Arm Slot


#1

I posted yesterday about my son’s overhand arm slot in the youth pitching forum. Here is a clip of him pitching. Will his arm slot change if we get better posture (balance)? He sometimes has problems with the plant foot being open and his velocity is down. We never taped before so I don’t know if something has changed. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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#2

At the 1:01 mark you can see it all, he’s a huge contradiction, head and shoulders facing 1st baseline, landing foot pointed at your extreme right, eyes focused on the concrete two feet to his left…
Back up to basics. When you warm up start from 10 to 15’ on a knee (Throwing side knee), front foot at the right hand batters box, glove arm out at about 45 degrees thumb down, throwing arm up at the hi cocked position, always throwing/tossing to a target, rotate the torso while rotating the thumb of the glove side up and bring your chest to the glove and toss to the target, do this 15 to 20 then stand up back up slightly and do it from a standing position, move the hips back and forth to develop a little momentum but at this point don’t lift the feet (Like stepping or crow hopping), after he releases let his momentum carry him over his front leg have him work on keeping his eyes on the target during this (This will promote him keeping his head still and his eyes on the horizontal plane), after another 15 or so back up to mound distance, repeat all the way out to base distance and beyond on those days when you long toss (Obviously with long toss he’ll need to step and at some point crow hop.).
Everytime you throw do this, it is very important to deliver the ball in a fundementally sound manner. As he gets more and more comfortable doing this, his velocity will increase, along with accuracy.


#3

His posture and arm slot are inextricably intertwined.

You can’t change one without changing the other.

He HAS to use that posture in order to get his arm up that high.

If he were my son, I would consider lowering his arm slot because it creates a gigantic head jerk (like Hideki Okajima he’s looking at the ground at the release point) and may create control problems.

P.S. I don’t like how he pauses at the balance point.


#4

He can’t keep his head still and his eyes level without changing his arm slot.


#5

Thanks for the replies… Does anyone have experience with changing mechanics like this? We will start the drill JD wrote about tonight. Can we do this drill indoors with a foam ball to work on the mechanics (he can do it in the basement everyday still cold in Chicago). We are able to throw indoors twice a week hardball. He is an extremly hard worker and will be devastated if he can’t pitch this year. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for the great responses.

P.S. If anyone knows a good instructor in SW/ W Chicago area let us know.


#6

Chris I’d bet you a hundred dollars and my next goat that if this young man starts to deliver the ball properly that his head will in fact stabilize…without any mention of arm slot. You seem to be really concentrated on slot currently. I would respectfully say that other elements of a delivery will and do correct arm slot issues…you are suggesting putting the cart before the horse…if this fella changes his arm slot he will still not deliver the ball properly…so will still not have it fixed and the additional problem of reteaching his body this new slot.


#7

[quote=“sbr94”]Thanks for the replies… Does anyone have experience with changing mechanics like this? We will start the drill JD wrote about tonight. Can we do this drill indoors with a foam ball to work on the mechanics (he can do it in the basement everyday still cold in Chicago). We are able to throw indoors twice a week hardball. He is an extremly hard worker and will be devastated if he can’t pitch this year. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for the great responses.

P.S. If anyone knows a good instructor in SW/ W Chicago area let us know.[/quote]

One reason why his arm slot is so high is because he brings his GS elbow straight down and behind him. You might want to try having him bring his chest to the glove. That might reduce the force that is raising his arm slot.

You could also have him practice throwing sidearm and submarine to get a feel for varying his arm slot.


#8

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”][quote=“sbr94”]Thanks for the replies… Does anyone have experience with changing mechanics like this? We will start the drill JD wrote about tonight. Can we do this drill indoors with a foam ball to work on the mechanics (he can do it in the basement everyday still cold in Chicago). We are able to throw indoors twice a week hardball. He is an extremly hard worker and will be devastated if he can’t pitch this year. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for the great responses.

P.S. If anyone knows a good instructor in SW/ W Chicago area let us know.[/quote]

One reason why his arm slot is so high is because he brings his GS elbow straight down and behind him. You might want to try having him bring his chest to the glove. That might reduce the force that is raising his arm slot.

