Training Aids


#1

Does any one have any feed back on the Throwing aid 2Suro ? I was thinking of using it instead of the towel drill for my son. I am trying to get him to follow thru on his pitches. :smiley:


#2

I never heard of this thing you mention, but I’d like to ask you something. When you say your son doesn’t follow through on his pitches, does this mean he stops his arm motion, pulls back, or anything of that sort? Does his arm angle have anything to do with it? This is something that can be corrected; I’d like to know what’s happening there and maybe I can offer some suggestions. You can send me a private message if you wish. 8)


#3

Today at my son’s little league practice the coach had all the players try the 2Suro. My son is 7 years old and trying to teach him the proper throwing mechanics was so much easier with that training aid.


#4

With regards to follow through, while some kids do put the brakes on with their arm, what happens after ball release is largely a result of what happens before ball release. In other words, the body sets up the finish including the follow through. It’s not clear to me how this device really effects follow through. Best to check the earlier part of the delivery and fix that first, IMHO.

Also, in the video on their website, they mention “developing proper arm slot” and “keeping on top of the ball”. IMHO, these are bogus teaches. What is the proper arm slot? Well, there is no one proper arm slot. If you look at arm slots of MLB pitchers you will see that all arm slots are represented.

Now, I don’t doubt there is use for this device expecially for those who live in colder climates where it isn’t always possible to get outside and throw. But just be clear about what your purpose is and accurately assess whether the device fulfills that purpose. On their website, they describe this as a substitute for the towel drill. Well, the towel drill is good at providing positive feedback when you execute your mechanics well. I don’t think this device does that.


#5

I have never heard of it either…there are tons of training tools out there and in my opinion a large number of them are what I woould refer to as gimicks more often then not.

Try the towel drill without the towel…I am very skeptical of the towel drill especially for younger kids because they are not holding a ball. The towel drill can result in getting the thumb turned up too much instead of having the palm more down where it should be.

The towel drill can be very effective but if not done properly it is one of the worst drills a young pitcher can do.

“Wooden Nickel”


#6

I looked up the “2Suro”…can’t really give an opinion based on the fact there is no video of players using it in action…I am very skeptical though from the sketchy information I read.

$20 “add to cart”


#7

I meant no disrespect in my post…there are obviously some very good taining aides.

Perhaps my post could have been better served if I stated something to the affect of…“with training aides I would have to seriously consider the experience, and knowledge base of the person(s) who created it before giving it my opinion.”

We all have used them…some we like and others we don’t.

What works for one guys approach won’t work for anothers.

I think it would also be very hard to argue that there are far more poor training aides out there then good ones…


#8

Steve, I am saddened by all the negativity. I am not affiliated with 2Suro. I found out about 2Suro and your forum at practice. I was just replying to the original post. I used the training device and posted a reply. Did you use the product? I would think you would appreciate people talking about your forum.


#9

My apologies, I was completely off base … I might have had a little gas from Thai food last night :slight_smile:

I wonder, however, if a long tube sock or soccer sock wouldn’t do the exact same thing?


#10

Steve, I am a friend of the coach who invented the 2Suro. I just wanted to know if anyone had experience with it. As you know the parents of young ball players will try anything they feel will help junior out! :smiley:


#11

Steve, No need to apologize. The socks would work. I like the fact that the 2Suro is mesh and you can see the ball. Also I am lazy and just purchasing it was easier.


#12

Coach, it sounds to me like you have not really used the drill nor understand its purpose.

What can the drill be effective at? What makes it the worst if not done properly?

Not trying to get on your case but I’m hearing what sounds like hearsay and misconception.


#13

Roger…first of all let me ask you not to read any tone into the words written here becuase there will be none.

With that being typed I have certainly used the towel drill not only personally but in many other settings and as mentioned, it is certainly a viable drill. However just like with any other drill if done incorrectly it can present problems.

Second of all I also absolutely understand it’s purpose.

Please understand also that my years in the game would dictate that at least to an extent I know what I am talking about. Additionally I am not merely a simpleton who would comment as I did on something I have not personally tried, had others try, or have personally taught to others.

I am also certainly one who has grown use to gathering opinions of others as I go about formulating my own; all the while keeping an open mind in doing so.

