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Thread: Does Dick Mills really know what he is talking about?

  1. #1
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    Question Does Dick Mills really know what he is talking about?

    Does the Dick Mills system for uping your pitching speed really work? Or is he just out to get money?

  2. #2
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    ya im suspicious
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  3. #3
    I would take a lot of what Mills says with a tremendous grain of salt. He completely revamped the nature of his pitching approaching a few years ago, insisting that he'd had the benefit of new scientific principles, and is dismissive of anyone who doesn't follow these principles. However, he doesn't have the background to truly comprehend the science involved, and so issues a string of pop science pseudobabble.

    I kinda like Steve Ellis' "Complete Pitcher" web site, as his advice seems well-grounded in theory and experience. There's a ton of information for free there, including his free "Ezine" that you can sign up for and which focuses on adding velocity.

  4. #4
    Former Major Leaguer and pitching coach Dr. Mike Marshall had this to say about Dick Mills:

    "FYI, Dick Mills not only destroyed his son's pitching arm, but he still teaches the same pitching motion to others"

    From this website.

  5. #5
    First of all, Mike Marshall -- with all his pitching experience and his advance degrees -- is considered by the baseball establishment to be a compete flake. Marshall is convinced that anyone who does not use his own bizarre pitching system will destroy their arm. It's sort of sad to see fathers asking questions in Marshall's web site's forums, and have Marshall respond, "Your son can do what his coaches are telling him, but his elbow will be destroyed in six months. Sorry. Good bye." Marshall by contrast teaches a strange motion that is hard to describe, but essentially requires the pitcher to bring his arm straight back, and then fling his whole body forward like a catapault, releasing the ball with the back foot already well in front of the body. (I may be unclear on the details; you have to buy the whole Marshall system to get the details.) Oddly, Marshall in a sense may be correct that this is the only way to take strain off the shoulder and elbow, but it deviates so much from everything you've ever been taught about throwing (much less pitching), that you essentially have to put your entire future into his hands. (Literally -- you move to his camp and live and train there for eight months.) So, what Marshall says about Mills is what he says about virtually every conventional pitching coach.

    Second, as much as I may disagree with Mills, I don't think it's fair to take the example of one of his pupils and assume that the failure of the pupil (in this case, his son) is attributable to his system. His son was a promising pitcher whose career was ended by injury. The arm is a complex thing, and a lot of reasons could explain the injury. And, as I noted, what Mills may have taught him then may be different from what he is preaching now.

  6. #6
    I prowled Mill's forum a while ago, and the main thing I remember was that he said weight lifting is BAD until you are some ridiculous age.

    He also said creatine causes kidny failure is dangerous (which it doesent, and which it isnt)

  7. #7
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    I don't think he is out for money. His son is a millionare, and Dick himself is doing quite fine. He said (and no I haven't looked at his reciepts, just taking his word for it) that he has spent thousands of dollars trying to better understand pitching and the science involved in it. And he is also writing a 500+ page book with a very well known science person.

    Much of what he says makes sense. At least he is trying to better himself and admits that he is wrong, where as other pitching "gurus" (spelling?) Think they know everything, and if you prove them wrong they hate and despise you

  8. #8
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    Dick Mills

    Dick Mills has been around for a while. As a middle school pitcher I would not get too involved with coach's that have a "revolutionary" way to teach pitching. There are a hundred coaches like Mills out there, many come and go. Most try to sell a "revolutionary method" so you buy their product.
    Much of what Dick teaches is sound, but confusing. Pitching, like hitting is accomplished with rotational and linear force, Dick likes to call this "Elastic Energy" I think all it does is confuse the younger players.
    For someone like yourself I would recommend going to a baseball training facility. Check out America's Game, and The Hitting Zone, (Hiddengem is part owner. I went to his site and it looks pretty good). They will give you an idea of what you should be looking for in your area. If you can't find one, ask your local high school coach. Spending $30-35 at a place like this is sometimes much more responsible than having your parents buy Dick's program for $400.00. If it doesn't work out - you're only out the $30-35

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major
    I would take a lot of what Mills says with a tremendous grain of salt. He completely revamped the nature of his pitching approaching a few years ago, insisting that he'd had the benefit of new scientific principles, and is dismissive of anyone who doesn't follow these principles. However, he doesn't have the background to truly comprehend the science involved, and so issues a string of pop science pseudobabble.
    Why change your style?
    Didn't Tiger Woods struggle for a couple years trying to redesign his golf swing?
    Why Reinvent the wheel?

