Glove side arm question

I know, not this subject again. I’ve tried to do a search but haven’t found what I’m looking for, maybe using the improper keywords.

Anyway, a local dad went to a pitching clinic hosted by the HS coaches. They referenced the new “phenom” a Dominican Republic kid throwing heat I guess. Supposedly the kid’s glove side arm is straight out with the glove thumb side down, and stays this way through the pitching motion. I guess they insisted that is the way it should be done and all pitchers should be taught this from youth level on.

Should ones kid be taught this, and if so from what age? I see pitchers employing this method, but hardly every one I’ve seen, or even a majority. Thanks

you don’t pull your GS arm, when you land you should have some pull type feeling with the legs when rotating the hips. This pull feeling in your legs should be really felt in your hip adductors (groin area). You have to brace the front leg in order to do this, if the stride leg is weak and collapses you lose power.

When you land and rotate late there is no pulling of the arm, its more of a balancing tool.

Land, Brace, rotate hips (pull back knee toward front knee), Let the posting foot pivot to allow a full rotation of the hips, head and shoulders should flex forward and down over the braced front leg during arm acceleration.

Each arm is 3.5% of your body weight, you don’t want them to be creating the power on your throws, you want the bigger muscles to do that…your arms are for balance, they in a sense “go for the ride”. Like ice skaters, when they start spinning in circles fast, they bring everything in and to slow down they spread their arms and leg out.

With Pitching you bring the chest to glove and keep it close to the body to increase rotation velocity during acceleration.

“…glove side arm is straight out with the glove thumb side down, and stays this way through the pitching motion.”

…I wouldn’t teach this to anyone.

I liked tony’s discussion; however, if it is too technical or abstruse, just watch the glove-side action of a variety of elite pitchers (preferably in slo-mo, so that you can resolve what is happening)

Superficially, they all look different. However, along the same lines that tony suggested, they all seem to balance what their throwing arm is doing with an “equal and opposite” glove-side.

I also agree with tony about “bringing the chest forward to meet the glove”…you can clearly see that most, if not all, elite pitchers do that.

Take a look at these and focus on the glove-side action:

The pro’s and even the college pitchers that master this posture during their performance have given a lot of dedication to CONDITIONING.

What your watching SomeBaseballDad, is the result of hours of strength and conditioning, solid diet routines, and hours upon hours of practice. In short, these people are in top physical condition, solid. These people don’t have growing issues, like low tolerances to physical motion, nor do they have other subjects realted to the youth experience.

So, please be patient and reasonable in the expectation department. This stuff ain’t easy. Muscle maturity has a lot going for it.

Coach B.

[quote=“laflippin”] they all seem to balance what their throwing arm is doing with an “equal and opposite” glove-side.[/quote]la. I keep reading about equal and opposite but I rarely see it in pro pitchers. These examples show, at landing, the throwing arm bent in the general vicinity of 90 deg +/- but the glove side shows variation. Some bent tighter to the body (Verlander) and some straighter (Johnson).

The best picture that I think portrays what they are saying is the gif in the lower right corner of the link below. Watch it until the young man in the black shirt appears.

And Coach, I’m not going to change coaches or alter routines based off of something like this. I would assume that every two or three years there’s going to be the new “right way”, but I would like to be/keep myself informed. [/url][/code]

Still don’t see it.

I think some caution needs to be used in defining when “oppo and equal” arms comes into play, and exactly what is meant by the phrase.

I get where dm’s remarks are coming from, because he is a very sharp observer and he likes for things to really make sense, not just “sound good”.

First,Tom House came up with the idea of “oppo and equal” arms from his research with 3-D motion analysis…from which you really can precisely quantify the angles at elbows and wrists throughout a dynamic range.

No matter how good the 2-D video or 2-D stills, there is no way to accurately compare the angle at, say, both elbows simultaneously, for any given point in a high speed pitch delivery. There are some moments, for example at footstrike, when this looks pretty feasible, and there are some individual pitchers whose throwing/glove arm symmetry at footstrike looks easier to interpret than others.

But the problem remains: 2-D representation of 3-dimensional bodies moving rapidly in 3-D space is just inadequate at some level. One way to look at this problem is by analogy: 2-D maps of the globe, Earth, are always distorted in some important way. Many clever adaptions, including the famous Mercator map, have important uses but they are systematically distorted representations and there is no getting away from that.

The gist of the “oppo and equal” arms business is all about dynamic balance and it tries to capture something House noted as a common feature in almost all his 3-D analyses of elite pitchers: That is, from separation of the hands through some point in the approach to release, the angles at the elbows and wrists change, of course, but at any given instant those angles are the same (to within a small tolerance) in the glove-side arm as in the throwing arm.

House sometimes mis-characterizes this idea as “mirror symmetry”. “Opposite and equal” arms is not literally a rigorous form of mirror symmetry for most pitchers, however, perhaps it is a forgivable over-simplification.

I view the glove side arm, as part of “opposite and equal”, as an important part in overall balance and posture.

Visualize yourself walking on a balance beam with your arms extended 90 degrees out to the side and parallel to the floor. As you move along the beam you move your arms up and down in “equal and opposite” directions to retain balance. The trunk or torso moves some but not very much.

Now pull one or both arms in against your body and walk down the beam. Retaining balance is much more difficult, and to compensate you must now adjust your posture much more significantly by leaning one way or the other with your torso. You also expend more energy in your core to do this.

I feel the relationship of throwing arm and glove side arm work in much the same way while pitching. Are the angles always perfect- no. Each pitcher looks a little, or sometimes a lot, different because of body type, arm action, conditioning, fatique, etc.

I don’t believe there is any one “set” way for all pitchers to create “opposite and equal”. Glove up- glove down- glove sideways- it’s all part of how that pitcher achieves and maintains their own proper dynamic balance and posture throughout the delivery.

Thanks la.
Well, I think you’ve got me pegged pretty well there with the “keen observer” comment. Thanks for that, but I’d say it’s more like “avid” observer. I’m not sure how keen those observations are. That implies a bit of quality in them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I appreciate all of the insights you and Roger have given on what House is actually saying or recommending, as opposed to what people “think” he says. For sure, it’s always challenging drawing conclusions about a 3D item when it’s presented in 2D. As an Architect, I deal with that challenge on a daily basis. However, as Roger knows, I struggle with the value of the cue. There seems to be so much happening on both sides, in a dynamic activity, and the differences seem to outnumber the similarities re: eq and oppo. The throwing side includes all of the timing and directional elements of external rotation and elbow flexion, while the front side takes a much simpler approach. There may be a point in time there somewhere that you could isolate and say, there it is but I find it so fleeting that the value of it as a cue is in question, at least in my mind.

I can appreciate such cues if they are used as checkpoints but chasing eq and oppo at a specific point in time within such a fast moving activity seems to be quite a challenge.

Nice discussion, by the way. I hope I haven’t hijacked the original poster’s thread too much.


i like the scroll down using your mouse to see frame by frame of the pitcher… like in this link

One thing you can notice is his Glove moving out with his stride foot and then staying right over his front knee during rotation. During Arm Acceleration and Release you can see his head track forward, you could even draw a line running through front knee, Glove and Head right at release and a line through head and stride foot during the follow through.

The Head, shoulders and arm finish over “to the left” of the stride leg.

(Getting Over the Stride Leg)

(Glove Over knee, Head and Shoulders moving Forward and Over Stride Leg)

(Glove Over Knee, Head and Shoulders move forward)

Here’s a little different way to look at oppo & equal…

If a pitcher pulls his glove back, there’s a good chance he’ll rotate the shoulders early.

If he flies open with his glove, there’s also a good chance he’ll rotate early.

If he drops his glove, there’s a chance he may shift his posture and/or rotate early.

So, there’s a list of things NOT to do. But if you don’t do those things, then what SHOULD you do? Why, oppo & equal, of course. :wink: But seriously, a while back I asked one of the NPA folks to explain oppo & equal and this is pretty much how he described it - that to do otherwise is to mess up.

Now I will say that I use the cue in my instruction. But I use it more as a timing cue to get pitchers delay shoulder rotation until they’ve achieve maximum hip and shoulder separation.

