You ask, "Does it really work?"
I’ll describe my personal experience with the “Finch Windmill.” I purchased one for my daughter/pitcher in May 2006 after her high school freshman season. Since then she has used it as part of her daily workout regimen. Her daily workout regimen for her pitching includes:
* A couple of hundred pitches (which not only includes going through all of her pitches, but also long toss, and heavy/light balls)
* specific stretching exercises to maintain range of motion and flexibility
* Spin-Right Spinner
* TightSpin Trainer (added this to the workout Oct. 2007)
* Finch Windmill
She had a good deal of success though both her high school career and 18Gold travel ball. She was fortunate to have a number college D1 opportunities to consider. She is just now beginning her freshman year of college and plans on being an impact player from the get-go.
The operative word above is “daily.” I am convinced to be a successful pitcher you have to be extremely dedicated and disciplined to daily workouts. It is pretty close to a 365 day commitment and very few are willing to make the necessary commitment. If you are looking for any single device to be a “magic bullet” to achieving anything, you will be disappointed.
Would I buy a Finch Windmill today? … absolutely, positively, yes!
* Some things I like about the Finch Windmill:
* it is very convenient device
* it is simple to use
* this single component of daily workout is quick
* it is very durable and high quality
* you exercise both sides of the body
* develops full extension and range of motion
* develops flexibility
A few words about how the Finch Windmill exercises and develops both sides of the body (because I think it is very important). Pitching naturally develops one side of your body. The Finch Windmill is very effective at developing the other side too. This is not only important for physical balance, which helps pitchers. I believe it is even more important for batters. Ever notice pitchers who were great batters when they were younger, but as they moved to more competitive levels and continued to develop as pitchers, their batting seemed to decline? Ever wonder why? I think I know a big reason why … a right handed pitcher naturally develops their right hand, arm, and shoulder which makes their right side more dominant than their left side. If a right handed pitcher is a right handed batter, this increasing dominance of their right side will negatively affect their batting. The opposite is the case for a left handed pitcher who is a left handed batter. I strongly believe a big reason being in batting, your bottom hand (the one closest to the knob of the bat) needs to be the more dominant hand. For a batter, the problem with the top hand becoming more dominant than the bottom hand is that this creates a tendency in the swing for the top hand to roll over the bottom hand, which is a critical mistake for a batter. The Finch Windmill allows you to easily and effectively exercise and develop your non-pitching side which aids in preventing one-sided dominance.
Balanced physical development is also critical in preventing injury. Not to mention, recognizing the rigors of being a pitcher (at times pitching 2 or 3 games in a day) my daughter has certainly had injuries but she has never had arm or shoulder issues. I can’t prove it but I do believe that her commitment to using the Finch Windmill is a major reason for this.
As far as pitch speed improvements, again, I can’t prove it but I do believe that my daughter’s commitment to using the Finch Windmill has supported it. However, I would caution anyone from becoming pre-occupied with speed as the predominant factor for pitching success. I believe that full pitch command of location, movement, and variations of speed are the 3 critical elements to pitching success. Speed without command of location, movement, and variations of speed will seriously hinder a pitcher’s success. As an aside, and a whole different discussion, I believe that having a multiple of different types of pitches (curve, drop, screw, rise, change, etc.), without a particular type of pitch having all 3 of these critical elements means that a pitcher doesn’t have that type of pitch.
This review sounds like I have a vested interest in the sales of Finch Windmills. I assure you I have absolutely no affiliation with Doug or Jennie Finch. However, when I bought my Finch Windmill, to save the shipping cost, Doug invited me to swing by to pick it up. It was great to meet him, and he was more than willing to sit and talk softball and pitching. He has very definitive opinions and is more than willing to share his thoughts and advice. Haven’t had any contact with him since, but maybe this review will find its way to his attention … and I’d like to say thank you … for my daughter the Finch Windmill was well worth the money!