How Bad is Throwing Across Your Body?

my whole life ive been throwing across my body, in other words my landing leg is well to the right side ( i am a righty) when it lands. my coach is now trying to fix it. he has mentioned it in passing the last two years, but now he is making a point of it that i fix it. i threw a pen today and relly concentrated on it and i felt the same but my catcher came up 2 me and didnt kno i was working on anything and said that i looked better than usual. Is it possible that something as simple as that could have such an impact in 1 day or was it just coincidence?

i have heard announcers say how deceptive it is and how u get so much movement from throwing across your body so is it a good thing or is it really that bad for your arm?

My thoughts on it are this, throwing across your body CAN have several negative issues arise from it…balance issues (Which means you have to expend energy to correct, either consciously or un), accuracy issues, velocity issues. These are not necessarily going to be present on every pitcher who throws in the style but may have a higher propensity to arise.
I like a pitcher to open up, to have that lead foot land in a position that faces the pitcher to the plate, this gives the best possible balance, most seperation of hips to shoulders, allows the body to flow towards the target and lets you end up in a better position to field (Some don’t agree that it is critical for a pitcher to be in position to field but I simply disagree with that thought). My opinion is that this presentation allows for the most energy to be expended in a consistent, positive, “to the target” manner.
People have made whole careers and mucho dennero chunking the hide across their body others have done in in my mentioned way. The injuries I’ve heard closely associated to the throwing across your body style is related to shoulder stress.

Note to qcbaseball:
Let me ask you something. Are you by any chance a sidearmer? If you are, I think you would do well to take advantage of what you’ve been doing and learn to use the crossfire. Here’s how it works: you’re a right-hander. Okay. You wind up—and then you take a step towards third base the way you’ve been doing, whip around and fire the ball to the plate from that angle. To the batter it’ll look as if it’s coming at him from third base, and if he’s a righthanded hitter he’ll try to get out of the way only to have the pitch clip the corner for a strike. The crossfire, which I used extensively in my playing days (I was a righthanded sidearmer), is a move that works only with this delivery, and you can get good results with it. 8)

[quote=“Zita Carno”]Note to qcbaseball:
Let me ask you something. Are you by any chance a sidearmer? If you are, I think you would do well to take advantage of what you’ve been doing and learn to use the crossfire. Here’s how it works: you’re a right-hander. Okay. You wind up—and then you take a step towards third base the way you’ve been doing, whip around and fire the ball to the plate from that angle. To the batter it’ll look as if it’s coming at him from third base, and if he’s a righthanded hitter he’ll try to get out of the way only to have the pitch clip the corner for a strike. The crossfire, which I used extensively in my playing days (I was a righthanded sidearmer), is a move that works only with this delivery, and you can get good results with it. 8)[/quote]

thanks i hear ya but i throw from a high 3/4

Roger and some of the other admins here know more about this topic than I do, so I hope more of them chime in. I don’t know about the potential for shoulder injury, but I though jd said it fair when he suggested that plenty of pitchers have done very well for themselves while ‘throwing across the body.’ RBish also appears to have thought alot about this, I believe, so his comments would be welcome, too.

From what I think I understand, as long as the dragline made by your post foot finishes on a line (an imaginary line that is: middle of the rubber-to-middle of HP) that is directed straight to the target, it doesn’t matter whether you throw across your body or not. A dragline that looks the same for every delivery and consistently finishes straight at the target should indicate that you are also releasing the ball from a consistent point, so your control should be very good–regardless of whether your stride foot lands slightly open, straight-to-the-plate, or slightly closed.

If your dragline looks the same from pitch to pitch, but does not finish on a line, middle of rubber-to-middle of HP, then the appropriate adjustment is to move over on the rubber by the same amount of distance as needed to bring the finish of your dragline onto that middle-middle line. [Note, it does not matter if the overall shape of your dragline is an arc, a zig-zag, has a brief gap, or any of that sort of thing–the important indicator for your release point is how the dragline finishes].

If there is any extra stress on the shoulder from throwing across the body then, at the very least, I would think you should pay attention to conditioning and strengthening the decelerator muscle groups on the posterior side of your shoulder–but that is advisable for all pitchers, IMO, not just ones who land slightly closed.

To be clear, I don’t want you to think that I believe throwing across the body is a recipe for injury, the injuries that I have seen related to it were shoulder stress type…certainly not a fore gone conclusion…
Always no matter what learn about and practice arm health and maintenance techniques. :wink:

well we have a scrimage this weekend ill let you guys know how it goes with me throwing with the adjustment… i cant imagine it being a major difference i just hope it doesnt have a negative effect

There are a lot of pitchers who throw across their body - many with no health issues. But I would guess there have also been some that did develop health issues. Ultimately, I don’t think it is a predictor of injury.

If you’re wanting to make an adjustment, the first adjustment I would recommend would be changing your starting position on the rubber per laflippin’s comments. This should always be the first thing to try because it doesn’t require you to change your mechanics. If that doesn’t work, then changing your stride direction would be next. The real question is whether or not an adjustment is warranted. I generally don’t have pitchers make adjustments unless I perceive an issue. If you’re having a postural issue due to the upper half trying to square up to the target, then make the adjustment. Or, if you’re having arm health issues, then make the adjustment. Or if you’re having hip, knee or ankle health issues due to the trunk trying to square up to the target and twisting those joints, then make the adjustment. Or if your control is inconsistent and you think it’s because of the throwing across the body, then make the adjustment.

To follow the kiss principle and sum up Roger…No issues…why change, have issues consider change :smiley:
Make sense? :wink:

If you can clear your hips for maximum rotation with a closed landing I say leave it alone. I’ve read studies where an open landing leads to more stresses created at the joints but closed hasn’t shown any ill effects (atleast in those studies).

IMO, changing stride direction and/or orientation is a long process to “fix” and I wouldn’t undertake it unless there was a clear need to.

Hey guys,

I am a fifteen year old pitcher and my coach had just noticed me throwing across my body. He noticed it when i was talking about how much my arm and shoulder hurts after everytime i throw a baseball whether in a game or practice. I have been working in the offseason to correct this and also by using a mirror to help try corect it. But i still have a sharp pain in my back and shoulder…does anyone know how to help dull the pain or why this is still happeining? And should it be this bad at my age?

No sense in working on anything until you correct this issue Zac, please go see a doctor and get yourself better. You shouldn’t be experiencing any pain in your shoulder at this or any age.

jus to update, i threw very well… 4 inns, 3 hits, 1BB, 4k
no soreness… so maybe this not throwing across my body isnt a bad idea…

Like Roger said…issues? Consider change…
Glad you are having success…Keep on workin hard.