I don’t believe in the Arm creating power, esp the glove side arm. Its the torso that is rotating and shoulders driving forward and down that is creating the force…of course the force originates from it’s base, the legs.

If you stride out in balance you should feel the weight on your back leg feel heavy without even trying to press down on it. You have to be able to work with that invincible thing called your center of gravity…if you do all the things right you let g-forces take over.

That’s why there are some guys who make pitching 95+mph fastballs look effortless.

[quote=“Roger”]If a pitcher pulls his glove back, there’s a good chance he’ll rotate the shoulders early.

If he flies open with his glove, there’s also a good chance he’ll rotate early.

If he drops his glove, there’s a chance he may shift his posture and/or rotate early. So, there’s a list of things NOT to do.[/quote]I’m with ya. Well stated.

[quote=“NPA guy”]…that to do otherwise is to mess up[/quote]I’m assuming he means to not do eq & oppo is to mess up. Am I reading that correctly? If so, this is where I have difficulty. Roger, you and I have discussed this privately many times and you once, at least, mentioned that it’s the upper arms and the angles to the lower arms that are important in e & o, not the absolute positioning. IOW, the forearm could be pointing downward more or less on the glove side and upward more or less on the throwing side but, if the angles are equal, then you satisfy the e & o parameter.

Again, my problem is that, if you look at those clips that la showed, you see Verlander with the glove side arm very much tucked in while the throwing side is not. Randy Johnson’s different again. The throwing side is bent to approx. 90 deg. at foot plant (ubiquitous) but the throwing side is very straight. He’s a “sweeper” with respect to the glove side. So, I don’t see e & o re: angles when speaking of the forearms.

Like I said earlier, there’s a lot of activity happening on the throwing side with less on the glove side.

If we now look at the scap loading idea, this is where I do agree with e & o. Also, I propose that this, at least, is tangible for the developing pitcher. The positioning of the elbows and shoulders in a dynamic activity is graspable.

So, you ask “what should you do”? Work on the timing elements of getting to a good position at landing, whatever you believe that should be. There’s much variation on how to get there and through it to release. Moving the front hip sideways toward the target with as much momentum as you feel you can control WHILE the throwing arm moves as you see fit toward and through a “high cocked” zone WHILE the elbows are moving is similar fashions a la “equal & opposite” within the scap loading scenario that you believe is appropriate. Some like to focus on hip/shoulder separation into landing as well. Not rotating the shoulders before landing. Adding equal angles of the forearms and I think kids’ heads will explode in the attempt.

What are you pointing out with the Maddux pic?

Well he is in the very early stage of arm acceleration and his GS is already in its fixed position. GS upper arm squeezed in to the ribs, not even at external rotation, hips already squared to the target and the shoulders are just about to square up…

Has nothing to do with your opp and equal conversation, though in this pic his arms aren’t perfect opp and equal…its more about having the elbows aligned at foot strike and keeping the GS arm fixed in front of your center of gravity during arm acceleration.

If your elbows are aligned at foot strike, you rotate late and don’t pull the glove then you are fine…bracing and rotation against the stride leg is the key, not pulling the glove.

Baseball is a mental game, the simpler you can make it the better.


I agree with eq and opposite generally and somewhat loosely. At the break of the hands, the glove must move forward and DO something. Some pitchers “flip” the glove over with a crooked elbow. Some like to point more. At any rate, at the end, look at Nolan Ryan’s drive straight back with the glove elbow and the opposite torque it creates for his snap. Awesome.

I think sometimes you guys think too much.

Don’t get me wrong, all this stuff is good, but for most youngsters easily the best thing they can do is throw a TON. Bullpens, playing catch, whatever. I think people would be surprised at how efficient they’re body can become with a ton of practice throwing the ball HARD. You think all these guys in the big leagues had high school coaches or even high level coaches telling them to stabalize their glove hand side? NO CHANCE.

Be careful on becoming to robotic, or too sequenced as a pitcher. Get on the mound often, gain momentum towards the target, and throw the piss out of the ball!