What can the drill be effective at is the question you posed to me and I would imagine that was the case due to the fact you do not believe I know at all what I am talking about re: this issue.

How about just to keep it simple since I would assume you know what the purpose of the drill is I state that the drills primary purpose in my opinion would be to work on full extension…getting out front…or however you want to put it.

Moving forward…when I say young pitchers let me clarify…those perhaps under the age of 12 or so and or those amatuer pitchers who do not have a solid fundamental base nearly clear across the board to begin with.

Simply stated, if a young pitcher does not have a decent fundamental base in other areas such as but not limited to front side mechanics in general then I don’t think the towel drill is one that would perhaps in…most situations be a good fit…there is simply too much margin for error.

Continuing what could make it one of the worst for a young pitcher or any other amatuer pitcher with a poor fundamental base could be many things…I seriously could go on and on and on…but how about if a pitcher is not good at keeping their head up or the target they are hitting with the towel is held too low? This could lead to a young pitcher with already suspect upper half mechanics getting too far bent over and not being/staying strong at the upper half…

…target too low can also lead to not keeping the chin up as one would want to do as they bring their chest and head forward directionally to the target…bad habit to build if not doing it correctly.

Perhaps one of the worst things that can be created by the towel drill is one that is prevalent if the drill is not taught correctly and managed properly (especially with younger players with improper front side mechancis in particular) is coming across with the towel, turning the hand up, and pronating the thumb…in doing this I would assume you would agree creates an improper extension all together…in most cases…:slight_smile:

Continuing…99% of the time the towel drill is done it is simply a towel…a knot on the end of a towel or some derivitive thereof…there is no holding of an actual baseball. Therefore with more inexperienced players in particular those with other mechanical flaws margin for error on the drill becomes even greater…

…with the immediately aforementioned being typed the drill is certainly a good one due to many reasons for any pitcher regardless of level that does it correctly…like any thing else…some coaches like it, others don’t…some players like it others don’t…I personally know some big league players who never liked it and others who stand behind it…I personally know of one big league pitching coach who does not use it and another who uses it all the time but only if his guys want to use it because some of them don’t want to period!

Here is my simplest common sense approach to the towel drill even though I use it or have players use it more then I don’t…we throw baseballs therefore why put something into a players hand all the time, have them go through a throwing motion with whatever it is all the while have no ball…how much better would it be to simply take the towel away some times especially for those players who are not ready for the drill and have them do the drill with no ball but rather simply slap a glove with their bare hand palm down…making sure they are getting proper extension obviously but also not turning their hand in the wrong direction because they are not using the towel correctly.

As previsouly stated, I use the towel drill when I feel a player has the fundamental front side base I am looking for before I just simply hand them a towel, tell them what to do ect. and expect them to do it correctly.

Anyone can hand a kid a towel and show/tell them the purpose of the drill but if extension is not being accomplished correctly just because they get out front does not mean the drill is done correctly.

Look at it another way…you have obvioulsy used the towel, taught the towel or whatever…i will also assume you know what you are talking about even though I have no idea who you actually are…I will give you the benifit of the doubt based on what you typed even though you did not afford me the same.

You don’t just hand a towel to a kid, tell them or show them what you want them to do…you probably coach them all the way through every aspect that can be contained within the drill(s) for the towel…now what about the non-baseball guy sitting there watching you? The dad who devotes tons of time but admits he does not know much (much less the same type of guy who thinks they know every thing and no one can tell him what to do)…are individual guys like these going to really be able to pick up on what you are conveying then slap a towel into a kids hands and have the drill be done true and correct?

The answer to the above question is absolutely not.

You know as well as I do that the towel drill is not just some nuance where a kid goes through their throwing mechanics with a towel to work on full extension…there are many things to watch out for and be aware of that I would again assume you are aware of; just like I am aware of.

Therefore the towel drill just like any other drill is only as good as the guy teaching it or the way a kid is doing it…or both

I for one have seen the towel drill done wrong far more times then I have seen it done correctly.

