Changing Pitching Motion

My name is Russell and I am starting High school baseball. I am a throw over the top pitcher. I have been able to throw low 70’s for strikes and not flattening it out for big hits, I am able to throw balls that have movement. As an 8th grader, I pitched in a senior league in Arlington and played good teams that had JV players on some teams.

At a recent workout, my High School coach is trying to change everything about my pitching motion and says my motion isn’t going to work. He said over the top was a batters bp and they always hit hr’'s and that there is no movement what so ever. Mr. Ellis I have been told by many former pitchers that over the top is superior to all pitching types, and I think that switching to something now would ruin all my speed, accuracy, and movement, because the new way he is trying to get me to pitch (3-quarters) is slow and inaccurate. He says that over the top balls flatten out and is a batters bp. Mr. Ellis I just wanted to ask you should I switch,and which is better over the top or 3-quarters?

thank you,


Many moons ago I had a pitching coach who was absolutely incredible. He was an active major-league pitcher, a key member of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation, whose basic premise was that every pitcher has a natural motion—and what he would do is work with that pitcher to help him or her make the most of it. He noted that I was a natural sidearmer with a good curveball and a few other breaking pitches—I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of—and so he took me in hand, worked with me and showed me how to take full advantage of that motion, including developing and refining the crossfire (a move which works only with the sidearm delivery). All right, let me ask you something—what about your fast ball?
That, I think, is the key to answering your question. You say you throw in the low to mid 70s, but do you think you could increase your velocity so you could reach 85 to 90—or even more than that? If not—if the best you can do is get to the mid-80s—you might do well to consider altering your delivery and taking advantage of a whole arsenal of “stuff”—assorted breaking pitches—and emphasizing control and command. Your coach just may be right about this. All those other pitchers who have been telling you that over-the-top is the only way to fly are most likely real power pitchers, like Feller, Raschi, Gibson, Verlander and many others of that ilk—and you might not fall into that category, so I think you should listen to what your coach has to say. And in fact, you might do even better with the 3/4 motion; you could get more versatility with it, and you could develop a good assortment of stuff and have even more success against the opposing hitters.
So, have a good talk with your coach, experiment with the 3/4 motion, and see what happens. 8)

Thank you Zita,

For commenting on my poll. I will listen to what you said and talk to my coach about it, and try 3-quarters. But like you said its all in my fastball
I am starting to hit low 70 mph regularly and it has movement and i can locate it. Before I commented on the poll. I could barely hit low 60s and it
was hard to locate and it basically had no spin on it. I thought my coach was trying to tare me down, cause he has his own set of players and he didn’t like it when I was pitching over the top and throwing more strikes and locating and had more movement than his players. Thank you for taking your time Zita.