Re-constructing Pitcher's delivery


#1

Wondered if anyone might have some advice/drills for trying to rebuild or recreate a pitcher’s delivery.

17 year old, threw very well last year for about 1/3 of a season, then was diagnosed with GIRD. Didn’t pitch again until the summer (I suggested he not throw as he wasn’t really needed to on the summer team), but he did.

What I have now seen is that a tall (6’2), big kid has dropped his arm slot down and is kind of pushing the ball. He had a great “down angle” throw before, and now he seems to have lost it, along with some velocity and accuracy. He seems very honest that his arm no longer hurts at all, so I just beleive he got in the habit of throwing from that lower position when his arm DID hurt, and now he’s relearned to throw from there.

Other than repeatedly working on his old arm slot, one-knee throwing, etc. Are there any other drills or rehab anyone knows of to get him back up to a good arm slot? Thanks in advance


#2

What has probably happened is that this 17-year-old pitcher, having experienced problems with his over-the-top delivery, has dropped down to a low 3/4 or even a sidearm delivery. If he’s throwing without pain, I wouldn’t attempt to change it. There have been many instances of pitchers changing to a lower arm slot and being very successful with it, and if he’s lost a little velocity in the process, so what? He’s probably gained more control and command of his pitches as a result, and—especially if he’s now throwing sidearm—if he can learn to use the crossfire (a beautiful and lethal move that works only with this delivery), he’s going to be lights out on the mound. The sidearm delivery is actually the easiest on the arm and shoulder, with little or no strain on those extremities, and if he’s making a go of it, all well and good.
You can work with him on making the most of this new arm slot. He will be a more effective pitcher, inasmuch as the batters can’t pick up certain pitches and are prone to striking out a lot. Nothing wrong with that. :baseballpitcher:


#3

One important thing this pitcher should do is learn “The Secret”. This is something I picked up on years ago when I was watching the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation and saw what they did and how they did it. They were all driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, creating a nonstop flow of energy and generating more power behind their pitches. Not to mention taking a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder, so they were throwing harder and faster with less effort. The “Hershiser” drill is a good place to start, because it focuses on getting the hips fully involved, and it requires only a fence or a wall, no special equipment. You don’t throw with just the arm and the shoulder; you have to get the whole body involved in the process, and he can certainly do this from the lower arm angle.
As I said, maybe he loses a little velocity, but he gains immeasurably in control and command of his pitches, and he becomes a better and more effective pitcher for all that. So I repeat—don’t mess with his arm slot, just show him how to make the most of it. It will pay dividends. :baseballpitcher:


#4

Thanks for the input, but I can’t agree with you…

His natural arm slot is high; where he is throwing now is NOT his natural arm slot, it is the arm slot that his soreness forced him in to. He has lost his natural arm slot.

I’m well aware of the Hershiser drill; I teach players to use their legs. I was not seeking a lecture on those items. I was asking other coaches if they had any particular drills to try to help a pitcher re-gain their arm slot.

As for his accuracy and velocity, he has lost some of both, so I can’t agree with your suggestion that he will gain accuracy. Thank you for your input, but I have enough years of coaching experienc to feel comfortable with knowing where the player is at…I just needed suggestions other than frequent throwing with proper arm slot to get this player back to where he was. Thanks


#5

I think it’s typical for someone with pain in the shoulder to drop the arm and pull it in when throwing. Doing so shortens the “lever” and that reduces the forces on the shoulder. I know from my own past injuries that there is an element of confidence in the recovery processs. Your pitcher may not be experiencing pain but he may lack confidence that it won’t hurt if he lets it rip. So he may still be “babying” it. In other words, that lack of confidence may be what’s locking him into his current arm slot. I know you wanted suggestions other than lots of throwing but that may be what it takes for him to regain his confidence in his shoulder and free himself mentally to return to his previous slot.

I’d be curious to know how much pain he was having before shutting down.