Side arm pitching?


#1

Help. My son (12 years old) wants to learn a good side arm pitch technique (apart from his over hand). Does anyone have any good links or resources for this so we can look into this pitching technique. Thanks for any help.

Steve
san Diego


#2

Why?

Throwing from two different arm slots can be problematic, especially if you throw different pitches from each slot.

Assuming you still want to try it, it’s easy to throw sidearm. Just don’t tilt your shoulders so much.


#3

I agree with Chris, I think it can be problematic too. I think you need to choose sidearm or not.

We had a kid on my team who threw from about 100 different arm slots and tried to throw all of his pitches, and we noticed a lot of him not getting his fingers on top of the ball and balls just spinning out of his hand when he dropped down, because he was used to high 3/4


#4

I’d have 3 concerns:

(1) Throwing from a sidearm slot increases the tendency to supinate which results in arm injuries.

(2) Throwing from a sidearm slot tips the pitch to the batter unless the pitcher learns to throw all of his pitches from that slot.

(3) It’s harder to get good at doing things multiple ways than it is to get good at doing things one way.


#5

Roger, is this what you are talking about?

If so, then I agree that this is problematic from the standpoint of injury prevention. It puts tremendous load on the UCL.


#6

Yes, that looks like supination. But, in that picture, Pedro may be supinating on purpose in which case he does it intentionally and only when he wants to throw a certain pitch. But I feel young kids with sidearm slots tend to supinate not because they’re trying to throw a particular pitch but because the arm slot almost encourages it.


#7

I agree with the rest, Jim Hendry said when at Creighton, Most pitchers throw sidearm because they couldn’t get them out up top. put the side arm thing away, and work on his mechanics.


#8

One thing i’d like side armers to stray away from is that natural curveball style.Thats a dime a dozen.Instead of letting ur son have that curve style make him roll it straight off the fingers so the ball is in on righties. that will be a good pitch


#9

OK, now I stand corrected by my son. When I related all your great comments he tells me…“not sidearm, under arm…”. Does that make a difference? I thought under arm was a women’s softball technique.

He showed me the pitch and it looks side arm but he what do I know? It definitely was not the classic softball under arm I am used to seeing. Is there a side and an under arm pitch used? If so, any comments about an under arm? Thanks & Semper Fi.

Steve
San Diego, Calif


#10

I’m guessing he is talking about submarine

Really, this falls with the same as side arm. I would stay away from this as well. Really the same problems as sidearm occur.

[quote=Roger]
I’d have 3 concerns:

(1) Throwing from a sidearm slot increases the tendency to supinate which results in arm injuries.

(2) Throwing from a sidearm slot tips the pitch to the batter unless the pitcher learns to throw all of his pitches from that slot.

(3) It’s harder to get good at doing things multiple ways than it is to get good at doing things one way.[/quote]

Those are consistent with submarine asz well.

Basically there are only a few guys in the major leagues that are throwing submarine. Many are relievers, specifically short setup men.

I think your son would end up much more satisfied with his baseball career having never used submarine. It is a struggle to throw both from a regular arm slot, and some thing low like submarine. Very few guys mix submarine with regular, although Jose Contreras come to mind. BUT, many of the homeruns he gives up, they review, and basically he changed arm slot and was off just a little bit.

Assuming your son will would want to advance fairly far in baseball (college, ect) I would definately not throw submarine. Scouts and coaches would much rather prefer having a regular thrower. They generally feel there is less risk involved, and they can coach the pitcher easier as well.


#11

I believe that submarine style pitchers tend to have more lower back problems than average. See Chad Bradford’s back problems as an example.


#12

At 12, your son is not ready to change arm slots. He is not even throwing from 60 feet. A lot of guys who do not have great veloicty drop down to steal a strike out or two, but in order to do that you have to throw at least a fastball and breaking pitch from that arm slot.

The are a number of big league pitchers who you will see do this, Bronson Arroyo of the Reds is a good example. He will throw one curve from over the top, then a one from sidearm, but he has great control. A sidearm curve left too high is a homerun pitch.

The most difficult pitch to hit is the down breaking curve. At 12 he is not ready for that either because when you lead with the heel (bottom) of your hand, you stress the outside tendon of the elbow.

Work on his fastball 2 and 4 seam varieties, then a change up. When he can locate those with command, and he is older than 14 1/2, then look at a breaking ball.

Changing arm slots is at best a late high school undertaking. Also, I think you have to have a natural knack for doing this, and be willing and able to practice it A LOT. There are guys who have been successful with it, but they are the exception to the rule.
Warren Spahn never believed in changing arm slot at all.

Good Luck to your son,

Ian


#13

Take into consideration that young, aspiring pitchers everywhere are struggling to “master” the traditional method and are finding it very difficult and time consuming. That’s why there are discussion boards like this and training videos being peddled. It ain’t easy. Now, add the effort to learn yet another skill set.

When your son’s spending time and effort on a submarine style of pitching, that’s time that he has NOT spent on learning a traditional style.


#14

Old timers (like me) learned this from watching guys like Luis Tiant or David Cone. These guys had good reasons for dropping down or throwing over the top. At 12, your son has no clue what those reasons are. Most guys that throw submarine (& sidearm) are relievers, they are the type of reliever that is comming in to get a ground ball double play. For a submariner, that is overspin on their fastball which will really make the ball sink which is good.

Howeverr, If you throw sidearm, your curve breaks on a flat plane, submarine it tends to rise (if you throw hard enough), both those pitches must be used with care. Since you can’t really use a flat breaking ball to someone who bats opposite, you have to develope a change up too. So now you are up to developing 3 pitches over & above your normal selection. Coach Bagonzi calls this “masters level stuff.”

At some point a coach will tell you if you need to add something or change your delivery. At twelve let your son enjoy pitching.

May you & your son enjoy and share this great game for many years, Ian.