Is it bad for a 12 year old to throw side arm

Hi i was just wondering if someone could help me. My question is, is it bad for a 12 year old to throw side arm. Like i have the mechanics to throw side arm, but what i was wondering is if throwing side arm will hurt my arm :?: :slight_smile: 8)

LL 932,

Nope, sidearm will not hurt your arm.

Poor mechanics can hurt your arm from any arm-angle.

As a young sidearmer, you will hear lots of dumb stuff from other kids, because they are simply not used to seeing many sidewinders. Especially if you are highly successful pitching against them, they’ll be giving you all kinds of dire warnings…lol. Good sidewinders can give hitters the heebie-jeebies. To a righty hitter, a righty sidewinder’s delivery can make the ball look like it is coming from behind his (the hitter’s) rear-end, then it zips into the zone for a strike.

Tell them to take a look at video of Dennis Eckersley, Pedro Martinez, Brad Ziegler, Randy Johnson, Walter “Big Train” Johnson, Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell, and Jim Kaat, to name a few…there are lots of pitchers, including some great ones, who come sidearmed to the plate, but lots of people just don’t realize it.

Unfortunately, some coaches at youth levels also do not understand sidearm pitching, so they may automatically fear it might hurt you.

If your mechanics are sound, and if you have the courage to do what you think is best for you–do what you want, not what somebody else tells you he thinks is right. Be respectful to coaches, of course, but you have the right to bring your tools to the game–if your coach won’t use you on the mound because you won’t change simply to please him, that could be a very tough decision for you. It would be best in those circumstances if your dad is also knowledgeable about pitching and could stand up for you and explain, adult-to-adult, why you want to keep your individual arm-slot.

Right on, flippin!!!
I was eleven years old and playing catch in the schoolyard during recess when I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery. And I stayed with it. No, it won’t hurt the arm any; in fact, it’s the easiest on the arm and shoulder, and you’re right, there are plenty of sidearmers in the major leagues who give batters the heebie-jeebies. So if that’s the kid’s natural delivery he should stick with it and learn how to make the most of it, and never mind what anyone else says. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

If it hurts when you throw side arm, it is bad for you. If it doesn’t and you feel great, then keep it up.

thanks guys,and i was asking some kids at my school and they all said yes it will hurt you arm. but i told them that when i pitched it didnt hurt. and also do you have to throw pitches differently to make them do the same thing :slight_smile:

If it is your natural delivery stick with it. It is probably more dangerous to change your natural delivery than anything else. After my first elbow injury pitching coaches got me to change my release point and it messed with my mechanics. It took a year of throwing like crap to figure out that my natural release point was a necessity, not an optional thing for me

"…i was asking some kids at my school and they all said yes it will hurt you arm."

--------Heh-heh-heh, what a surprise. Those kids are so dang smart they should all be orthopedic doctors. I wonder how they know so much about sidearm pitching mechanics at such a young age.

LL 932, take a quick look at this YouTube clip…the 14 yo sidewinder pitcher in the video (yes, my son–and I’m very proud of him) has been pitching like that for 6 years. He has never had an arm injury, in fact, in 6 years he has never even complained of soreness from pitching. He does stay in good condition and he works on his mechanics and we monitor his pitch counts.

Here he is, at 14, pitching to HS sophmores, juniors, and a few seniors at a HS Prospect camp at USC last year. Am I proud of that kid? Darn tootin’ I am:

You can’t count the number of times on all your fingers and toes that he has been warned over the years by other kids that his arm is going to fall off from sidearm pitching. A few Little League coaches also joined in that chorus from time to time. Now he has a HS coach who loves his delivery–he usually pitches 3 - 4 innings as a starter, then the coach will bring in a guy who throws a little softer but from over-the-top. It is an extremely effective 1-2 punch. Many hitters are just bewildered by these kinds of extreme differences in release point.

Exactly what I’ve been saying. If sidearm is your natural delivery, stay with it. That’s what I idid, and how it discombooberated the opposing batters! To make things worse for them, I used the crossfire extensively; I had fallen in love with that move! I remember one time my pitching coach was helping me with my circle change, and he said to me “I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw.” I sure did, and it gave me twice as many pitches. :slight_smile: :wink: :baseballpitcher:

Zita what do you mean by crossfiring it :?:

The crossfire is a move that works only with the sidearm delivery. It’s been around for a long time; the first I remember is when Ewell Blackwell came up with it and used it successfully, and now a lot of sidearmers use it.
Say you’re a righthander. You go into your windup, or the stretch, or whatever—but then you take a step towards third base, whip around and fire the pitch from that direction. To the batter it looks as if the pitch is coming at him from third base, and he will jump away to avoid being hit by it, only to have it clip the plate for a nice juicy strike. (The reverse is true for a southpaw; you go by way of first base.) I picked up this maneuver when I was about fifteen, and I fell in love with it. It got to the point where the batters never knew whether I was going to use it or not, and I recall one day when my pitching coach was helping me with my circle change and he said to me, "I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw."
You can throw any pitch from that angle—even a knuckleball if you’re so inclined. I had particular success with my two best pitches, the slider and the knuckle-curve, and I got a lot of strikeouts with it. And that’s the crossfire; if you want to work with it, go to it. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

okay thanks but do you step towards 3rd basebase and then throw it or do you step off the mound with both feet and then throw it :?: :slight_smile: 8)

