Ambidexterity--asset or liability?

We just returned from a ‘‘showcase’’ in Indianapolis. I asked a college coach there if he thought my 15-yr-old’'s ability to throw with either hand would be a distinct asset. To my surprise, he said no–that the boy would sooner or later need to stick with one side to pursue proper conditioning and training. (He recommended the left, of course.)

I’‘m extremely skeptical about the theatrical switch-hands-according-to-batter stuff. Once my son has warmed up one way, that’'s the way he pitches for the duration. But I don’t understand why ambidexterity would get in the way of proper weight training. Does this make any sense to you?

I don’t think this harms your son at all. Matter of fact if you go on youtube and look it up there is a college pitcher (or pro I’m not sure), that throws with both and even has a custom glove made so he can switch sides at will for the batters. I would say as long as your son can throw with accuracy and the stuff to get batters out with both hands keep at it with both. Sure he may only use one arm most of the time, but it could be extremely helpful in my opinion. And as far as conditioning his arms it wouldn’t get in the way, Unless that coach is only conditioning his pitchers throwing side arms and making his pitchers lopsided. He still needs to work both of his arms any ways so why not take as much care of both as you would just the one anyway it could only benefit him in the long run.

The pitcher you’re reffering to is Pat Venditte he pitches in the Yankees minor league system.

I think it would be an asset, not to switch according to the batter but think about it. Two arms means more durability. He could throw lefty the first part of the game and then when he starts to tire switch over to his right arm or vice versa.

Proper conditioning of the arm, doesn’t seem to make sense, he may have to spend more time conditioning 2 arms but I kind of think it just gives him more to do, it’ll keep him more occupied at practices and what not.

more of an asset

I agree it is an asset. One thing about baseball is that most players are one sided and therefore develop muscle imbalances. Being ambidextrous should help iron out these imbalances.

I played High School Baseball with Pat Venditte at Omaha Central and his case is truly a rare one. His father essentially “trained” him from a young age to be able to do what he does. It is going to take some dedication on the childs part as well. Think of it like hitting. I used to be able to switch hit but once I stopped working on both of them consistently I lost the ability to affectively do the other. During practices he would constantly switch his first base mitt from one hand to the other to make sure he was getting his reps in. He took a terribly long time to warm up before his starts too, 2 arms will take its toll.

I consider it more of a liability— while humans are creatures of habit, too many habits can lead to problems.

Pat Venditte is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. He went from throwing MAYBE 84 in High School to upper 80s and eventually low 90s. That is the product of hard work. He didnt even know he was going d1 until somewhere around the last day of school his Senior Year. Servais gave him a shot, it paid off.