You could also have him practice throwing sidearm and submarine to get a feel for varying his arm slot.[/quote]

???

Safe, repeatable mechanics are the key to success in pitching. Promoting varying arm slots in a kid this young is really bad advice IMO. Keep it or change it but varying? Please expand on this theory and the advantages to this teach.


#9

I don’t think i would try to change to much at once. I would first start with the land foot facing more toward home or maybe toward the right handed batters box. He is turning it way to far toward first IMO.

work on stride and balance first, some times correcting these things will help correct what we think we see as the problem.


#10

He’s not going to be able to drop his arm slot to 3/4 or so until he gets a feel for how he can vary his arm slot.

You first have to teach a pitcher that arm slot is variable before you ask them to modify it.

Many people assume arm slot is fixed.


#11

[quote=“coachmark”]I don’t think i would try to change to much at once. I would first start with the land foot facing more toward home or maybe toward the right handed batters box. He is turning it way to far toward first IMO.

work on stride and balance first, some times correcting these things will help correct what we think we see as the problem.[/quote]

His stride direction and balance are fine.

What you see is just the product of the high arm slot.


#12

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]One reason why his arm slot is so high is because he brings his GS elbow straight down and behind him. You might want to try having him bring his chest to the glove. That might reduce the force that is raising his arm slot.

You could also have him practice throwing sidearm and submarine to get a feel for varying his arm slot.[/quote]

Chris, I am kind of surprised to hear these suggestions from you. First of all, I would say that his shoulder tilt dictates where the glove is going. I see the glove as the effect of many things balance and posture related and the cause of nothing. I would also strongly disagree with toying around with arm slot so willy nilly. Again, fix the things that cause arm slot. If you say “throw side arm” I doubt that the rest of the body will get the message since you are telling him to focus on his arm.


#13

The same rule applies to pitchers.

If the front elbow goes down, the back elbow will tend to go up (high arm slot). If the front elbow goes around, the back elbow will tend to go around (lower arm slot).

Here the logic…

  1. His head jerk is the product of his overhand arm slot.

  2. You’re not going to get rid of the head jerk without lowering the arm slot, even a bit.

  3. You can’t change the arm slot until you understand how to change the arm slot.

I’m not telling him to become a submariner. I think 3/4 to high 3/4 is probably the goal. However, he has to learn that he can change his arm slot and how to do it.


#14

Thanks again for all the great discussion. I am going to work with him tonight starting with the prayer position and taping it. We will try tossing at the target from one knee and see what his mechanics look like. Then try to work with the GS hand having him meet it more out in front. I will post the video if it has anything interesting or different as a result of this workout.
He had great command his first couple years pitching but started having problems while trying to increase his velocity. He also has a very accurate and strong arm from SS and 3rd. I don’t know if his arm slot was always that high or it changed as a result of mechanics.


#15

I suggest forgetting completely about arm slot. Focus on the other things that need work and the arm slot will take care of itself.

(1) Head needs to stay upright. Use the knee drill (on one knee or both) to start. Also use a stationary drill where the pitcher keeps his feet planted in a position similar to his post stride position. These drills take the lower half out of the equation and allow all focus to be place upstairs.

(2) Glove needs to be controlled. During the stride, the glove arm is extended out front and should get to a position that is “opposite and equal” to the throwing arm. From that position, the glove elbow should swing down in front of the torso and the glove should turn over so the pocket faces his chest or face. The glove should not swing out to the side or drop down as these things lead to premature shoulder rotation.

Finally, if you haven’t shown your son the video, do so. If you can, pause the video at key points like when he’s leaning to the glove side and when his glove is dropped to its lowest point. Letting your son see these things will help it “click” as to what’s wrong and what you’re trying to accomplish.


#16

[quote=“Roger”]I suggest forgetting completely about arm slot. Focus on the other things that need work and the arm slot will take care of itself.

