Overthrowing


#1

I had the home plate umpire tell me between innings this weekend that our pitcher or pitchers had great movement but 90% of the time they were overthrowing and that was causing him not to get the ball over the plate.

Do you believe in overthrowing or is it just a mask or another term for bad mechanics?


#2

I don’t like the term “overthrowing” because it’s usually used to describe a pitcher who is trying real hard and, as a result, is opening up early often resulting in pitches that are up and in. “Overthrowing” is, IMHO, completely non-descriptive of what’s happening.


#3

Sometimes when my son is missing up and to the throwing side but everything looks good to my eye, I have him focus on an explosive hand break, which usually allows his upper half to catch up with the lower half. Other times, he seems to miss up to the throwing side when he’s getting tired and not explosive with his drive and gets his body too low and behind his front leg. In that case, I have him shorten up the stride and get over the front leg. If he can’t get it going again in a few pitches, it’s time to pull him–he’s out of gas.


#4

Reading this, I was reminded of Vic Raschi’s first game with the Yankees in the 40s. He had just been called up and was pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics (remember them?), and at one point he ran into trouble. Runners on base and a dangerous hitter at the plate. So he was standing there on the mound, trying to figure out what to do next, and then suddenly he heard a voice which seemed to be coming from somewhere near him.
"He can’t hit a high fastball."
Raschi stepped off the mound and looked around, not sure whether he was just hearing things or whether someone was talking to him. The only person within earshot was umpire Bill Summers, who ordinarily would have been covering first base but who had to move to a position between the mound and second base with runners on; in those days only three umpires would be covering the game. Summers was bent over, retying his shoelaces. And then the disembodied voice spoke again: "Yeah, you heard me right. He can’t hit a high fastball."
There was no mistake. Summers was talking to the bewildered Raschi. '
And then he continued: “We Massachusetts boys have to stick together.” So the Springfield Rifle returned to the mound, went to the high fastball, and retired the batter and got out of the inning unscored on. And he went on to win the game.
Helpful ump. :slight_smile:


#5

We had three kids throw that day and all of them control problems. All three seem to miss glove side and in the dirt, over and over and over again.

We have been working this fall with them on creating more momentum and a faster tempo down the mound just like you hear everyone talking about these days. Is it possible that teaching this has created another problem of trying to get more velocity of out the body than what is there?

I talked about this with a few people over the last few days and they all agree that yes there is such a thing as overthrowing.

Overthrowing to them is trying to the throw or muscle the ball to the plate at a speed that your body or mechanics are not able to maintain control.

I guess there has to be a point where your body or mechanics are not able to support the level of effort that you are asking from it to throw a baseball. If I went out and tried to throw the ball as hard as I could to the catcher I know I would not be able to consistently throw strikes.

If I threw at a 80% level where I can control my body and timing I think I would have be able to throw a lot more strikes then the 100% effort throws.

So do you back off in games to a level that you can control or do you keep pushing the momentum and tempo and watch kids struggle to find success?


#6

This is something best determined by a really good pitching coach. Get together with him, discuss the situation, and have him watch each of those kids throw a couple of innings of a simulated game—and follow his advice. For at least a couple of those kids ramping up the speed of the windup and delivery may help, while pulling back a bit might serve others better.
And think guys like Lopat, Maddux, Moyer—all finesse pitchers who got results without having to push it. 8)


#7

You make a good point, coach to the kid.

What works for one may not work for all but.


#8

Kids should be taught from day 1 to throw with intent. That being said they must be instructed that throwing with intent includes keeping their mechanics and timing in check. Rushing and flying open early will often result in pitches up and in to a righty, as one example.

Another problem I’ve seen is guys rushing their tempo often will squeeze the ball and tighten the forearm and wrist causing control problems as well.


#9

Allie Reynolds had that same problem when he first came to the Yankees from Cleveland. He was really more of a thrower, albeit one who topped 100 miles an hour, and he was wild, didn’t have all his stuff together. Enter Eddie Lopat, who saw among other things that Reynolds was rushing his delivery. Lopat taught him to slow it down, pace himself better, and change speeds on all his pitches. Exit Reynolds the thrower whose speed topped 100 miles an hour. Enter Reynolds the very fine pitcher—a power pitcher with finesse, whose speed topped 100 miles an hour. Reynolds who pitched two no-hitters in 1951. :slight_smile:


#10

There is definitely a thing as over pitching. IMO A pitcher should usually be throwing at 90% so that he could have good control. Throw at 100% means that you are really on, and thats rare. I remember my son was pitching u13 and a kid comes up 4’5" and squatting down. So my son throws a pitch and the head coach asked the pitching coach, was that a change up? The pitching coach responded , pitcher knows what he was doing. It was a FB, a FB that need to be a strike.