Mike Marshall, Tom House, and Dick Mills

Who do you think is more extreme? I’m just interested in hearing what you guys have to say. On one hand, Mike Marshall believes that people should not even begin to pitch until they are 13, that there should be no fall-ball, no tournament play, and that pitchers shouldn’t catch.

Dick Mills believes that long toss doesn’t help velocity, that using his techniques can get you to 97 mph, and that the towell drill is the worst drill ever.

On the other hand, Tom House believes in the inverted W, scapular loading, and has taught some questionable mechanics (I.E. Rob Nenn with his rushing, Mark Prior with his inverted W, etc.)

Chris O’ Leary I’m fine with because it all seems practical to me. :lol:

FYI, I’m not taking anything away from these guys, I’m just asking your opinion, so tell me what you think.

One thing dick never has said useing his Momentum Mechanics can get you to 97 MPH.


He titles it so that the point is that "using his program will help you throw a lot harder (97). Maybe I just don’t like the way it’s advertised.

Yes I don’t like the title either but it’s not his real view lol just for the $$$$$$

True. One thing I never liked about Dick Mills is his advertising ploy.

I have no idea why but when I read that I started cracking up, that was mad funny.

Mills says:

It Takes Work—No Magic & Finally 97 MPH


This pitcher was not looking for easy, easy, easy. Neither was his father. He was not looking to find the right flavor “Kool-Aid” to drink that would turn him into an instant power pitcher in one season.

That right flavor of “Kool-Aid” is “roids” ask Barry Bonds all about those I’m sure he could tell you the right flavor.

Anyway I don’t know enough about them to really make a statement but if I had to choose right now I’d go with Mills. Marshall seems to be interseted in keeping young kids healthy and House teaches “questionable” mechanics. But then again arent all mechanics questionable? Since there isnt any one right way to throw a baseball, yet.

[quote=“Top_Secret”]Anyway I don’t know enough about them to really make a statement but if I had to choose right now I’d go with Mills.[/quote]So, if you admittedly don’t know enough about them, why answer? How much do you really know about Mills’ teachings?

[quote=“Top_Secret”]Marshall seems to be interseted in keeping young kids healthy…[/quote]Yeah, that’s his sales pitch. His method is EXTREME. He’s reinvented mechanics. Neither Mills nor House has done that.

[quote=“Top_Secret”]…and House teaches “questionable” mechanics.[/quote]So, can you please tell us about those questionable mechanics? I’m willing to hazard a guess that Roger is the only person regularly on this board who has the knowledge of House’s teachings to even speak about them, let alone condemn them.

I find that a thread like this has value only for those who like to bash these guys with no intimate knowledge of their teachings. Sure, it can be fun to do that but, at the end of the day, what have we really accomplished. There’s so much misinformation floating around about all of these guys that you can’t believe much of it.

Sorry if that came off wrong but I’m not trying to bash anyone. I just took what Bakersdozen gave us and used that. And after reading what he told us that’s just what I thought. I really don’t know much about any of these guys and I just felt like putting my 2 cents in although I am waiting for Roger to come and put his dollars worth of information in.

And keep in mind I’m no expert either. (Although my dad is, my dad knows everything.)

My son’s Dad knows everything. :stuck_out_tongue:

As with most things, one can learn something from each one of those fellows, provided one listens carefully and filters out the commercialism.
It really serves no purpose to ask about ‘extremism.’ One might ask what each , and others, might contribute to the ongoing dialog on pitching. That might be an interesting discussion!



Many of the statements in this thread are, IMHO, propagating what amounts to nothing more than hearsay.

Regarding House and the inverted “W”, I don’t honestly know if he ever taught it but I’d say that, if he did, it was long ago. I don’t recall him mentioning anything about it in his now-dated book, The Pitching Edge which has been out for a number of years and is in its second edition. The inverted “W” is definitely not part of his current teachings. These days, House believes the throwing arm belongs to the pitcher and that a coach shouldn’t mess with it.

Regarding House and scapular loading, again I don’t know if he ever taught it. But, as with the inverted “W”, scapular loading is not part of his current teachings. House believes scapular loading is something that happens naturally and that you should just let it happen. It’s a non-teach.

Regarding House and questionable mechanics, you’ve got to be specific as to what elements you think are questionable. Then we can discuss them. If there is something beyond the inverted “W” (which he doesn’t teach, anyway), I’d like to hear about it. (I’m aware of at least some of the issues the rotational guys have with House’s mechanics model.)