If you’re a righthander, you take the step toward third base with your pivot (left) foot, then whip around and throw the pitch.

o so you like act like your walking off the mound but only with one foot and then throw it

No, not by a long shot. What you do is take a step in the direction of third base instead of to the plate. And you whip around and throw from that direction—via third base. You don’t want to be called for a balk, now do you? No, I didn’t think so. :slight_smile: What I suggest you do is get up there on a mound and practice that move—that’s what I had to do when I frst started it.

ok so you step to third and then you pick up your foot and act as you were gonna pitch it

[quote=“laflippin”]LL 932,

Nope, sidearm will not hurt your arm.

Poor mechanics can hurt your arm from any arm-angle.

As a young sidearmer, you will hear lots of dumb stuff from other kids, because they are simply not used to seeing many sidewinders. Especially if you are highly successful pitching against them, they’ll be giving you all kinds of dire warnings…lol. Good sidewinders can give hitters the heebie-jeebies. To a righty hitter, a righty sidewinder’s delivery can make the ball look like it is coming from behind his (the hitter’s) rear-end, then it zips into the zone for a strike.

Tell them to take a look at video of Dennis Eckersley, Pedro Martinez, Brad Ziegler, Randy Johnson, Walter “Big Train” Johnson, Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell, and Jim Kaat, to name a few…there are lots of pitchers, including some great ones, who come sidearmed to the plate, but lots of people just don’t realize it.

Unfortunately, some coaches at youth levels also do not understand sidearm pitching, so they may automatically fear it might hurt you.

If your mechanics are sound, and if you have the courage to do what you think is best for you–do what you want, not what somebody else tells you he thinks is right. Be respectful to coaches, of course, but you have the right to bring your tools to the game–if your coach won’t use you on the mound because you won’t change simply to please him, that could be a very tough decision for you. It would be best in those circumstances if your dad is also knowledgeable about pitching and could stand up for you and explain, adult-to-adult, why you want to keep your individual arm-slot.[/quote][b]

[/b]To compare a 10-12 year to a grown man in the majors is just crazy! It is used in MLB its usually because thats all they got. If you look close, they snap it off the wrist at the end of the follow through. I child will not do this and the elbow takes all the load. It is not advised and almost any top level pitching coach and people in the medical,rehap, or orthopedic field will agree. Mostly kids will do it because they think its flashy and looks cool. They usually miss they strike zone and it brings ball speed down anyhow. Its a bad habit and not advised. There is a reason in sports they have things called proper mechanics and side arm throwing is not it. Yes, there is always those you can say well look at this guy and that guy but that should not be used as a good model.

What is your definition of “proper mechanics”? You mention not being able to compare 12 year old boys to grown men but i’d be willing to bet a few of these grown men threw sidearm as 12 yr old boys.

If sidearm or low 3/4 is your natural arm slot, what do you propose? Changing the mechanics to over the top?

I don’t know about missing the strike zone or bringing down ball speed. My 16 year old son, a HSV pitcher maintains a really good strike ball ratio and routinely paints corners regularly. Oh he also sits at 85-86, topping at 88. He’s been throwing low 3/4 since he started pitching competitively at 9.

Many moons ago I had an absolutely incredible pitching coach—Eddie Lopat, one of the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation from 1948 to the middle of 1955. He had a basic premise: that every pitcher has a natural motion, whatever it may be. And he would work with that pitcher to help him or her make the most of it. He took issue,very strongly, with those pitching coaches who thought they knew it all and who believed that over-the-top was the way, the ONLY way, to go. On the day he was showing me how to throw a good slider, he noted that I was a true, natural, honest-to-gosh sidearmer with a consistent release point—among other things—and he put everything together to form a jumping-off point from which he could work with me. Lopat told me something I had figured out for myself some time back—that this delivery was the most natural and the easiest on the arm and shoulder and that I should do what he did—tell those naysayers to put a sock in it!
I pitched sidearm for more than twenty years, and not a sore arm or a sore elbow or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else. And there was that crossfire: a beautiful and lethal move that works only with that delivery. He helped me refine it, and because I was willing to work at things he had no reservations about teaching me some very advanced stuff he felt I needed to know.
And so I say again: if this is your natural delivery, STAY WITH IT and win a lot of games with it. 8) :smiley:

Here is what my kid started out like at 10. The pitching coach gave him drills that would require a higher arm motion, but never harped on it. Let nature take it’s course.

Here he is at 12. Again, some simple drills the required a higher slot and no pushing to get it there.

That said these vids are hard to watch. He was becoming quite the pitcher until a back injury and no more pitching. :frowning: Any way, hope this helps.