The Rope Trainer was created and designed by Coach Earl Perrin and Todd Boulanger, both from Saint Petersburg, Florida. In 2011, Coach Perrin was giving pitching lessons to Todd’s 10 year old son. Part of the training regimen involved using the “towel drill” to help with body alignment, conditioning, and overall control. The Towel Drill had been used for many years to train pitchers at all levels, but Coach Perrin knew there had to be a better way. As Todd’s son began using the towel drill, Coach Perrin was not convinced this drill allowed players to replicate the true pitching and throwing motion. The use of the towel did not reinforce the proper grip, nor did this drill transfer to the mechanics of throwing when there was a ball in the player’s hand.
So, after some conversation and a challenge to come up with something for players to use, we decided we had to combine the towel with an actual baseball. The first design involved drilling a hole through the baseball, pushing the towel through, and tying it off. Seemed like it might work. One problem…..the towel was too thick and caused the player’s fingers to be separated in an uncomfortable and unorthodox position. And, the way the towel was “tied off” on the ball prevented the player’s thumb from being in the correct position.
That’s when The ROPE Revolution began. We designed The ROPE Pitch & Throw Trainer with player safety and player development in mind. And, we quickly realized using a real baseball or softball allowed players to gain a level of “feel” and comfort with the grip. When the player’s body was able to transfer this training motion to simulate the actual pitching or throwing mechanics, the results were evident. By having players engage repeatedly in the full pitching and throwing delivery, the players were able to transfer the mechanics of The ROPE drill to actual throwing in game situations and speed. The ROPE became an integral component of this Training Device. As you’ll see, there is critical and immediate feedback to the player when they follow through correctly and The ROPE touches their back.
With input from leading orthopedic doctors, coaches, as well as professional, college, and amateur players, we added the second hole. This allowed players to use a real baseball, with the two and four-seam grip, while training. This design provided players with the added bonus of the “feel” of an actual game situation. After all, they weren’t throwing towels across home plate, or across the diamond during games!