    If it works then use it.

    To me it's just another guy trying to bring some fresh concepts to the game which may or may not be a small factor.

    If your pitching techniques work and you have good mechanics use them.

  10. #10

    a free alternative

    If you're really interested in understanding pitching mechanics, I would recommend reading everything I could on pitching-mechanics.org. The information has been invaluable to me - and you can also post your video clips and have them reviewed by very knowledgeable folks. The site is free although you do need to register (site does not spam registered users).

    Definitely would recommend this before spending the bucks on Mills program.

    hit-it-hard

  11. #11
    Louisvilleslugger said: If it works then use it.
    To me it's just another guy trying to bring some fresh concepts to the game which may or may not be a small factor.
    Louisville, you quoted my doubts about Mills' thinking, and then said this, among other things. I'm not sure if you intended to disagree with me on some point.

    I have no problem with someone "bringing fresh concepts", but it's like using prayer to cure cancer. It's fine if you believe it, but don't forego what may be better cures until it's too late. Some of Mills ideas on techniques may well be worth trying without any risk, and you can disgard them if they don't work. But, if you take them as gospel without trying other methods, you may not be getting everything out of your pitching.

    I think Jake's idea of getting an experienced local coach to give you a session or two is excellent. I would start with someone who's taught kids like you and who has gotten good reviews. Just because someone is a high school coach or a former pro doesn't mean they know how to teach kids like you. If there's something on Mills' site that you think might help, you can ask his opinion as to how they might help YOU.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by hit-it-hard
    If you're really interested in understanding pitching mechanics, I would recommend reading everything I could on pitching-mechanics.org. The information has been invaluable to me - and you can also post your video clips and have them reviewed by very knowledgeable folks. The site is free although you do need to register (site does not spam registered users).

    Definitely would recommend this before spending the bucks on Mills program.

    hit-it-hard
    Bump to this, Paul Nyman provides information and advice for free, unlike Mills. Nyman's advice is also better, and I've seen both of their programs.

  13. #13
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    Ursa Major
    I appologize I should of been more elaborate and clear.
    I wasn't quoting to disagree.
    What I meant by if it works use it, is if the pitching technique you all ready have works use that instead of looking to a man teaching new concepts that may not even be a factor to helping you at all.

    Sorry it might of looked like I was leaning towards follow Mills concepts but I actually meant just the opposite.

    I totally agree on take his teachings with a grain of salt for the record.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
    Louisville, no apology necessary. I was just trying to clarify your position, as it seemed that you and I were pretty much in agreement. Usually people quote someone else to either expressly agree with them or, more frequently, take shots at their opinions.

  16. #16
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    A friend of mine let me use his 3 dick mills tapes.The tapes show the towel drill and others and like ANY information if you look hard enough you can find some GOOD.Dick mills has a FEW ggood things in his 3 tape series.They become boring very quickly.I also bought ron wolforths athletic pitcher program which has only backtraining workouts for pitchers.ZERO on mechanics.I also viewed a TOM HOUSE tape wher he was pitching with Randy Johnson and NOlan RYan,this tape also had some Great pointers.So look for the Good stuff in these info tapes and use it.No one is Better than another .

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisvilleslugger
    Why change your style?
    Didn't Tiger Woods struggle for a couple years trying to redesign his golf swing?
    Why Reinvent the wheel?

    If it works then use it.

    To me it's just another guy trying to bring some fresh concepts to the game which may or may not be a small factor.

    If your pitching techniques work and you have good mechanics use them.
    Tiger Woods did struggle, why reinvent the wheel. Why try and become better. Let's all throw 80 MPH and call it a day... who would want to become better?

    I guess some of you aren't that competitive... Tiger Woods is... he knew he used his swing to it's full potential, and people would be trying to copy it and be just as good as him in no time. So he revamped it to become even better. What's wrong with that?

    Yes, if you can throw 94 MPH and throw every pitch in any count for a strike 100% of the time, you obviously have nothing to change. But if you can't... THEN YOU NEED WORK

  18. #18
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    Who is dick mills. I never have heard of him
    Brooks Robinson
    Frank Robinson
    Luis Aparicio
    Robin Roberts
    Reggie Jackson
    Eddie Murray
    Hoyt Wilhelm
    Cal Ripken Jr.
    George Kell
    Earl Weaver
    Jim Palmer
    All Baltimore Orioles' hall of famers.
    P.S. Brooks Robinson was the best!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kripler1
    Who is dick mills. I never have heard of him
    He pitched 3.2 innings for the Boston Red Sox in 1970.

