Towel drills

Thought I’d throw it out here: What about towel drills? Have you used them? If so, what’s been the result? Do you like/dislike them? What are your thoughts? (There’s no right or wrong answer here.)

I study as many of the “guru’s” out there as I can (Nyman, Bagonzi, Mills, House mainly, even Marshall, who hasn’t proven anything to me yet). I’m with Mills on the idea of “specificity of training”. Towel drills are just not specific enough to the pitching motion. I think there are much more effective ways to teach the pitching motion than using “gimmicks” like towels. Reverse progressions (backward chaining) are seen by motor skills researchers as the most effective way to teach complex, full body motions (like pitching). Using towel drills will just result in spending time away from more effective approaches.

My OPINION only. :smiley:

I really like the towel drill personally, I see where your coming from. But I find it as an effective tool of working with my mechanics w/o throwing.

We put weights in our gloves to work on a “strong front side” and this helps with the front side as well, as to if you are pulling toward the first base side instead of staying strong and brining the body into the glove it will throw you off balance and you can really feel it.

If you do it correctly (ie rotate the wrist in and bring the body to the glove) you will not feel the weight. I have found this to be very beneficial too.

Only my opinoin of course :o

Hey Little league, The towel drills do work and they’re definitely not very technical. Believe me, alot of the time tested old ways work. Sometime we find ourselves reaching, looking for a better way. The towel drill will help with your curve ball problems as well. You’ve got to snap the towel at your release point. If a guy with Steve’s knowledge can gve you something, especially for free, run with it guy.


What is the towel drill?

4thGens’ PC has him do the towel drill from the footstrike position and from the windup as part of his warmup before LT or a Bullpen. He has him do the towel drill while balancing on one foot as part of his conditioning after throwing. My son seems to like find it valuable in keeping him on line and at the proper extension.

Why isn’t the Towel Drill an effective tool to use on the delivery? If you have a solid delivery, aren’t you just reinforcing good mechanics? I love the towel drill because of the efficent use of time and energy it creates. Players can use the drill in a number of ways and start at different points in their delivery. Also, they can work on a number of things throughout the drill like weight transfer, elbow extension, arm speed, and front side tilt. If a player is having a sore arm after doing these drills, it’s not the towel’s fault. The player must look to change their delivery to a more stress free release using other body parts to create momentum toward the plate helping the arm transfer force toward the catcher. That starts without the towel, glove, or ball. The people that think the towel drill is ineffective are the same ones that still do not believe in over-under weight training with the weighted balls, like Dick Mills. Coaches have your pitchers keep snapping that towel. Merry Christmas!

I prefer drills that are more specific to the throwing motion. I’m unclear as to how a towel does that.

On the weighted ball issue, again, not terribly specific but I haven’t done the homework on it. Maybe I’m missing something here. Can you give me some references to studies that show that they work and why? I’ll look into it.

im not entering an argument at all here. message board arguments are winless and waste of time. doing something different, using different terminology. using different methods of teaching by no means makes the other person wrong. thats what makes coaching baseball so great. you can always learn and be exposed to new ideas.( even though most new ideas are old ones recycled with new terminology. )
we use the towel drill some - not with our high school kids but with our young kids in camp. but after saying that ive talked to and heard several successful college pitching coaches say at clinics, etc. that they dont like it. one big reason ive heard and i know fred corral talks about it in his video ( hes not the only one ive heard this from ) is that it can cause over aggression with their upper body and can cause strain on the throwing arm. a positive is that it offers some resistance if kept game like and hitting a target. an alternative to this is using the sock drill which actually allows you to release a baseball.
im still leary of weighted baseballs. i dont know. if i see more top college programs and pro teams using it then we may try it. im not arguing here -just saying not seen enough evidence from the top coaches and programs.