Have you heard of this?

in my area, one small city has 22 little teams at the 11-12r old level. seems like everyone is moving their kids to that program. they tend to be very good in that city. anyways, they teach some pitching style that i never heard of. the guy that teaches all of the kids and coaches was supposed to be really good in college ball. here is the main teaching:

at knee lift balance point, extend your throwing arm high (elbow above shoulder) and throw the ball down towards home plate. at release you should be bent over from the hips with a fairly flat back and throwing arm extended way out in front of you.

anybody heard of this? he tried to teach it at my hometown last year (same guy) and i threw the pitching style out of the window after reading O’leary’s website (another story entirely). is there any merit in this style, or is it another new fangled attempt to hurt a kid’s arm?

No. It sounds funky. How is it that he’s conned a whole town and that many teams on such non-traditional delivery? Are the teams using it and are they successful or are they a laughing stock?

Me neither. I have seen all kinds of pitching deliveries, but never one as far-out as this one. I’m surprised that it doesn’t end up with the pitcher turning a somersault and landing on his head—not to mention acquiring a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore something else. I agree, this guy is a con artist par excellence.
If you want to see some really weird pitching deliveries, there was one guy on the Cincinnati Reds of the early 60s. His name was Howie Nunn, and he wiggled and wabbled and jerked around like a rooster with the St. Vitus dance and threw his arms and his legs and his neck and just about every other part of his anatomy into it. It looked awfully funny—except to the batters who had to face him, because he got some very good stuff on his pitches and was getting the batters out! :slight_smile:

my son threw that way last year for about 3 weeks until i stopped him because his arm was hurting constantly and nobody could throw that way with any consistency.

i saw him last night and all of the coaches were saying how good of a pitching coach he was.

the coaches would all keep preaching the same moves after every bad pitch their boys made. the only way i can describe the pitching style is that the boys looked like they were crucified then fell forward. the throwing arm never cocked, just stayed extended above the shoulder and then pulled downwards. really weird stuff. i will video one of their pitchers and post it for your amusement later this week.

The oldest, most experienced and biggest kid on our team throws that way. Has great velocity, but no control. Not impressed because the results are walk, walk, walk, run. Walk, run. Walk, run. Loss!

Never knew it was taught. That’s depressing.

I remember reading a fascinating book called “A Compendium of Bunk. or How to Spot a Con Artist”, and I think that this character who calls himself a pitching instructor would make an excellent chapter in this collection. :shock:

If I understand your description correctly, I’ve actually seen a number of these type pitchers the last couple of years in the tournaments we’ve played. We call them “pitching machine” pitchers, because the basic arm action is akin to the pitching machine arm slowly edges upward, comes straight over the top and then flings the ball at you.

In my experience, they are fairly effective the first couple of innings but usually don’t last that long. First, most kids aren’t used to the ball coming at such an angle and second, their arms/back/body get tired pretty quickly. I have never, however, seem a whole group like that. I wonder what the high school coach thinks about an entire generation of his soon to be players being taught such a funky style.

I have the same observation. Even though the kid who throws this way is the oldest, biggest and strongest kid on the team, he has no semblance of the strike zone after an inning or two and tires out.

the guy that teaches that junk was supposedly a good college pitcher. when he taught that style, the fathers and coaches with a clue all said “what in the world is that?”

one of the main issues we had with that style was that the kids couldn’t do it for very long without pain in their shoulders. some of them threw with some accuracy for a little while, but it always ended badly.

when i changed my sons mechanics to get rid of that junk, it took weeks to get back to normal. it really messed up his arm timing. i see 4 boys from last year that can’t even think about pitching this year because they still have that old junk mixed in.

Sounds to me like the guy is teaching some old conventional wisdom while, at the same time, demonstrating that just because you were a good player doesn’t mean you’re automatically a good teacher.

Tell me about it!
A few years back I did a presentation at a regional SABR meeting in Cleveland—about pitching coaches—and I divided them into several distinct categories. There are pitchers who not only can pitch but can also coach and teach. There are the ones who can’t pitch their way out of a paper bag but who can coach and do a good job of it. There are those who can pitch but who can’t coach to save themselves. And there are those who can do neither, who just plain stink on hot ice, and that includes a few oddballs, of which this character you speak of is definitely one. And I cited several sterling examples of each.
I would rather have R2D2 on the mound. :roll: