Flat Ground v Mound


I don’t really have access to a mound, but was planning to go to a local public school field I can bike to and work on my windup and a new stretch position. When I got their to check it out, the dirt from the mound was gone and it was just the rubber there, no mound. I do like to practice and usually throw to my dad to practice outside of my teams off flat ground, but doing more research, apparently flat ground can be more harmful. I just wanted some experienced coaches opinions on what they do with their players. I’d like to be able to use a mound somewhere to work on my windup mainly.

Thanks in advance,

@Coach_Baker @Roger


Obviously, if you’ll be pitching off a mound in games then it would be best if you’ve practiced off a mound. But does that mean 100% of your practice needs to be off a mound? Some will say yes. But my opinion is that some of your practice can be on flat ground without harm. I think learning to adapt from flat ground to mound is a good thing especially for youth pitchers.

BTW, the mounds in Japan are relatively flat yet Japanese pitchers have no problem coming to the U.S. and pitching off the taller MLB mounds.


Roger is absolutely correct. In fact, I’d like to add some observations about practicing on mounds at schools and your local ball field.

99% of every pitcher’s mound that I have observed in the amateur game, is junk. Absolute junk. The bad habits and self taught compensation while working of these things - or worse, the acceptance of this junk as a medium to learn on, is a joke.

Flats can offer you a different perspective on how to develop a reasonable style and how to manage your movements. Flats don’t have the holes, butchered surface, and worst of all, the influences of those that went before you that are somewhat raked over - if that. Schools, playgrounds and municipal ballfields have neither the resources, the desire to learn, nor the fundamental interests, to do better. Besides, a good pitcher’s mound requires constant maintenance, of which, goes well beyond the mowing, raking, pickup trash, and in some areas - constant vandalism.

A very good friend of mine offered to construct and build a professional pitcher’s mound at a local high school. After spending almost $700 for materials and supporting grounds work, within the first season of use, it was right back to a pile of dirt with holes in it. The municipal civil servants got their nose bent out of shape because someone was taking working away- thus did nothing to maintain all this work and expense. Couple with the “I could care less” high school coaches and their students who left the mound uncovered after every use - the cover by the way cost about $ 140, and eventually got stolen.

So, learn with the flats.


I like to teach flat ground for the majority of workouts. Like the other guys have said, the majority of dirt mounds that you will use are trash, and could cause issues adapting to them. The main reason I don’t like practicing on mounds, is that they add force to your arm. In physics, they are called a simple machine or force multiplier. Adding force (strain) to your arm while you are working on your mechanics gains no advantage. Work on your mechanics on flat ground, and just throw limited on a mound to get used to the feeling.