Again I have no idea at all who you actually are and you can say the same about me…it is not about you and I and niether one of would really care who the other is any way. This subject like many others on here is about opinions, questions and answers. Now with that being said just becuase I have friends who know far more about the game then I do or friends that played professionally, caoch professionally or any thing like that does not mean I am not a donkey…Either one of us could have whatever background or know whomever and we both cold be absolute donkeys…

…however with that being typed…let me share this…even though I do not completely agree with the concept but I get what was meant behind it…

…a baseball friend of mine won a ring in '02…he hates the towel drill. Does that mean he knows more then you, me or anyone else? Does him having played professionally mean his opinion is more valid then mine, yours or anyone elses? What he said to me one day regarding the towel drill was, "we throw baseballs, we catch baseballs and we hit baseballs so why do any thing without a ball and use something else…you are better off if you are not using a ball to use nothing at all and do the same drill or whatever…

Made nearly complete sense to me. Then he showed me some towel like drills without using a towel or other nuance that also made perfect sense to me…he made sure I knew also that he was only speaking in terms of his personal preference in that he hated the towel drill while he knew of many professional players who also hated it but just as many others who absolutely stood by it…

…therefore to this day when I hav any kid do towel drills I have them do just as many without a ball and simply slap the glove with a bare hand.

Works for me but it may not work for you or someone else and that is ok by me.

Long response even longer…my comments on the towel drill were niehter “hearsay” nor “misconceptions” as you suggested. They were my formulated opinions based on my own experiences.

Additionally and perhaps you would agree in the value of this…they were also based on my open mind and the fact that I have had the opportunity to learn many things about the game from people who know far more then I do…striving to maintain an open mind, not react without having given myself the opportunity to thoroughly formulate through someone elses opinions as well as a plethora of other things are things I try to maintain focus on in order to continue learning the game.

Try this once…have a kid use the towel 20 times and then have them do the same exact drill 20 times with no ball from the same distance and see if any thing changes. If nothing changes then let me humbly suggest the kid was doing the drill right in the first place with the towel.

Transversely if something does change then may I humbly suggest they may have been doing the towel drill wrong in the first place.

Respectfully

Coach Conley


#14

Coach,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I hope your fingers have recovered from all that typing. :lol:

I certainly agree with your assessment that any drill - not just the towel drill - needs to be preceded with proper development. You have to learn to walk before you can run.

But the part I differ on is this:

How about just to keep it simple since I would assume you know what the purpose of the drill is I state that the drills primary purpose in my opinion would be to work on full extension…getting out front…or however you want to put it.

I believe there is a big difference between “extension” and “getting out front”. To me, “extension” implies intentionally trying to manipulate the throwing arm - to reach forward as far as possible. At the same time, “getting out front” is something that can and should be allowed to happen as a result of doing other things well. Maybe this is all just semantics and I’m misinterpretting things. But I’ve heard too many folks talk about “extension” as if it is a manipulation of the throwing arm to make me think otherwise. In this light, I believe that the claim that the purpose of the towel drill is to “work on full extension” is the biggest misconception about the drill. And one who is using the drill in this manner is misusing the drill.

I will say that I don’t understand why the towel drill gets so much attention - it’s like a religious topic. But, really, it’s just another tool in a coach’s toolkit. The fact that we’re giving it this much attention is going too far.

But I see the towel drill all to often get a bad rap and it’s often due to the misconception about its purpose. By the way, Tom House is credited with having invented the towel drill and it is his definition that I go by. House would tell you that the purpose of the drill is to practice perfect-for-you mechanics.

One last comment and then I’ll leave it alone. There are benefits to using a towel instead of a baseball. First, you can do lots of reps daily because you don’t incur the wear and tear of the forces of pitching a baseball. This is not to say that the towel drill replaces real throwing (well, maybe when snowed in :wink: ). Second, the aerodynamics of the towel (or the lack thereof) help give you feadback. For example, a simple posture shift will usually cause the towel to miss left or right. Third, and possibly most important, it relieves the pitcher from having to worry about where the ball goes. When having a pitcher make a new adjustment, not worrying about the the ball lets them put all of their focus on the mechanical adjustment. This can be really valuable with young kids.

Finally, just to be clear because I don’t want any misrepresentations, I am nothing more than a youth baseball coach and pitching instructor. Although I have had some training from one of the best in the world.

-Roger


#15

Roger…great response and that is appreciated.

