Natural sidearm

How to work with a 10 y/o with natural sidearm? Going to try and load a pic to see his movement.


I would work with him the same way as everybody else: Work on balance and posture at the beginning of the delivery, work on generation of forward momentum to the target, with dynamic balance, early in the delivery. Work on ‘opposite & equal’ arms into the stride. Work on stabilizing the glove out in front and bringing the torso forward to meet the glove.

Don’t work on: Changing this young man’s arm-slot. You may have the next Walter Johnson, Dennis Eckersly, Dizzy Dean, Jeff Nelson, Brian Fuentes, etc., etc., etc. in your care. There have been many successful sidewinder pitchers in baseball–and there have probably been quite a few who eventually dropped out of baseball after trying unsuccessfully to conform to some coach’s “vision” that all pitchers should throw over the top, or 3/4, or whatever. Don’t be that coach.

Thanks for the reply. Also forgot, does anyone know of a pitching coach in the Jacksonville Fl area.

                                    Thanks again....

Hey if he feels comfortable throwing sidearm, don’t change anything.

I agree with laflippin - don’t do anything different than for any other pitcher.

An NPA-certified insctructor will teach the things laflippin mentioned. I looked][u]here[/u
for one but only saw two in Florida - one in Miami and one in Ft. Lauderdale.

If jdfromfla (one of the admins) doesn’t chime in here, send him a PM. He lives in Forida and might be able to point you to a good instructor.

I know a great pitching coach in Mandarin, he just moved away from UNF and is now just south of I-295 on hwy 13, he’s what I would consider extremely reasonable, for a guy who caught Maddux’s first Cy (Actually he and Hecter Villinoava), actually from what I’ve seen nation wide, he’s very reasonable period. Side armer or not he is an outstanding pitching coach, particularly this young mans age range.
If your interested its Rick Wilkins and he can be reached at 904-859-2504, tell him you heard about him from Jim Dedmon.

A cautionary tale: Back in the 1940s there was a pitcher in the American League, a guy named Fred Sanford who pitched for the St. Louis Browns. He wasn’t a bad pitcher, and the Yankees saw something in him, so at the end of the 1949 season they acquired him in a trade. But then the trouble began. Sanford had a motion best described as herky-jerky, and never mind that he was getting the batters out with it; it offended pitching coach Jim Turner’s esthetic sensibilities. Third-base coach Frank Crosetti (how did he get mixed up in this?) didn’t like it either. They wanted Sanford to have a smooth, classic Spalding Guide motion, and so they started futzing with it. And they ended up destroying him! The poor guy was so confused that he just lost it, and he wasn’t a good pitcher any more, and so at the end of the 1950 season he was traded. (Ironically, at the end of the ‘59 season Turner went to Cincinnati as the Reds’ pitching coach, and he had a reliever on his staff whose motion was even more extreme, and Turner never even said boo to him.)
I had a pitching coach who was one of the finest anyone could ever hope to work with. His name was Ed Lopat, and he was one of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation, and he firmly believed that you never mess with a pitcher’s natural motion. When I first met him, it was to ask him something about the slider, and he drew me aside and showed me how to throw it; while I was familiarizing myself with the pitch he watched me and made some mental notes—about the fact that I was a natural, true sidearmer who used a slide step and had a consistent release point, among other things—and what he was doing was forming in his mind a jumping-off point from which he could work with me. He helped me refine some pitches and showed me how to throw some rather esoteric ones such as the slip pitch, and he gave me more reassurance and support than I had ever thought possible. From him I learned the ins and outs of strategic pitching—absolutely necessary for me because I was a confirmed snake-jazzer, no fast ball to speak of but some good breaking stuff—things about the mental and psychological aspects of the game, fielding my position and other stuff that a successful finesse pitcher needs to know. In essence, he helped me become a better pitcher than I had been before, and for this I will always remember him.
The whole point is that whatever a young pitcher’s natural delivery is, you work with it and show him or her how to make the most of it.
I remember one day when he was helping me with the circle change, and he said to me: “I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw.” I had picked up the crossfire—a move that works only with the sidearm delivery—and he knew I used it, and he showed me how to use both the long-arm and short-arm deliveries with it. Would that there were more like him! :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:


If jdfromfla suggested that my son should get in touch with Rick Wilkins, I’d do it…(unfortunately, we’re on the Left Coast and that would be difficult to do.)

You probably just got some highly valuable advice right there.

Thanks for the replys and input, will do indeed.

I threw 3/4 all the way up until I got to college, and then saw that team did not have anyone who threw sidearm or from the left side side arm especially…

So as a sidearm pitcher myself in college feel free to contact me if you have any questions… I am getting into pitching lessons my self … I am located in NC though


Zito43, welcome to the sidearm society!
I was a natural sidearmer from the get-go; I was eleven years old and playing catch one day in the schoolyard during recess, many moons ago, when I discovered that I had this delivery—it was just there—and the funny thing, what came attached to it was a pretty nice little curve ball. I took it from there; not having a fast ball to speak of I had to go to the breaking stuff right away and become a snake-jazz pitcher. And I picked up the crossfire—that’s a move that works only with the sidearm delivery, and I fell so in love with it that I was using it half the time, a fact that was not lost on my pitching coach. One day he 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."
Again, welcome, and we might end up comparing notes. :slight_smile:

with sidearm I was also able to get more movement as a left handed pitcher… Moved in on lefties very hard, and lefties did not have to much success off of me… also threw circle change and slider…

with crossfire I am guessing you mean you stepped (if right handed) almost at the batter… they tried to get me to do this but I ended up striding just normal… — 84-87 left handed sidearm

I will tell you this… with sidearm long toss is not much of an option because to then accomplish long toss you change your arm angle way to much… imo


You’re a lefthander. Okay. When you crossfire a pitch you take one step towards first base, then whip around and fire the pitch in from that angle. To the batter it appears to be coming at him from first base, and that is one of the surest ways to discombooberate him, mess up his timing and his thinking. As a righthander I would take the step towards third base, whip around and fire the pitch in that way, so to the batter it appeared to be coming at him from third base. As I said, that is a beautiful—and deadly—delivery, one that has been around for a very long time. Among contemporary pitchers, Cliff Lee uses it a lot. :slight_smile:

I am well aware of what you meant with crossfire, was saying I was uable to do it with accuracy yet my movement still was enough to get the job done…


Don’t worry about it. It takes time, patience and work to get that accuracy down. I remember when I was working on it, and I recognized that I wasn’t going to get it overnight, so I worked at it, and one day I told my pitching coach I was working on it. He said, “Let’s see what you’re doing with it. Just go through the move.” I did so, first from the full windup and then from the stretch, and immediately he called my attention to the fact that I wasn’t getting quite the momentum going into it from the stretch the way I was from the full windup! I was flabbergasted and said, “My gosh, I didn’t know that!” And he told me, “You’re getting the batters out.” And he worked with me and helped me refine the move so I could get the speed I wanted when pitching from the stretch. So hang in there—eventually you’ll get it the way you want it. 8)

if he has a natural sidearm why change a thing. unless hes doing something bad like his arm slinging back after release