Should side-arm be corrected

Need to get some thoughts on this.

I have a kid (will be 10 next Spring) that I coached a year ago who I hope will be back playing for me. He took last year off to play soccer. This past weekend I had a chance to see what his arm was like and did a quick pitching session with him. I wanted to get a sense of his mechanics, accuracy and speed.

The good news was that his accuracy and speed were good. And for someone self taught, his mechanics were quite sound. The bad news was that he throws side-arm.

He’s a gifted athlete and excels at any sport he tries. I’m hoping he’ll come back to baseball, so I don’t want to correct everything he does and kill his enthusiasm, but I also don’t want to allow something that could cause long term arm trouble. On the other hand, baseball isn’t big here where we live, so it’s not like he has visions of playing high school or college ball.

What would you suggest I do?

Regards,
Vlad

Why exactly do you think it should be changed?

Sidearm is bad news? Well, that’s unfortunate for me.

try moving it up but be extremely careful. Make sure he tilts his shoulders. First sign of pain have him stop. I made the switch when I was about 10 (natural sidearmer) to a high 3/4 and have no arm injuries caused by switching (to my knowledge) don’t just take my word, wait for other answers and do some research.

There is nothing wrong with throwing side-arm. You just want to make sure he’s not rotating the shoulders early and that he’s not supinating his hand/wrist.

This topic is of interest to me as my son throws naturally sidearm also. I’ve done a lot of research (that’s how I found this place) on the subject and like most you’ll get a lot of opposing answers. I’ve decided to not sweat it for right now (sons 10) and let nature take it’s course. Seems like there’s time to correct it before ball gets serious, plus the only time he’s complained about his arm hurting is when I made him go more overhand.

I do have a question though, my son plays mostly left field, 3rd, SS. He wants to throw sidearm at these positions also, it doesn’t seem or look right to me though. Is teaching him to throw more overhand in the field while letting him pitch sidearm possible? Or will this just lead to more problems?

What I’ve been told as a left-side infielder (but mainly pitcher mind you) is that throwing from a sidearm-3/4 arm slot is better and quicker for the play, but not necessarily for your arm. In the outfield, however, it is usually best for an overhead arm slot. More power and more accuracy, though.

I’ll be interested to see what the admins and other people have to say about this. Especially because the discussion of balancing other positions with a pitcher’s arm health (especially or perhaps exclusively in younger leagues) is never-ending, and this is a good example of it.

I was eleven years old when, while playing catch with other kids in the schoolyard during recess, I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery, and I stayed with it. The funny thing was what came attached to that delivery—a pretty good little curve ball, and so I experimented with it and learned to change speeds, such as it was, because I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of. I also picked up a few other things like a palm ball (which I used as a changeup, and a good one it was), and I became a snake-jazzer and a good one.
If the kid seems to be effective with the sidearm delivery I wouldn’t mess with it. If he plays other positions you might try later on to have him go to a 3/4 delivery for those—but I have seen many major-league third basemen and shortstops use the sidearm delivery to good effect in throwing to first. So I would suggest that for the time being you just wait and see what develops.

Infielders often need to snap off a quick throw to get a runner and these throws are often more of a side-arm throw. That’s because it’s usually quicker than raising the arm up to a higher slot. I really don’t think this is much of an issue for infielders with one exception. Sidearm throws tend to tail a bit and that isn’t really a good thing. For example, it can pull a 1st baseman or a catcher up the line into the path of a baserunner.