    He has been selling pitcher training videos since at least 1990.

  20. #20
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    Oh............................. Thank - you
    Brooks Robinson
    Frank Robinson
    Luis Aparicio
    Robin Roberts
    Reggie Jackson
    Eddie Murray
    Hoyt Wilhelm
    Cal Ripken Jr.
    George Kell
    Earl Weaver
    Jim Palmer
    All Baltimore Orioles' hall of famers.
    P.S. Brooks Robinson was the best!!

  21. #21

    More about Dr. Mike Marshall

    I disagree radically with the thought that Dr. Marshall is a flake. If you take the time to understand what he is teaching you will know, absolutely, positively, that he is correct. It is one thing to debate unverifiable 'opinions' and yet another to debate over scientific facts.

    Currently I teach Dr. Marshall's mechanics. We train seven days per week, throwing an equivalent of over 100 pitches per day. Young men learning these mechanics WILL NOT injure their throwing arm because of biomechanical flaws. A high schooler I am training won a State Legion Championship using this methodology in summer 2005. He stands to be the best pitcher in our state come spring of 2006.

    After the 2003 MLB draft, when my son was drafted, I started researching pitching-arm injuries. In the past two years I have invested well over 1500 hours of my time studying this. While other guys can claim that they have the answers, I can provide PROOF that they do not know what they are talking about. Ask me a specific question and I will provide a factual, scientifically based answer.

    If you have a son who wants to pitch, you need to know Dr. Marshall.

  22. #22
    I know personally many Major League and Minor League pitchers who are students of Tom House. Randy Johnson and Greg Maddox to name a few. I haven't talked to him in quite a while but I know he has quite a following.

    Ryan Mills was genetically gifted out of college, tall and could throw average major league speed (91+) from the left side, and so he was drafted high and cashed in.

    If I'm not mistaken he has since blown out his arm in pro ball and I haven't heard much about him. This is not to say that his dad doesn't know what he is talking about, but on the other hand I haven't heard many positives about him in the professional arena. Many folks will tell you that his dad has ridden the coat tails of his son straight to the bank. He had a add in BaseballAmerica for quite a while (might still be there) talking about his 1st round son. This is not my opinion, but what I have heard.
    Last edited by hiddengem; 12-05-2005 at 12:18 PM.

  23. #23

    Tom House

    I personally know young men who trained with Tom House that blew out their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, necessitating Tommy John surgery if they wised to continue in baseball. I know what causes these injuries and Tom House is responsible for teaching the mechanics that caused the injuries. Personally responsible in my opinion. Just because he has a following and has worked with major league pitchers does not mean that he knows what he is talking about.

    You might ask Randy Johnson why he blew out his knee last year, putting him on the Disabled List. I suspect it is because Mr. House told him that, in order to release the ball closer to home plate, he had to increase his stride length. The posting knee takes a horrendous beating when you do so. Look at pictures. Likewise, imagine the damage being done to the glove-side hip. Why do professional pitchers have hip replacement surgery at rates so far above the national norms? Look at pics; the conclusions should be obvious, yet we seem to ignore the obvious.

    I also know, personally, a young man that has had nine, count them, nine arm surgeries, all caused by pitching. The major league team that employed him released him. Would you say that their pitching coaches were competent? In the legal sense, the word negligent comes to mind. Just because they work with professional pitchers does not mean they know what they are doing. The good old boy network is alive and well, to the detriment of pitchers everywhere.

    Using Dr. Marshall's pitching mechanics none of these injuries are a factor. If you are willing to invest the time, you also will understand why. By the way, guys trained this way who actually do what Doc requires of them (statistically rare) increase their release velocity, throw a huge selection of pitches that make what MLB pitchers throw look weak in comparison, and throw with maximum intensity each and every day. No one in professional baseball (or anywhere else) can do this, let alone stay injury free. Go look at the history of the disabled list from the last couple of seasons. If you have the courage, prove it to yourself. The idea of 'overuse' is a crock.

    By the way, average major league speed is not 91+, it is much closer to 88. I know. I talk with an area scouting supervisor on a pretty regular basis. Gotta go and let my blood pressure come back down.
    Last edited by Coach45; 12-05-2005 at 09:51 PM.