Regarding Mills and his dislike for the towel drill, I think he spent more time and energy dis’ing the drill than it deserved. Really, it was just one of many drills out there. I guess that is sort of funny. But seriously, while dis’ing the towel drill may have originally been a way to take jabs at House, I think that is mostly history now. These days, I think it’s not really the drill itself that Mills dislikes but rather the notion of spending time doing drills instead of pitching off a mound. DM can correct me here if I’m off base.

FWIW, I’ll be re-certifying with the NPA in early November so after that I’ll have the most up-to-date information from House.

[quote=“Orygun”]One might ask what each , and others, might contribute to the ongoing dialog on pitching. That might be an interesting discussion![/quote]Orygun, I like this idea. It turns the typical negativism on its ear and makes the discussion precisely where this board needs to go, that being into areas that can help.

Excellent post!!

[quote=“Roger”]These days, I think it’s not really the drill itself that Mills dislikes but rather the notion of spending time doing drills instead of pitching off a mound. DM can correct me here if I’m off base.[/quote]Although this is a big part of his teachings, the alleged futility of drills, he also simply does not like that particular one anyway. As you know, he’s big on “specificity” and his thoughts are that the towel drill just isn’t.

Well I like Orygun’s idea. I think this thread should be an oppurtunity for us to share what we like about each person’s thinking, and how it could benefit us, instead of doing something else (complaining). I just brought up the topic to see what you guys think. After all, we don’t exactly have a world-wide pitching channel.

the other major players you need to include in the discussion are paul nyman and ron wolforth. wolforth has consistently produced results with his pitchers and he credits nyman and brent strom as two of the influential people when he developed his program.

the only issue i have with house is his emphasis on coming to a balance point and verticle stack and track to the plate. i see a number of pitchers that threw and throw hard that get a big tilt in their shoulders. andy petite is extreme.

mills has good information and emphasizes throwing from a mound at near maximum velocity to throw hard.

nyman emphasizes throwing over and under weight balls at maximum velocity to develop arm strength.

wolforth will throw any and everything including medicine balls, 2lb balls, and the kitchen sink if it would help to gain velocity. you can’t argue with him. he has documented numbers of pitchers at 90+ and a first round draft pick.

when you look at this, what is the common element. throw at near maximum to maximum velocity with good mechanics and throw often. if you learn to listen to your arm and distinguish between good pain and bad pain, you will learn to throw as hard as your body was built to throw a baseball.

if you can’t get into the 80s, don’t fret. learn the knuckleball. if you can throw it, you have a chance. and knuckleballers throw it 90% of the time.

Ok, ya’ll knew this was coming right? :stuck_out_tongue:

House most definitely does not emphasize nor teach coming to a balance point. Instead, he teaches starting the hips (i.e. the center of gravity) moving forward early - before the peak of the knee lift. Definitely no balance point there.

Now, he does teach keeping the head upright through the delivery. This is a side-to-side posture and balance thing. I don’t think it precludes any shoulder tilt but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll be seeing House in a couple weeks so I’ll try to remember to ask him about this.

Stack and track is about maintaining proper load prior to forward trunk flexion (which helps maximize velocity while effectively using the body to throw) as well as getting the release point closer to home plate.

i didn’t read anything on here.

i do remeber him talking about leading with the hips in his videos now that you mention it (he uses the drill where he bumps into an outfield wall with his hips to start moving forward). his example guy prior does not do this from what i see in video of him. he is almost straight up and down (head over the belly button as doc house emphasizes which i disagree with). i think you use the arm too much to throw the ball from this position and can move generating velocity to the big muscles by getting the hips way in front of the shoulders and creating stretch in the core. nyman’s e-book illustrates this nicely.

i encourage you to read the koufax chapter and look at him and bob feller. the video clip on this web site of koufax from the open side toward 2nd base shows this nicely). i know many of the professional instructors (especially the cardinals) are going back to emhasizing this position (forming a < with the shoulders, back hip and rear leg/post foot.

anyway, just what i see, there’s clearly more than one way to throw a baseball. thanks for the response, this stuff is fasinating to me.

It’s fascinating to me too.

I agree that there are a number of things about Prior’s mechanics that don’t jive with House’s current teachings. These days, House does teach leading with the front hip. While I have heard House mention “head over belly button”, I’ve also heard him say “head and shouders stay slightly behind the front hip into release”. I’m thinking the latter is more current.

BTW, the drill you’re referring to has had a couple different names but one of them is the “Hershiser Drill” because Hershiser led with the front hip.