12U being taught arm slot, velocity WAY down


Long time lurker, first time poster! My 12U son has been going to a pitching coach for some time now that is big on arm slot. He adjusted my son from over-the-top to almost sidearm.
He pitches more strikes, which is good, but his velocity is way, way down! He was invited on a traveling team mainly because of his velocity and always got comments from opposing coaches on how fast he throws. Now he is averaged velocity at best.
Has anyone else ever had this issue? How can he best return to the velocity that made him so dominant?


I am not really sure how to help but the reason why I comment is that I am surprised that your sons pitching coach changed your son’s arm slot to a lower arm slot. Usually, when coaches try to change a pitchers arm slot, it is because they are trying to change a sidearm delivery to a more over the top delivery to prevent injury. Like I said before, not sure how to help velocity wise but my advice is this: With your son’s arm slot, what is natural to him? I’ve always been on the train of thought that a pitcher should use an arm slot that feels comfortable and natural to that specific pitcher. Does your son seem to prefer the lower arm slot, or was he more comfortable in the over the top arm slot? Do what seems natural and best to him. Coaches might try to get a kid to do something their way and while I think you should definitely listen to what they have to say, just remember, each kid is different and has their own personal tendencies.


Thanks for the response. He never really talked about his comfort level and says now the new slot is not more comfortable, not less comfortable.
We never really did ask what felt more natural, we just sort of put our trust in this guy(He’s into the Tom House Academy) and now I am wondering.
I’ll go out with him tonight and see what feels more natural. Thanks!


Sounds like pitching coach has a preference for side arm. A PC in our state coverts most all his clients to a low 3/4 delivery. Personally I don’t think you should mess with a kids natural arm slot.


I am not a mechanic’s coach, but I’ve been around those that are, and have noticed a trend with these people.
First, these coaches are observers first. In that regard, they either notice something wrong - or - worth developing. When something just doesn’t sit right with them (coaches), they take the time to talk and rationalize. In fact, they rationalize a lot. Almost to the point of being a broken record. I’ve noticed a reasoning process with their charges that covers the why-n-what-for of now. They get to know the physical and mental aspects of their guys in a very personal way. I’ve seen these coaches spot an injury from the past that was being kept from them, and even a potential risk into the future. I have never seen the coaches that I dealt with simply take someone and say … " here, I’ll show you how to pitch…" Come to think of it, watching these men is like watching a mechanic talk to a customer with a car that has a certain problem. The mechanic will get in the car and driver it around the block, just to start the judgement process.
Second, regardless of what your son WAS doing prior to meeting this pitching coach, from the get go he should have had regular consoletations with you AND your son on what was going on and why. Evidently from you comments here, that’s not the case.

As a pitching coach (retiree) who managed more than anything, heck , if a guy tosses strikes for the majority of his tenure, I wouldn’t complain. In fact, if he holds his own, great! On the other hand, don’t forget that your son is only 12 and won’t be signing any MLB contracts new week, so I would suggest sitting down with this pitching coach and have a friendly conversation of where your son is, where he came from in the beginning, where he is now- ability wise, and what this coach thinks that your son so look forward to during his next session. I would also suggest that at the end of each session, a progress report be given to you so you and your son can hash out any questions or issues for the next meeting. ,


Thanks for the comments.

This coach took a good hour of throwing and filming and talking before modifying his slot, but I do agree that that may hav snot been enough.

At any rate, I added the link to a video of him pitching if anyone wants to take a look at it and give some feedback.


I don’t think the instructor is truly into Tom House because, if he was, he would well know that House’s philosophy is that coaches should not mess with a pitcher’s throwing arm. I went through House’s pitching coach certification program annually from 2005 to 2014 and heard him emphasize this numerous times. So, unless House changed his tune in the last 3 years (which I doubt), your instructor has missed the boat.

Take care of posture, let arm slot happen.
-Tom House


i feel like something like arm slot isn’t something that should be taught unless it’s way off
people have their own natural arm slot


I once saw an image of a clock with 12 hands (wish I had saved it). Each clock hand was the arm of an MLB pitcher. 12:00 was an overhand righty or lefty; 1:00 was an almost overhand lefty; 6:00 was a submarine righty or lefty; 11:00 was an almost overhand righty; you get the picture. Never change an arm slot.


Go back to what he was doing before? Hate to say the obvious but if your son’s coach is making him worse he isn’t worth the title.


I agree with Roger. I was certified by Tom House in 2014 and I do the coaches clinic every year when he comes to Houston… He says every time I see him that you do NOT change arm slot. You mirror the front arm to the throwing arm to achieve opposite and equal.


So what the heck do I do now? We have been going to this guy for a couple of months, and now when I try to get my son to go back to his natural slot he says it’s awkward and claims it hurts his shoulder.

How do I undo this?


It’s hard to tell without video, but I was thinking about this last night. When he is throwing over-the-top what does his eye level look like? A lot of kids are told early on to get on top of the ball when they throw and this makes their head tilt to the left for a righty…

If this coach is trying to get his eye level straight then it would lower his arm slot naturally.

Do you have some video?



Yes, I posted a link to video on my first comment. Please click on it and let me know what you think.

I will say, that the adjustment was due to exactly what you are talking about, to get rid of the head tilt.



My bad. His eye level looks really good from that angle. My son throws from a low 3/4 arm slot, but this does seem lower than my boys… Do you have any before video’s for comparison?


So maybe the instructor was really trying to correct posture - not arm slot. That would be legit and would align with House’s teachings. (Refer to Tom House quote at the end of my previous post.) Sometimes young kids don’t realize how much they tilt so getting them to straighten up all the way can be tricky. One tactic or cue House suggests is to tell the pitcher to throw sidearm. Pitchers won’t usually drop all the way down to a sidearm slot but they often will drop enough to correct posture.


No, infotunately I do not.


Maybe it’s the fact his front knee is so bent at release or has he always pitched like that?


Maybe its not the arm slow but its something else the pitching coach changed as well.


He’s always pitched like that. I agree it could possibly be something other than arm slot, but in everything else he’s taught it has actually generated more momentum towards home.