Arm Angle question

Ok so I used to throw with a Side-arm angle until I was about 9-10. I switched to a overhand motion. Now I’ve been getting alot of shoulder issues.
Could it be caused by me switching arm angles? I know your never supposed to mess with arm angles but I made the mistake and did. Should I try side-arm again and see if the pain goes away?

On the one hand, it’s probably good that you switched. On the other hand, depending on how long you threw with your old mechanics, it could be one of a few reasons for the discomfort. Yet it probably more has to do with some muscle imbalances in your throwing shoulder and/or the need to take a second look at your entire pitching motion as a whole. I wouldn’t go back to sidearm, because in the long run, I really feel it’ll decrease your chances of post-high school baseball (i.e., playing in college and, possibly, pro ball). But if throwing side arm is the only way that feels natural and comfortable, then you’ve gotta do what feels right, you know what I mean?

I know what ya mean. I’ll take a little time off to give my shoulder some time to heal. Then i’ll try overhand again and if I feel the discomfort again i’ll try sidearm. In the mean time I’ll work on shoulder balance. Thanks Mr.Ellis.

kaz, if your shoulder is hurting please go get it checked out. if they dont know for sure whats the problem, get an mri. muscle imbalances can be very dangerous for your arm, my doctor thinks this could be one of the causes of my labrum tear. push to get an mri because the doctor will misdiagnose whats wrong alot. i rehabed my shoulder all summer for impingement only to find out just acouple days after i finally got an mri that there was a tear. alot of wasted time.

try 3/4 instead of over the top
closer to what you are used to (sidearm)

probaly mechnics need to change when changing from a low to high arm angle

Get it professionally checked. I throw from just above sidearm and I’m having major elbow problems. I can’t imagine continuing to throw being helpful to you, although I’ve never had shoulder problems from my angle.

A little quiz for y’all.

Essay Questions:

  1. What do Walter Johnson, Carl Hubbell, Dizzy Dean, and Dennis Eckersley, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson have in common?

  2. Brad Ziegler, who started his rookie season by throwing 39 scoreless innings for the A’s this year, finally gave up his first run before reaching the unheard-of rookie benchmark of 40 scoreless innings. What do you think should be corrected about Ziegler’s mechanics?

Multiple choice:

  1. The percentage of current active sidearm pitchers in MLB is:

(a) Less than 1%

(b) About 10%

© More than 20%.

  1. The percentage of current active “over-the-top” pitchers is:

(a) Less than 1%

(b) About 7%

© More than 20%

  1. To achieve an over-the-top arm-slot pitchers must:

(a) Keep their torso upright while raising their elbow far above the plane of their shoulders.

(b) Keep their arm essentially level with the plane of their shoulders and lean their torso away from the throwing arm side.

© Both (a) and (b) at the same time.

True/False (choose one):

  1. Hitters generally find it easier to pick up a sidearmer’s release point than a 3/4 release point. T/F

  2. There are well-documented medical reasons to change your arm-slot to 3/4, even if you are effective and more comfortable from a sidearm slot. T/F

  3. A 3/4 arm-slot is the best one for pitchers because most modern-day pitchers throw from that arm-slot. T/F

  4. A 3/4 arm-slot is the best one for hitters because most modern-day pitchers throw from that arm-slot. T/F

  5. The arm-slot is always the first thing coaches should change about a pitcher’s mechanics, especially if the release point looks unusual to the coach. T/F

I don’t know why you changed your arm slot in the first place, but I would strongly suggest that after you have a doctor check out your arm and shoulder to make sure that there aren’t any more serious issues that need attention you give the arm a rest and then get back to throwing sidearm. It’s the most natural delivery there is and it’s easier on the arm and shoulder than anything else. And to further take the pressure off the arm and shoulder—here’s a mechanical thing I learned a long time ago, watching the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers do it and picking it up—they would drive off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in a continuous motion to generate the power behind their pitches. If you work with that, you’ll find things a lot easier.

Your problem might not be the arm slot itself. I might be HOW you get to the higher arm slot.

This is how you change arm slots:

Study the clip and figure out what he is doing and when he does it.

tilting your shoulders

answers to quiz
1 lower arm angles
2 nonething

Good job, kelvin.

You only missed one outright, and you get partial credit for saying that Walter Johnson, et al. have “lower arm angles”. To get full credit, go ahead, you can say the “s” word here…the pitchers listed in question #1 are all sidearmers, +/- no more than 10 degrees of angle at release. Since the 3/4 slot, from high 3/4 to low 3/4, ranges over at least 30 degrees of angle at release, surely sidearm can be defined as “exactly sidearm, +/- 10 degrees”

The approximate percentage of “over-the-top” pitchers in MLB is about 7%.

Don’t confuse 3/4 arm-slot, which is the most common among both RHPs and LHPs, with “over-the-top”. There are really very few pitchers who can maintain good dynamic balance and control their mechanics for a consistent release point while throwing over-the-top like Koufax, Nomo, T. Hoffman, etc.

Can pitchers be trained, or retrained, to achieve some certain arm-slot that fits a coach’s vision of ‘the best arm-slot’. No doubt.

But, is it smart to do that? Consider these points:

  1. Every physically achievable arm-slot, from Chad Bradford’s knuckles-scraping-the-ground submarine release to Trevor Hoffman’s over-the-top release, is represented among MLB pitchers.

  2. Not all of the various arm-slots are represented equally–no question about it, 3/4 is the most common. Coaches tend to teach what they are most comfortable with, what they see as “the consensus” right answer. When it comes to making kids conform to the 3/4 majority, this may be a real disservice to pitchers. Why? Well, guess what? Hitters are also more comfortable with what they already know. A baseball lifetime spent learning to see and hit baseballs thrown from a single, predictable pitcher’s release point is clearly an outstanding investment for them.

  3. Since the throwing arm shoulder and elbow experience tremendous stress during the high speed motion of every pitch, a pitcher’s musculature and his brain are naturally adapted to promote and support whatever mechanics he has been using most consistently in the past. It takes huge numbers of reps to make changes in deeply ingrained habits. So, why would anyone want to “correct” something like a pitcher’s natural arm-slot when there are real issues to work on: Maintaining dynamic balance, generating explosive momentum that is efficiently directed toward the target, and developing a consistent release point from whatever arm-slot the pitcher brings to the mound.

  4. Individuals may have particular, deeply ingrained biases about one arm-slot or another—let them. Change does not come easy to most people, even when they are confronted with clear logic and evidence. Nevertheless, use your own brain to judge the landscape. Here’s a fun project for a rainy day: Make a list of all current pitchers on all of the 30 MLB rosters. (Your list should contain just a little over 400 names). Now, go to and start looking for photographs of each one of those pitchers taken at (or near) their release point. Here’s my money-back guarantee: You will find at least one example of an MLB pitcher who shares your arm-slot, no matter what it happens to be. There are no “wrong” arm-slots.

just pitch with whatever arm slot you feel comfortable with
dont change unless you want to

I didn’t really have much control until I stopped trying to throw 3/4 and went with my natural sidearm motion which I got from playing infield. I don’t know what my actual angle is but when I’m hitting it, that’s the only thing being hit :wink: