Most of you have been with me now long enough to know that everything is about transporting energy using your kinetic chain for pitching. And although you have heard me talk about this, it’s just easier for a colleague to tell the story, he does it so well. Thank you Dick Mills!
Enter Dick Mills: Yesterday I got a call from the father of a 19 year old second year pro lefty, who is right here in town at extended Spring Training. Extended Spring Training is where pro pitchers go when something is wrong with their performances, their mechanics or they are nursing themselves back from an injury.
This talented lefty should be out in an A league right now working his way up the organization but because he started doing the towel drill last year after he was drafted, his mechanics are all messed up to the point that he has gone from 92-94 mph when he was drafted to 87-90 mph.
Who suggested the towel drill? His professional coaches.
His father wanted us to do a video analysis comparing his mechanics from before he was drafted to just a few days ago when he pitched in a game against the White Sox extended Spring Training team.
They wanted answers on how he could get his pro career back on track.
Before we even looked at the video I pretty much knew how the towel drill would have reduced his velocity by 5-7 mph because we have seen this numerous times before.
If you recall, one of our old clients, a former Stanford lefty, also started to towel drill going into ball baseball as a junior. He had been projected to be drafted in the first or second round and would have gotten $500,000 to $1million bonus.
But after doing the towel drill, recommended by one of the nations top gurus, his velocity fell from 91 mph down to 82-83 mph. His father called me with deep concern. When he told me who he was working with I knew right away and asked if he had been doing the towel drill. He said yes.
He never got his velocity back and got drafted in the 23rd round and was out of baseball after just one year. His parents were broken hearted. The towel drill cost him at least $500,000 and a pro career.
How The Towel Drill Ruins Mechanics And Velocity
The towel drill causes the trunk to get involved much too early which means the arm does not get whipped through by the trunk but rather has to work more on its own. The towel drill, which emphasizes the arm, causes the trunk to start to flex forward before the hips and trunk are facing the target. A complete velocity killer.
The towel drill may be the worst thing a pitcher could waste his time doing. Ask yourself this question: Does a towel feel like a baseball? Do you release a baseball or hold onto it after release? If you are focusing on the towel and your arm what do you think happens to the body?
So when I finally looked at the video it was exactly what we had figured. His trunk was flexed too far forward at landing which means he had less distance to apply force to the ball. 5-7 mph lost.
I sent his father an email last night to let him know that his son could easily get back that extra 5-7 mph and maybe more because even out of high school his trunk was a bit too far forward at landing even though he was 92-94. I think this boy has the potential to throw 96-98 mph. He moves down the mound very, very fast. I loved that about his mechanics.
His father was delighted and relieved. Now this lefty has an answer on how to proceed.
But here is what you should get out of this. This boy is in a professional organization, with pitching coaches that all pitched at the big league level. But not one could figure out how to help one of their top left-handed prospects.
So why do instructors recommend the towel drill if it’s so bad? Because they do not know how the body is supposed to work in pitching. In other words they do not understand mechanics. Pure and simple.
What chance does your instructor have for helping your son?
Without videotaping – every instructor is guessing.
See Dick at http://www.pitching.com/
Enter Chuck Bushbeck: If you want to improve pitching performance and reduce the risk of arm injuries, schedule a class with Chuck Bushbeck or Chuck Bechtel. Stop throwing money away on drills which are not supported by science. Now that we have a great working relationship with Justin Shaginaw MPT, ATC (physical therapist) and the office of Dr. Bartolozzi. If you feel that your son may have a pitching imbalance or a “range of motion” issue. You can contact Justin at 267-251-0123 to explore this further. Such a great resource for us.
“Play in the Zone”!
Chuck Bushbeck (LA Angels)
“Full Armor Baseball Academy”
267 334 7311
See Bushbeck Tips at http://www.bushbeck.com/
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