Change in arm slot


Recently my soon-to-be 13 year old has dramatically changed his arm slot. His elbow is dropping down beneath his shoulder and he is straightening his arm out behind him and now throws the ball at an angle somewhere below a low 3/4. It just happened. His velocity is the same, he’s had a few weeks off so it is not an injury (he claims the shoulder feels fine). But it has taken a lot of spin off the ball and instead of being above the ball and creating a downward trajectory it’s coming in flat with no movement.
Any ideas how to fix or thoughts on why this happened?


I can’t offer any suggestions about body disciplines in the youth game, but I can offer my observations while watching youth baseball and, simply out of curiosity, asking a youngster later on, why he did this-or-that.

Changes in arm action can possibly be the result of the surface that the youngster was pitching off of.

I saw this more than just a few times, this summer and last. The same youngster(s) with different styles - or adjustments, all because of the surface that they were working off of.

In an 15U game, I saw the same youngster in the first two innings go from a usual 3/4 arm slot, to a semi-sling shot delivery. A mental note and later I approached the young man with his parents walking back to their SUV, I asked … why?

The response was… " it was the only what I could get the ball across. My feet kept on diving into holes."

On the other hand, I did get… " I can throw faster," was another popular response.

Don’t take my observations here as gospel, or any close to it with respect to youth pitching form.


It could have happened for a few different reasons. Did you ask him for his take on it? That may prove valuable info especially if you are worried about an injury.


I see a lot of kids doing side arm , not on purpose, but because there are trying to throw the ball harder and “sing” the ball more. Side arm slot is not bad , but if u want to bring him back up, he may need to change his stride machanics a bit since he has grooved it for side arm.


Thanks for he comments.
I asked him if he knows why he is doing it and he says he has no idea why. It may well be because he is trying to throw it harder he has dropped down, the sling shot comment is pretty accurate.
The issue is see is he is transitioning to the big field and when he drops his elbow the balls comes in flat and has less movement, easier to hit.
I will work on trying to get him to concentrate on keeping the elbow up.
Keep the comments coming if others have gone through this before. I would appreciate any insights.


My son is 12 too, going on 13, done with Little League and on to the big field next year. In the past year he too has gone from a more-overhand delivery to a less-overhand delivery. Having read about natural arm slots and how we shouldn’t mess with them, I have not instructed him on his arm slot. He’s been throwing well, just finishing Little League All Stars with an ERA of 0.00.

I don’t know if his change in arm slot has been due to growth, or the mounds, or because he just likes it. A local baseball instructor (former college pitcher and big-school state championship head coach) told me a kid’s natural arm slot is seen in his long outfield throws. Don’t know how true that is :?:


My guess is that the kid is not sure just what his natural arm slot is or is not. I would suggest that he get together with a really good professional pitching coach who will work with him one-on-one and help him find his true arm slot and stick with it. For all we know the kid might turn out to be a natural sidearmer, and if such be the case he should be helped to make the most of it. You might also check out a website called “Sidearm” where you will get lots of good advice and instruction regarding this delivery. The kid may, or may not, lose a little velocity when making this switch, but what he will gain in control and command of his pitches is immeasurable. I should know—I was eleven years old when I discovered that I was a true, natural, honest-to-gosh sidearmer, and I learned to make the most of it with the help of an incredible pitching coach who was an active major league pitcher.
So whatever his natural arm slot might be, don’t change a thing. :baseballpitcher:


I assume he is a RHP so his FastB will tail in on RHbatter, which is ok (not good not bad) but and side arm pitcher has a good arm slot to throw sliders and should come out easily with a little practice. You can flick the elbow like a SS does to first base and a slider should come out. Do it a few times. Then pitch. Hold it like a slider but throw like a FastB, dont flick. This will tail away from RH batters. Now you have in and out. Just gatta be able able to not mix the two , but its ok. Because if your 2sFastB spins like a slider it will be a sinker. Add a CU and you set.


Many times when I’ve asked a youngster why they changed their delivery, they say they don’t know. In fact, they often aren’t even aware they changed anything.

I believe, as others have indicated, that there are a number of possible reasons. But, one thing to consider is that parts of the delivery are so interconnected and, therefore, there could be some other accompanying change - especially when timing changes as well. So I’d look to see what else has changed.