Myths: Chin to Target + Releasing Ball Closer to Plate

Since Little League and HS season is approaching, our facility is full of coaches who have no idea what they’re talking about when they work with pitchers. I’m sure they mean well, but…

time to give wife back her towels

:slight_smile:

Very nice.

Well done Kyle.

Every pitching coach that tried to use the “towel” drill with my kids I didn’t just get away from, they ran away from. I am glad to see someone else agrees with me. You know how they get these things is when they decide they are going to teach lessons to a team or individual the first thing is to go google and look it up, I want instructors that have history/technique and mechanics not ones that are internet teachers.,

A drill can serve almost any purpose as long as the goal of the movement and intent is there. I think you can get around the “extension” cues but one area from the towel drill that you can’t is the arm action. I see guys really start to alter arm action with a towel in their hand.

http://www.unf.edu/ia/pr/marketing_publications/journal/2010-Spring/The_legacy_of_Dusty_Rhodes.aspx

This man is my friend, he was gracious enough to allow me over the course of a decade to intern at his summer camps and learn his coaching philosophy from direct teaching and co-sponsorship of clinics and seminars. He’s not only looked upon by me as one of the most positive and productive trainers of baseball players/pitchers/men but men like Jon Papelbon, Clint Hurdle, Bobby Apodaka, Rick Wilkens…oh crap I could go on and on…These men seek his counsel.
Now Dusty has and does use the towel drill (Currently a scout in the Mets organization, he is sought after all over for folks to learn his techniques)…I assure you that it wasn’t some dogmatic, “Monkey see-monkey-do” random thing on his part, it was researched, it was experimented with and it is utilized when indicated. Not that you’d see flocks of kids running around popping towels at clinics…but if in the course of teaching, there was instance of need (Say a rehab thing or a guy who hadn’t thrown for an extended period for some reason) you might see a guy step off and use it to sync-up his mechs.
I guess I went all though this tedious description in order to say…many, many ways to raise up a pitcher, many techniques and cues work in instances where indicated…conversely…can be misused by those who actually are those who do copy without understanding of purpose. I’m not going to second guess a Hall of Fame Coach or one who is credited by the likes of Cole Hamels, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson as having major and meaningful impact on their journey as a pitcher (Tom House for those who don’t get the ref… 8) who does also use the towel drill)…I would urge everyone not to fall into a trap of getting behind a particular “camp”.

The video clip at bottom of this post may be of some slight interest to those here who can’t otherwise tell the difference between an “internet coach” and a “real coach”.

What’s more, for those of you who might care to know…there are still opportunities for aspiring young pitchers and their parents to train directly with Coach Tom House and learn in person from his vast experience in baseball. He’s not retired yet, still training pitchers of all ages and levels through the great RDRBI facility that he founded on USC campus in Los Angeles.

Nay-sayers are welcome to their opinions, but anyone who makes a serious effort to do some research on baseball coaches will soon learn that Coach House is very obviously the real deal in the actual world of baseball pitcher training.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]
http://www.unf.edu/ia/pr/marketing_publications/journal/2010-Spring/The_legacy_of_Dusty_Rhodes.aspx

This man is my friend, he was gracious enough to allow me over the course of a decade to intern at his summer camps and learn his coaching philosophy from direct teaching and co-sponsorship of clinics and seminars. He’s not only looked upon by me as one of the most positive and productive trainers of baseball players/pitchers/men but men like Jon Papelbon, Clint Hurdle, Bobby Apodaka, Rick Wilkens…oh crap I could go on and on…These men seek his counsel.
Now Dusty has and does use the towel drill (Currently a scout in the Mets organization, he is sought after all over for folks to learn his techniques)…I assure you that it wasn’t some dogmatic, “Monkey see-monkey-do” random thing on his part, it was researched, it was experimented with and it is utilized when indicated. Not that you’d see flocks of kids running around popping towels at clinics…but if in the course of teaching, there was instance of need (Say a rehab thing or a guy who hadn’t thrown for an extended period for some reason) you might see a guy step off and use it to sync-up his mechs.
I guess I went all though this tedious description in order to say…many, many ways to raise up a pitcher, many techniques and cues work in instances where indicated…conversely…can be misused by those who actually are those who do copy without understanding of purpose. I’m not going to second guess a Hall of Fame Coach or one who is credited by the likes of Cole Hamels, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson as having major and meaningful impact on their journey as a pitcher (Tom House for those who don’t get the ref… 8) who does also use the towel drill)…I would urge everyone not to fall into a trap of getting behind a particular “camp”.[/quote]
Well said. Ill just say that the towell drill as I’ve been taught is not to get you reaching out but rather to get you timed up.

It’s almost like people didn’t read this line:

House himself said that he used to teach it this way and he no longer recommends it. What I’m saying isn’t controversial.

[quote=“kyleb”]It’s almost like people didn’t read this line:

House himself said that he used to teach it this way and he no longer recommends it. What I’m saying isn’t controversial.[/quote]

read that part and not saying u are contreversial. all im saying is thats not the teach on the towell drill. if taught right the towell drill is a usefull drill. I understand all might not like it or believe in it. but none the less when done right its usefull thats all.