My fingers are recovered because I type faster then I am able to throw a ball :lol:

I too believe there is a big difference between getting out front and full extension and I nearly completely agree with you on your comment(s) pertaining to this part of it all…that is why I included both comments and did so in part to hear what you would say about one or both of them :lol:

With that being typed sounds like we agree about more relating to the drill that we may have originally thought.

Perhaps my main focus with pitchers is to get out front and do so with the upper half using our core in large part to accomplish this. Obviously we don’t want pitcher’s short arming it or not properly finishing but to me a great deal of that is properly dictated by what the upper half is doing to enable them to get where they need to be…this stance is why I probably don’t put as much emphasis on the towel as other guys may…that is not to say I don’t use it because I certainly do.

Regarding Mr. House I have actually been following the stuff he comes up with since about '94 or so. Just like with anyone else some stuff of his I like and other stuff I don’t…over the years I have simply had a hard time following his teaching principles because they are constantly changing…Im not suggesting this is a bad thing becuase in large part I believe that is him being proactive in coming up with the right things…

…I could type more about the immediately aforementioned but I will defer from further absue to my fingers.

As far as “using a baseball” I am a huge advocate of throwing a ball being a large part behind create arm strength…call it old school or whatever you want to but throwing a ball and long toss are most defnitely going to create arm strength and to an extent far beyond that of using a towel; in my opinion.

I certainly agree with the towel drill providing feedback as to certain things that may or may not be going on and I could not agree with you more on that…perhaps these are the main reasons behind why I am pitchers use the towel.

I also agree that taking a ball out of the equation takes away the anxiety of trying to throw one properly because they don’t have to worry about the ball. I will also take that a step further here and say that taking away specific targets as well as catchers can alleviate these anxieties as well.
That is why I am a huge advocate of short screen work with no specific targets or a catcher. The closer a kid is to a screen the less distance the ball covers therefore it simply is not in the air long enough to be seen or worried about by the young hurler.

By working short one has to focus more on getting the ball down hill because they have less time allowed for that to happen. They also are still throwing a ball because one is put into their hand yet they are not trying to air it out because they are shorter to their screen.

Try this with even the most maximum effort hard throwing youngster and you will see that the close distance to the screen or sock net tones them down a bit in their approach…at 10-15 feet away nearly every kid like this will be throwing with far less maximum effort then they would at even 40 feet or so much less 60 or further.

I also like having kids work on their mechancis without a ball or other teaching tool all the while toning down on arm action but still being able to work on their mechanics.

Another forgotten aspect of teaching pitching or hitting for that matter is use of full length mirrors whenever possible and I am also a big advocate of incorporating video into any teaching session so the player can be provided the opportunity to see what I am talking about.

Lastly I also use “blind throwing” on drills and short work; meaning the players eyes are closed. This helps to create body awareneness and wil bring the flaws in any players mechancis out in glaring fashion; especially direction.

I absolutely love the “tool box” comment and you are absolutely correct. With that being said, as far as being a tool in mine it most defenitely would look a lot newer then the other ones I use more and certainly would not be on the top shelf but rather some where in the bottom of the box.

Great dialogue coach…appreciated and hoepfully we gave to one another some insight so we can continue to improve in our quests to give back to the game.


#16

In order to help a friend let me ask Coach C and Roger what they think about the 2Suro. It seems like you could use the 2Suro without a ball , like the towel drill or with the ball to get the feel of throwing? Please let me know your thoughts.


#17

I thought the whole idea of 2Suro was to be able to throw a ball, without throwing it, aka it is still in your hand and you get the feel but it isn’t flying out of the mechanism that holds it in the pocket. If you take away the ball and just leave the 2suro, what difference is there in that and dry mechanics?


#18

When evaluating any drill or any device, you have to do so in some context. Doing a drill or using a device just for the sake of doing so will prove to be of marginal benefit at best. It’s when you have a purpose in mind that you push yourself to try to achieve that purpose and that provides the most benefit.

With regards to the 2Suro, what is the purpose? If you’re stuck in a frozen tundra and can’t really go outside to throw, then the 2Suro would seem to give you some options. But, again, what is your purpose? If you use the device to throw indoors and work on, say, some specific aspect of your mechanics, then that would be a good use of the device. Or, if you use the device simply to start conditioning your arm before you can get outside and throw then, again, that would be a good use of the device. But if you’re gonna slap one on just go through the motions, then I’d question the value.