The Art and Science of Pitching

Just bought the book. It is definitely a must for the library. Last week I posted a thread about gaining sideways momentum and this book describes it perfectly. I also have realized the my stride was extremely short by performing the towel drill. Where was this book 15 years ago?!!

Great book. I am glad I bought it.

Jose S.

A short stride is not the only thing that will keep you from hitting the target with the towel. Flaws in any of the 7 imperatives can keep you from getting there. For example, a late posture change, arms not opposite and equal at foot strike, poor hip and shoulder separation, no delay in shoulder rotation, failing to get stacked and track, failure to stabilize the glove out front, etc. can all cause your release point to pull back. Contrary to what many people think, the towel drill is about putting all of the mechanics together with proper timing. The goal is not to hit the target but to have perfect mechanics. Assuming you don’t cheat by doing something like lunging, hitting the target is simply feedback that your mechanics were good.

what kind of target are you supposed to hit? and how do you set up for the towel drill

The target is usually a glove held by a teammate. The glove is held at the height of the pitcher’s eyes at foot strike and at a distance of the pitcher’s stride plus 5 heal-to-toe steps. The pitcher holds a towel between the index and middle fingers such that about 12" of towel extends out from the hand. The pitcher goes through his delivery and, if his mechanics are good (and well-timed), he will stay on line with the target and get his release point out front enough to hit the target with the towel.

It is possible to cheat and do things like lunge at the target so hitting the target doesn’t necessarily mean you did good. You need to be able to assess your own mechanics or you need to have a knowledgeable instructor watching you to ensure you aren’t cheating.