That may certainly be true. All I can say is that 100% of the time I’ve seen it used, it has been in a manner that does not describe what pitchers actually do. This was Tom House’s platform when he started researching pitchers: Describe what they do, not what they say they do.

I think what I was trying to show Kyle was that between the “real deal” and “posers”, you will always have guys who want to capitalize on the intelligence and quality of those who really have spent the time to develop these techniques…One name on the internet pops to mind immediately (I’ll spare us all :wink: ). If a coach really doesn’t understand just what it is or what is trying to be accomplished, then you have the folks that Buwhite was cracking on.
Again I urge all posters/readers/folks, take the time to understand what your kid needs, get him that help…if in the course of training the coach/trainer does something you don’t understand…question him, get an understanding (This is how we honor the legacy of folks like Dusty and House…we carry that spirit of love for the game and those who try to carry help to the next generation)…if a coach can’t explain his philosophy or technique…time to consider the alternatives (You may not leave the coach because he may be all you have or he may have made great progress with your kid despite his inadequacies).
I always get leery when folks down others instead of discussing what it is they offer. My opinion is that all the guru’s offer “someting” of value…
Just to be clear, I don’t think that is the point of Kyles piece here and I am trying very hard not to be critical of the fine effort because he’s right in many instances, my point an augmentation to his theme not criticism of it. What I did was to provide 2 titans of the industry, different venues, which fly directly to the logic of the essay…but with the strategy to give more depth of understanding to the topic.
We all have huge arsenals of tools available, cameras, in door facilities, scads of internet resource, we have widgets and gadgets, and we have drlls…they all can be misused and can certanly hurt more than help a pitchers progress. To the other side it can lead to the promised land… :mrgreen: :bigthink: :shrug:

caveat emptor homey 8)

I have seen 20-30 pitching instructors use the towel drill and have seen how House and his proteges have used it …2 guys all time have used it properly the rest just had top quality pitchers with good potential slapping the ground or a glove with a towel, sounds good but for the most part a waste of time.

Wow you live in a particularly fertile ground for apparently poor pitching coaches :shock: I don’t know if I’ve witnessed the technique of that many P coaches perod…but to find every one of them lacking because of a drill? A drill that is a very very small fraction of any work a guy should be doing? I don’t know Bu…were they all top quality pitchers? The impression you leave me with is that these kids were havng their potential squandered, it would be interesting to see if they thought their money a waste afterwards…I’d also like to point out that I simply showed two who were at the pinnacle…I could continue the list…extensively mind you (BTW Fred Corral at Memphis is not a fan of it…)…just in direct disciples of those two you have more than your number of guys getting paid by institutions (Read colleges/Universities) and professional teams…not because they have dogmatic internet teachings mind you, but because they have displayed success over time.
For them is isn’t a waste of time…for you it has proven to be…your journeys still on-going though, you will run into a great coach, he’ll have drills…it won’t matter what they are if they get your boy and others to the levels he/they desre.

I could certainly be convinced that the towel drill is useful. However, I have personally seen no evidence of this, and House himself repudiated what he used to do.

At one large facility there are 7-10 instructors, 3 that work full time for the facility and the rest work as contractors. There are 3 other facilities that are very close that have had every guy that finished college and was a pitcher come and try to be the new #1 pitching instructor, sometime 3-4 guys a year. Guess since they know where I am from who/what facilities I am talking about. I am on my second kid pitching in HS and third overall that works out often to play baseball so we tend to spend a lot of time at these facilities depending on who has space availability.

I am not saying they squandered talent, just seems to be everyone’s go to technique and they introduce it to pitchers and parents like it’s the Holy Grail of pitching. I don’t see any other techniques that is so common, used so differently and totally without good reasons.

Both my kids that pitch have been coached by only 2 coaches total, these guys works hard, are always on time, feeds not only the physical but also the mental part of the game and doesn’t have only one way to adjust/fix issues especially my older kid is pretty much a sidearm pitcher and my younger one is over the top! I am sure that my comments aren’t typical, I mean heck my kids are over the top about baseball, they really want to be part of the game constantly!!!

Not if you’ve got a working technique that covers the improvement or re-inforcement that the towel drill does…for example I mentioned that Fred wasn’t a fan of the towel drill, well if you look into Fred and see what he does, you find that he “enhanced” the towel drill by coming up with his “sock-drill”. I expect you have some other means in which to sync mechs or check a kids concept of body motion. I cheer those efforts, find them meaningful and consider them appropriate. Note though that you’ve studied and are also evolving your technique.
Again it’s a cautionary tale to reject the whole program for a small drill.

I’d run too, it is a small drill…gets way too much bw

I see people get crazy about everything…momentum, scap loading, LONG TOSS (OMG :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: half the world thinks the other half is the anti-Christ :lol: )…Timmy Lincecums delivery 8)
I get your point though Bu and it is well taken…a cheap way for a poser to act like he’s smart… :roll:

I think you make a great point.like i said before its not that the towell drill isn’t useful. Its that most don’t even prob know how to set up properly to do the dril.