledge to the point of wallet surrender (Guru rule #43, “Get to the wallet or consider a career asking whether they want fries with that” :smiley: ).

It comes down to what is to be considered “evidence”, “proof” or valid “science”. His marketing position is that nothing is really of any validity if it doesn’t meet certain evaluation criteria for “real” science. Therefore, anecdotes don’t qualify and must be dismissed. I don’t share that “opinion”. I believe there’s lots of useful information on many sites that don’t fit into Rushall’s parameters.

That’s a choice they made, though. They are positioning themselves in this manner so that they can stand apart. His claim is that the “truth” has been discovered and, therefore, everything else is invalid. That’s why he’s against what he’s against. That’s his soapbox. So, House’s “studies” haven’t passed the sniff test for validity as science, Marshall’s spouting Newton doesn’t pass, Nyman’s engineering approach doesn’t pass, Coop deRenne doesn’t pass, etc. They list the studies that do, that are pertinent, and base their strategy on them only, nothing else. That’s his schtick (sp?).

All of that “science” he’s supposedly discovered sure gives him a platform from which to feed self-righteousness. As I said earlier though, “…the potential fallacy in all of this is that the evaluation phase of that approach is completely by Rushall. He hasn’t gotten independent verification of HIS evaluations.”

Gentlemen, you too jd, :stuck_out_tongue: my intent here is to try to ensure that readers get the “real” story with respect to Mills’ stances, at least how I understand them. As long as we have that with respect to any of these “gurus”, we can then make up our own minds.