Changing from throwing over the top to 3/4


#1

Hi Everyone,

I am 15 years old and used to throw over the top. I just changed from playing outfield and third base to playing second base and shortstop so I am learning to throw 3/4. For some reason, when I am now throwing, the ball comes very close to my head before being released 3/4.

Is there any way to fix this…like is there anything in particular i may be doing wrong?


#2

Well if you watch catchers they put the ball pretty much in their ear before throwing, infielders that have good quick action with their throw can be very similar. Are you sure that this isn’t what you are seeing?


#3

:twisted:
Remember, you really aren’t supposed to change your natural arm slot.


#4

Remember, you really aren’t supposed to change your natural arm slot.[/quote]

It somehow worked out for mr Halladay ;-).

SkiBum, what benefits do you think it has? Make sure you inform your coach about this and he may give you his expertise on it.


#5

Mikaa-
Do you mean “Doc Halladay”?
Where did you find out that he changed his natural arm slot?
If you know where, I’d like to read or see it.


#6

[quote=“CardsWin”]Mikaa-
Do you mean “Doc Halladay”?
Where did you find out that he changed his natural arm slot?
If you know where, I’d like to read or see it.[/quote]

Yes, Doc Halladay. SportsIllustrated did an article about him which can be found if you click on the link.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1167875/index.htm


#7

Mikaa
Thanks for that link. This horrible fear of changing the arm slot has always bothered me. It’s as if your arm will fall off if you try and it’s presented as an absolute. Now, I’m not saying that you indiscriminately and flippantly change arm slots. Doing so should be done with caution but saying that you should “never” attempt it is a bit too dogmatic. Maybe the arm slot he has now never was the right one for him but he has it because either someone told him to do it or he emulated someone who had success with whichever slot they used. Kids are very impressionable and will sometimes copy some inherently bad ideas. Simply changing torso tilt will change arm slot and have no impact on injury risk because things haven’t really changed internally, relative to the arm in the socket.

On this site, there’s a general theme that absolutes simply aren’t, yet there’s always a backlash when anyone mentions changing arm slot. It’s presented as an absolute, something we generally frown upon.


#8

Every arm slot and pitching delivery will have it’s good side and bad side.


#9

Again, Ed Lopat. His basic premise was that every pitcher has a natural motion, a natural arm slot if you will, and what he would do was work with that pitcher and show him/her how to make the most of it. I was a natural sidearmer, and when I picked up the crossfire (mmm, what a beautiful and deadly delivery!) he helped me refine it. He also showed me how to adapt certain things like the short-arm motion to that sidearm delivery; I had always been throwing with the long-arm motion, and so I ended up with double the number of pitches. I have always felt that when you find the arm slot that is comfortable for you and that enables you to pitch effectively you should stay with it. So it was with me. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=“Zita Carno”]Again, Ed Lopat. His basic premise was that every pitcher has a natural motion, …[/quote]…but why is this an “absolute” just because he said so? Or House? It’s a philosophy that they espouse. Not necessarily fact. I’ve seen too many kids do strange things just because they’ve seen some other kid do it. I’ve also seen coaches or fathers give advice of all sorts. Throwing over the top is a common one, as is to extend toward the target, land in a good fielding position or pull the back knee forward.

Maybe everyone has a natural motion that should be encouraged or discovered. Lopat and House may not be wrong. My suggestion is that we should not be too dogmatic about it. We should also be aware of the possibility that a kid’s “current” motion may not really be his “natural” one due to the tendency of kids to emulate or to do what they’ve been told.


#11

Really good point, dm. I tend to agree with this and have seen and worked with a good number of pitchers whose “natural” throwing motion at 11-12 years old was different at 17 years old based on a number of things, including gains in strength as they get older, which allows them to change their arm slot effectively, as well as mechanical efficiencies and developing new pitches, etc.


#12

Yeah, there’s so much tampering with kids by well intentioned adults that you never can really tell at first blush what’s natural and what’s “constructed”.


#13

Fully agree with you, dm59 and Steven…

  1. The “don’t change your natural arm-slot” idea is philosophy, not fact. However like any philosopher who is worth listening to, House can drill down deeply into the logic behind this idea.

  2. It is by no means simple to know what a person’s “natural” arm-slot is by casual examination of his pitching motion. However, that has not stopped House and others from putting forward ideas about how one might approach doing that. One of the ideas I personally like best for this is: Tell your pitcher that you want him to field some easy ground balls and throw them back to you. Do this at about 60’ distance between you, and don’t mention pitching, arm-slots, mechanics, or anything else. No explanations are necessary. Roll 5 or 10 ground balls, he fields them, and throws them back to you…his “natural” arm-slot (what I would personally call his “natural” functional arm-slot) should emerge.


#14

Really good point, dm. I tend to agree with this and have seen and worked with a good number of pitchers whose “natural” throwing motion at 11-12 years old was different at 17 years old based on a number of things, including gains in strength as they get older, which allows them to change their arm slot effectively, as well as mechanical efficiencies and developing new pitches, etc.[/quote]

I really had never thought that a pitcher’s arm slot or motion changed as they grow older, but I see what you mean.


#15

[quote=“laflippin”]1. The “don’t change your natural arm-slot” idea is philosophy, not fact. However like any philosopher who is worth listening to, House can drill down deeply into the logic behind this idea.[/quote]Why does this reasonable approach not surprise me? You and Roger have always been so. Very reasonable and logical. House typically has a lot of experience and study behind what he says or recommends. So, I would give his “opinion” on things like this a lot more weight than most others. However, we should still be aware that exceptions exist for just about every “rule” and that we need to be very careful in applying a philosophy as law.


#16

I think for me the overriding recommendation from House in regards to these matters is that coaches should leave the pitching arm alone. While I agree with DM that a pitcher could be throwing with an unnatural motion due to his attempt to emulate another pitcher or due to some coach’s tampering, the problem is how do you know what the slot should be restored to. laflippin described a common technique for discovering a pitcher’s natural slot but I still believe that arbitrarily dictating an arm slot/motion is futile because it will change as other elements of the pitcher’s mechanics change. I’ve seen this happen and it usually happens in a positive way. This is why “leaving the arm alone” really makes sense to me.


#17

What was the common technique that laflippin described for discovering a pitcher’s natural arm slot?


#18

Having a pitcher field grounders and throw the ball back. The idea is that in a non-pitching setting, and with no indication of why this is being done, a pitcher will use his natural slot - not a possibly contrived slot.


#19

That does sound like a good suggestion.