Left Hander Pitching Problem


#1

For the last 10 weeks I have been throwing in a clinic once a week to get ready for the up and coming season. During those 10 weeks I have had many coaches try to fix my mechanics. My biggest problem is that they want me to come over the top and as a lefty for some reason I feel its hard for me to fully come over the top, especially since iv thrown 3 quarters most of the time. I feel like i got no where since I have thrown at this place. Today I threw maybe 20 pitches back at 3 quarters and i felt great. I was throwing harder and i was more relaxed.

As a lefty i feel it is harder to throw over the top, does ne1 else find this? And should I stay at 3 quarters? the only problem with it is i do tend to come across my body more than i would if i try to come over the top.

Tryouts are Wednesday and i know they are going to have me throwing all out. Should i go 3 quarters or try and do what everyones been telling me?


#2

I would say you stay with three quarters if that is what feels comfortable to you. Is throwing across your body the only reason these coaches want you to throw over the top? Throwing across your body is sometimes a result of not stepping straight towards home and instead as a lefty stepping more towards the first base side. I would check this but if you watch the pros, there are plenty of guys that throw across there bodies and are leftys.


#3

If 3/4 is more natural for you, then that’s what is more natural for you. It’s got nothing to do with being a lefty. If you were my pitcher I would want you throwing from the slot that’s most natural for you. While I can’t be sure, it sounds like the coaches were trying to fix some other issue. But I’d be skeptical that changing your arm slot was the correct fix.

When you say you “come across your body more” when you throw from 3/4, what do you mean? Do you stride to the closed side or just not get squared up so that you have to throw back across your body? Or is it just that your follow-through finishes across more than down?

Regardless, you’re facing a tough decision. Should you go with what you think allows you to be your best at the risk of appearing to have not heeded your coaches’ requests? Or should you go with what the coaches have asked you to do at the risk of not doing very well? If it were me, I’d lean towards going with what I think will let me do my best. Keep in mind that in the clinic setting the coaches were focusing on improvement and, in fact, were probably looking for things to improve. Assuming there were many kids at the clinic, do you think the coaches will even remember what they asked you to do? At try-outs, I’d bet that the coaches will probably be focused on what you can bring and how well you do.

Of course, that’s just my speculation. Ultimately, you’ll need to make that decision for yourself.


#4

CRiley;
You got some good advice on all the posts to what’s worrying you fella. I agree that you should stay 3/4 arm slot. Yea, coach’s at clinic’s know quite a lot about ball, but like every coach they try to teach what they’ve had success with. I don’t think you’ll get attitude from them and be thought of as uncoachable if you explain to them that 3/4 is your comfortable arm slot. Not sure what you mean about the arm crossing the body, and not letting you follow through enough. What you could try is pitching from the 3rd base side of the pitching rubber, if you like it, and it helps,stay with it, won’t hurt to try it.
Good luck, and remember,its only a clinic.
Bill


#5

[quote=“CRiley”]As a lefty i feel it is harder to throw over the top, does ne1 else find this? And should I stay at 3 quarters? the only problem with it is i do tend to come across my body more than i would if i try to come over the top.

Tryouts are Wednesday and i know they are going to have me throwing all out. Should i go 3 quarters or try and do what everyones been telling me?[/quote]

I would throw 3/4.

Some lefties (e.g. Sandy Koufax) threw over the top, but not everyone can due to things like flexibility. It’s also harder to keep a steady head when throwing over the top.


#6

I’ve run into a few coaches in my area who insist on over the top. I’ve not had the opportunity to ask them why they believe this is optimum and why all kids should throw this way.

If a kid really tries to do it, he’ll find that he must lean his head and upper body out of the way, changing eye level from horizontal many times. Now, just about anything can be practiced until the body and mind adjust but I’d propose that it’s more challenging when the eyes aren’t level.


#7

[quote=“dm59”]I’ve run into a few coaches in my area who insist on over the top. I’ve not had the opportunity to ask them why they believe this is optimum and why all kids should throw this way.

If a kid really tries to do it, he’ll find that he must lean his head and upper body out of the way, changing eye level from horizontal many times. Now, just about anything can be practiced until the body and mind adjust but I’d propose that it’s more challenging when the eyes aren’t level.[/quote]

I like over the top because it raises the release point (and can help to make a curveball more 12-6 and thus harder to hit).

However, not everyone can throw well from that arm slot due to the things DM59 mentioned.


#8

Thanks for the advise.

What I ment when I said I come across my body more, is that I do tend to fall off to the side. Is that a ballance issue? or something else?


#9

Assuming you’re talking about falling off to the glove side, there are a number of possible causes. Post a video of yourself, if you can, and we should be able to figure out your specific cause.


#10

A lot of coaches like guys throwing over the top because the fastball does not veer as much , and in their mind results in more strikes (these guys tend to like 4 seam fastballs too).

Throwing over the top means that your fastball will “rise”, and as Chris said your curveball will drop from 12 to 6. Your straight change will be very straight.

As a left hander, unless you are over powering, I would opt for 3/4’s especially if that is more natural for you. By throwing 3/4’s your fastball will tail away from right handed batters, you can also throw a 2 seamer and get it to sink and run away. If you throw a circle change, it will also be doing the same thing. Your curve wil break from 11 to 7 but you can use that very well against left handed batters, and back door curve right handers very effectively. At some point you may want to add a slider which I always thought was easier to throw at 3/4’s.

Ian


#11

i find throwing over hand really hard no matter how much i try… and how i throw which is 3/4 right handed my fastball always haves a sink which i think is bad


#12

Uhm …Many guys work years to get their fastball to sink. This is good! This results in ground balls!

Think about all the strength and conditioning that atheletes do today. In your league, they also have aluminum bats that really launch the ball. You WANT these guys hitting the ball in the air? Not me, have them beat it in the dirt! If you get a 6-12 rotation, by tipping your wrist, it will stay up more when you go 4 seam.

Think about your suite of ptiches to go with your sinking fastball: A good 11-7 sweeping curve that still has enough drop to be effective, a circle change with excellent movement, and when its time, a nasty slider.

Frankly, I see only good stuff, Ian.


#13

Im left handed myself and i throw 3/4, ive always done that, and i find when i throw over the top my velocity is slower aswell.


#14

Ive actually noticed lately that all leftys seem to throw 3/4. Im a lefty also and i throw 3/4, always have. I believe its normal, I tried going over the top before but i had no control or velocity with it. Stick with the 3/4, its natural to you and most comfortable. Besides your coach is most likely right handed anyways its completely different. Stick with it!