12U lefty time issues?


My son is 12 years old sidearm. His sidearm fast ball is about 63-65mph. If I FORCE him to throw ¾, the fast ball is about 70mph. However, he does not like to throw ¾, and complain the shoulder and elbow pain when he throws ¾. He wants to throw side arm. The problem is he has no off speed pitch

I found couple abnormal movements:

  1. His leading heap move to the third base. It is easy to see it in the front view.
  2. His leading glove is very low when he lands it. From the first base view.

Some local coach said he has the time issue, however he can’t tell me what the exact timing problem is? Does my son have the time issue?
I really need your help

Thank you very much.

Front view:

First Base view:

Second Base View:

Thridbase view:

I don’t see anything I’d consider a timing problem. His shoulders seem pretty well squared up to the target at release - not over-rotated. The only thing I can see that some others might consider a timing problem is his throwing arm’s upper arm isn’t vertical at front foot plant. But I don’t consider that an issue.

He does lean back a bit (towards 3B) as he goes into knee lift and that can throw off balance and make his control inconsistent. A little more bend in the knees and waist will put him in a more athletic position to help him stabilize his posture.

One other point - he is planting his front foot right on the edge of that portable mound and it looks like his foot might slide a bit. That can throw things off.

Hi Roger,

Thank for your comments, and glad to know he does not have a timing issue.

His leading heap movement has been bothered me for 2 years, I really appreciate your help on it. I uploaded another video for our reference. His leading heap moves to 3B when he releases balls (0:0:05-0:0:06). It makes his shoulder title to his pitching arm, and pitch underarm. He did not have the problem 2 years ago. I am struggling if I have to ask him to correct the leading heap issue?

Heap movement: http://youtu.be/UDE2LG4jl1M
2 years ago: http://youtu.be/9HOQd32fNjU



The hip movement doesn’t seem too severe. My suggestion would be to focus on postural stability per my previous reply. Put some more bend in the knees and waist to eliminate the sideways head movement (back towards 3B going into knee lift and then towards 1B) and see if that cleans up the hip movement.


I will work for his head stability, and will let you know the result.



Hi Simon,

I would love to see your son NOT externally rotating his lead leg during his stride. This ‘tipping’ of his front foot predisposes his femur and hips such that he is opening up his hips very early. By tipping, I mean turning his foot toward the target so early.

When you turn your foot, your hips turn. When your hips turn, it’s time to throw.

I think that’d be a good place to start.


I actually I think that your son has pretty significant timing issues. What the coach may be referring to is a couple of things. First, (at the 11 sec mark of the 1st base view) when his front foot lands his throwing arm and palm (facing down) are parallel to the ground. Also, his elbow is not only above shoulder level, its almost above his head! The second issue occurs right after external rotation. He leads with the elbow and continues to hold the ball palm up as he travels past his body to ball release. Ouch! I am really surprised he is able to be in this position with his arm. He (At the 13 second mark) has his arm layed back 180 degrees with his palm up and the angle of his forearm to upper arm (shoulder) is 90 degrees. And the forearm is below shoulder level. He seems to be placing incredible torque on his elbow and shoulder with this movement. I have not seen too many sidearm movements with the palm up like this. It is usually directed at the catcher. But maybe someone more familiar with the sidearm movement like Zita could weigh in on this one.

When a pitcher throws sidearm, the elbow has to be on a level with the shoulder, neither higher nor lower. It looks as if the kid is trying to do two things at the same time, and that’s just not going to wash—not to mention it’s putting a terrific strain on shoulder and elbow alike. What he needs to do, first and foremost, is get that delivery squared away—so that his arm is always on a parallel with the ground. He might try short-arming the delivery—something I learned from Eddie Lopat—which might help him, and which might give him twice the number of pitches (Walter Johnson used to long-arm it).
And then he can put the other elements together. Also, I don’t know how long a stride he uses, but he might make an adjustment one way or another; that too might help.
My sidearm delivery was a natural one, and I never gave anything a thought; I just threw that way. When I threw the curveball I used a sharp karate-chop wrist snap, which gave the pitch a very nasty break and gave the batters no end of conniption fits—and that’s another thing the kid might do, is throw one or two pitches that way. That too might help. Also—speed up the windup and delivery, eliminate the excess wait time. 8)