Question about position of the pivot foot

Some coaches say that pitchers should place their pivot (back) foot on the pitching arm side of the rubber, but noone say why?


Whether this is the exact reason or not, when I was younger I was told it is because if you are a right handed batter facing a right handed pitcher and they are on the third base side of the rubber it is tougher to hit because it seems like their releasing the ball right at your head. Keeping that in mind if they can get a hitter uncomfortable with that then imagine if the pitcher has a good curveball and is able to throw it starting it at the hitters armpit. I know the Admin. on this site will be able to give you a better explanation. My advice to you though is just to pitch the way you are most comfortable.

I am still experimenting. Lets wait and see what others have to say.

I was told when I was younger the 3rd base side is harder for the hitter so see from a RHP and the 1st base side as a LHP. It makes it a bit harder to hit spots on the away side of the plater but your pitches aren’t as straight as if you were a RHP throwing from the 1st base side of the rubber.

How much does moving over, say, 6" to 8" really make? Such a small distance is insignificant compared to the distance from the rubber to home. The difference in angle just isn’t that much.

Why should it be harder for a batter to see? Can the batter not turn his head or even his body to align himself with the pitcher’s position?

I’m just not sold on the old strategy of righties on the right side and lefties on the left side.

On the other hand, Tom House would have you start in a position that lets your drag line end on the centerline between the rubber and home plate as that facilitates getting squared up to the target at release. Now that sounds like an intelligent strategy.

Im a right hander and I actually like to pitch from the first base side. I find it alot easier to run the ball into right handed hitters and run it away from the left handed hitters especially with a changeup

The primary reason for the guideline that RH pitchers should throw from the right hand side of the rubber and LH pitchers should throw from the left side of the rubber has to do with the run (flight or path) of the pitch. Pitchers do not throw perfectly straight which makes sense when you consider the rotational forces involved. Therefore, most RH pitchers will throw a FB that runs R to L. Accordingly, if you want that pitch to run over the plate then you need to start from the right side of the rubber. The delivery can be decieving to batters if the pitcher’s mechanics are correct because he should be striding closed directly at the batter and the release point is nearly in line with the batter so it appears the pitcher is throwing at his head. The opposite is true for LH pitchers. How much run (not to be confused with movement or break) a pitcher has on his fast ball is determined by a number of natural factors (height, arm length, etc)and some mechanical factors, the most obvious is arm slot (i.e. 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, etc…).

All pitchers are different. My oldest son is 14 and a RH pitcher. He comes very much over the top, about as much is physically possible at 1 o’clock maybe even 12:30, therefore his pitch has very little run. However, we discovered that it was very easy for him to throw a 2 seam sinker that would break down and in late on batters and that it was most effective when he pitched from the LH side of the rubber. I’ve seen it as a batter in father/son games and it starts high and outside and you think ball and then wham, its a strike. He has developed a cut fastball which breaks late and runs away from a RH batter.

My youngest son is 9 and a lefty. His arm slot is between 1 and 2 or what is called a 3/4 arm slot. He has a wicked L to R run on the ball that absolutely paralyzes batters. Again, this is not a break because the ball has near perfect 12/6 spin.

Start off following the general guidelines and concentrate on developing solid mechanics and then experiement to see which side of the rubber your son feels most confident from and pitches most effectively and then stick with it. Which ever side they pitch from make sure they start in the exact same spot every time. I teach my pitchers to line up the end of their shoe with the end of the rubber. I don’t want them to be even an inch off. Pitching is like shooting. If you are off just an inch on this end, then by the time the ball or bullet reaches the target it could miss by 6 inches and that can be the difference bewteen a ball or strike, an out or a run, a win or a loss.