  24. #24
    Hey, Coach45, thanks for weighing in. Please note that I did not say that I myself thought that Marshall is a flake, but that many others do so. I think we can agree on that point, and he rails about the way the "establishment" treats his ideas.

    I really would like to jump on the Marshall bandwagon. I love the idea of having an open enough mind to see when conventional wisdom is faulty and embracing new thinking, the way I have with rotational mechanics in hitting. I spent the better part of a day cruising around his web site reading his ideas. But, I just can't do join up with the good doctor.

    The problems that I have with Marshall are these:
    1. He never really tells you on his web site what exactly his motion looks like. You have to dig, dig, dig through theory to finally get a sparse description of it. And he has no video or photos! We're just supposed to take it on faith.

    2. He, like you in your posts, engages in the sort of histrionics about ruining arms that allegedly comes from conventional wisdom. Yes, tens of thousands of young men pitch every year and many have serious arm miseries. And many more don't. Until we come up with a scientific assessment of what kind of injuries flow from what kind of training, we're stuck with anecdotal evidence about arm problems. Pitching overhand is an unnatural act regardless of what you do; many will get hurt.

    3. You really can't learn his system unless you go to live with him, although there are apparently a few coaches like you whose faith makes it possible for others to learn. Terrific. And it's nice to get at least one success story. But, frankly, given that the technique apparently is so revolutionary, we're going to need to have a lot more success stories to get people to turn around. And a lot more measured, independent studies of his graduates to substantiate his (and your) assertions that his system is guaranteed to prevent arm woes. But he does not apparently have a single name of someone who has so succeeded. And he's been teaching this system for a long time.

    So, I think that it is asking for a phenomenal leap of faith for others to embrace Marshall. And, even if they did, what good would it do if they simply can't run out to your program or Marshall's facility to get trained? If the tree only falls in another forest, no one here can hear it, so it may as well not have fallen, if you follow me.

    Would you and your success story be willing to post videos and stats (including "before and after" velocity numbers) somewhere so that we can see what Marshall really is about?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major
    Hey, Coach45, thanks for weighing in. Please note that I did not say that I myself thought that Marshall is a flake, but that many others do so. I think we can agree on that point, and he rails about the way the "establishment" treats his ideas.

    I really would like to jump on the Marshall bandwagon. I love the idea of having an open enough mind to see when conventional wisdom is faulty and embracing new thinking, the way I have with rotational mechanics in hitting. I spent the better part of a day cruising around his web site reading his ideas. But, I just can't do join up with the good doctor.

    The problems that I have with Marshall are these:
    1. He never really tells you on his web site what exactly his motion looks like. You have to dig, dig, dig through theory to finally get a sparse description of it. And he has no video or photos! We're just supposed to take it on faith.

    2. He, like you in your posts, engages in the sort of histrionics about ruining arms that allegedly comes from conventional wisdom. Yes, tens of thousands of young men pitch every year and many have serious arm miseries. And many more don't. Until we come up with a scientific assessment of what kind of injuries flow from what kind of training, we're stuck with anecdotal evidence about arm problems. Pitching overhand is an unnatural act regardless of what you do; many will get hurt.

    3. You really can't learn his system unless you go to live with him, although there are apparently a few coaches like you whose faith makes it possible for others to learn. Terrific. And it's nice to get at least one success story. But, frankly, given that the technique apparently is so revolutionary, we're going to need to have a lot more success stories to get people to turn around. And a lot more measured, independent studies of his graduates to substantiate his (and your) assertions that his system is guaranteed to prevent arm woes. But he does not apparently have a single name of someone who has so succeeded. And he's been teaching this system for a long time.

    So, I think that it is asking for a phenomenal leap of faith for others to embrace Marshall. And, even if they did, what good would it do if they simply can't run out to your program or Marshall's facility to get trained? If the tree only falls in another forest, no one here can hear it, so it may as well not have fallen, if you follow me.

    Would you and your success story be willing to post videos and stats (including "before and after" velocity numbers) somewhere so that we can see what Marshall really is about?
    I'll second all of that. I've never seen a Marshall pitching motion demonstated. I've only read descriptions and it sounds weird. And I haven't heard of anybody who uses his method, who is playing in MLB. That doesn't mean much by itself, since only a select few make it to MLB using any method, but you would think after all this time, at least one of his followers would have made it.

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