Side arm pitching

My son is 15 and has been playing ball since 4. He is a pitcher and plays short. He is a natural sidearm pitcher. Even used to throw the ball warming up side arm, we fixed that, it took a lot to get him to throw over handed pitching. Now he only uses the side arm when there is a full count or 2 strikes, he is great pitching this way! I have people tell me to stop it all the way I have coaches in aww when they see him pitch that way, and coaches saying improve that talent. He has had to see a doctor and he told us it was ok for him to pitch that way as long as his upper body was built up. My question is what is right, and how to improve the side arm pitching, he wants to go to college to play ball he is in the 10th grade he plays high school, varsity and JV, this is his last year playing summer ball and he will be going on a u-trip team at end of month not to include AllStars at end of month… Please help us! Thanks

A word of advice: if your son’s sidearm delivery is a natural one, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! Don’t ever attempt to change it; this would only lead to disaster and arm problems. The sidearm delivery is actually the easiest on the arm and shoulder, and there are a great number of pitchers who have success with it. I remember when I was eleven years old and discovered that I was a true, natural, honest-to-gosh sidewinder with a consistent release point, a nice curveball that came attached to it, and a couple of years later I picked up the crossfire—and then, at age sixteen, I met and ended up working with one of the finest pitching coaches anyone would give his or her eye teeth to work with! Eddie Lopat was a key member of the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation, and he firmly believed that every pitcher has a natural motion and that whatever it is, that’s what you work with. He helped me refine that crossfire, expanded my repertoire and turned me into a devastating sidearmer.
Again, I say—pay no attention to those coaches and others who would try to mess things up for your kid by changing his motion. What you can do is show him two different variations of it, the long-arm (a la Walter Johnson) and the short-arm, let him use both the way I did, and teach him a couple of really good pitches—including a changeup, because every pitcher needs one—and just let him be. Another thing you can do is have him check out a website, www.Sidearm—I’m on it a lot—where he can meet, talk to and get advice from others of his ilk. He can learn a lot from current and former major league sidearmers and avoid things like the dreaded Tommy John surgery. :baseballpitcher:

Thanks for taking the time to answer this post! We already signed up and posted there to get as much help possible yes! He is natural even tossed the ball side arm has done it since T- Ball. He has a game tonight and will be pitching I will record it and post maybe that will help!

Mississippi State has a drop down camp for sidearmers. It was called a drop down camp. Might check with them for info on the next one.

Good Luck,


I’ve has “some” side arm pitchers to coach (manage really) but I’ve had absolutely no experience helping these people in there careers. All of them came up the ladder pretty much by themselves and all were self taught.

The reason for telling you this is that sidearm pitchers ( slingers in my day) are extremely challenging to bring along. In my opinion the body has to really support this style, way beyond any other athletic movement(s) that I’ve ever seen. Then there’s days rest… how much, when, why… and so on.

The coaching personnel that handles these people really have to know what they’re doing. I mean really have to know what they’re doing. I say this because of the lumbar/spinal demands that this style places on a man.

There is a person on this web site that I have a great deal of respect for on this matter, and that’s Zita. I would seriously suggest keeping her posted on what your son is… and is not doing for training and playing. Where your son is going… she’s been there, and you couldn’t ask for a more honest, straight forward, hip shooting individual on the subject of sidearm pitching. In fact, try and post some video for her to look at.

So, monitor your son closely with his sidearm training. This is nothing to leave to the “want-to-be” that want to make a buck holding some kind of camp on the style of sidearm pitching.


For the record, I am not affiliated with MSU in any manner nor do I know anything about their camp other than what I read. I do not know if they will have one again in 2014. They seem to have an affinity for that pitching style and I assume they are familiar with other college coach’s who share that outlook. If your son wants to pitch in college they could be a resource. While it may be that their sole purpose in having the camp was to separate you from your money, they did have among their staff " former Major League Baseball players Chad Bradford, Scott Sullivan, Jeff Innis and Colter Bean." For a young man interested in that style of pitching those might be fun guys to meet.

Good luck to you and your son,