(1) Head needs to stay upright.[/quote]

The only way his head is going to stay upright is if you drop his arm slot.

As is, his shoulders are nearly vertical at the release point, which makes it basically impossible for his eyes to be level.

I don’t get why this is so hard for you guys to understand.


#17

What can’t be understood Chris is how a guy can charge at your rates and come with this weak nonsense and expect reasonable credability. What has been pointed out in three different ways is that this boy isn’t delivering the ball in a fundemental way. You on the other hand are wanting this parent to adjust his son in the most unadvisably radical means…i.e moving his arm slot. You don’t “just” move the natural throwing slot. The boy needs to get a fundemental soundness in his delivery before it can even be rightly ascertained as to just “what” his armslot is anyway. So for you to recommend just “moving” his armslot…means he will be fundementally “not” delivering the ball while having his body adjust to an un-natuaral throwing slot…What a colassal waste of time and imo potentially injurious!! He will still have to learn to throw the ball in a fundementally sound fashion (As one who says to copy Maddux it is astonishing to hear you speak of anything except fundemental purity…and a detriment to credability I think)…to have any hopes of realistically improving that is.
So Chris, that fact that the boy learns how to fundementally throw the ball MEANS his head gets still…by the fact that he’s doing it. Your lack of practical experience is obvious in this thread imo.


#18

I went through this with My Son. Let’s try and and have Him throw at 60% when practicing His mechanics or rehearsing His mechanics. Try to get Him to put his head over his left knee. My Son thinks Face to the glove “catchers glove” keeping Him in line.


#19

Listen.

I have multiple scouts and others at the major league level who think I know what I’m talking about and who follow my work closely. I have also spent thousands of hours looking at video of pitchers.

So I think I know what I’m talking about.

I think the issue is that either you never learned about arm slot or whoever you’re following (Tom House?) doesn’t understand arm slot.

I don’t know what this means, but I will say that this kid’s mechanics are pretty standard for a high arm slot guy.

Here’s Hideki Okajima throwing from EXACTLY the same arm slot and doing EXACTLY the same thing with his head.

Here’s Tim Lincecum throwing from a slightly lower arm slot and showing a much more steady head.

Having the kid drop his arm slot maybe 5 or 10 degrees to reduce his head jerk is not radical.

There is no such thing as a natural arm slot.

Any person can vary their arm slot if taught.

How do you know that this kid wasn’t coached to throw overhand?

Everything this kid does is standard for a high arm slot guy.

As is your lack of familiarity with how pitchers actually throw the ball.


#20

What can’t be understood Chris is how a guy can charge at your rates and come with this weak nonsense and expect reasonable credability. What has been pointed out in three different ways is that this boy isn’t delivering the ball in a fundemental way. You on the other hand are wanting this parent to adjust his son in the most unadvisably radical means…i.e moving his arm slot. You don’t “just” move the natural throwing slot. The boy needs to get a fundemental soundness in his delivery before it can even be rightly ascertained as to just “what” his armslot is anyway. So for you to recommend just “moving” his armslot…means he will be fundementally “not” delivering the ball while having his body adjust to an un-natuaral throwing slot…What a colassal waste of time and imo potentially injurious!! He will still have to learn to throw the ball in a fundementally sound fashion (As one who says to copy Maddux it is astonishing to hear you speak of anything except fundemental purity…and a detriment to credability I think)…to have any hopes of realistically improving that is.
So Chris, that fact that the boy learns how to fundementally throw the ball MEANS his head gets still…by the fact that he’s doing it. Your lack of practical experience is obvious in this thread imo.[/quote]

Dead on. The more I read of O’Leary the more clear it is to me that he lacks practical experience. Have him change his arm slot so he knows what it feels like? Maybe in Indian Ball that gets results. It is also extremely difficult not to be negative about everything he says when he comes with “I don’t know why this is so hard for you guys to understand.” Guess we’re just not as smart as you.

Again, for a guy that wrote a book about how to approach people to get results, these types of comments, along with his use of derogatory terms in other threads is dumbfounding.