Sidearm mechanics review

Hey guys, im a sidearm rightie (webcam shows me leftie but im not) im in my freshman year of college ball and need some mechanical advice, what all do you see wrong? ( i know theres a few ) right now im around 78-80 but my goal is 85 im hoping my mechanics will have some help with this, here is just a quick view of me doing towel work… thanks for the help!


You actually look more submarine than sidearm to me. Either way, I have no experience working with someone with your arm slot so take this with a grain of salt.

Your front foot kicking backwards seems odd and possibly inefficient. You also seem to open up the front leg/foot and hips early. I’m thinking you want to stay closed off longer.

Is the towel drill effective at all with sidearm and submarine pitchers at all, like to hear Zita’s perspective on this.

Hi, buwhite.
In answer to your question, I have had no experience with the towel drill at all—this was way after my time. I always worked with a real live catcher and my pitching coach—on flat ground when I was learning a new pitch, then from the mound. Being a true sidearmer, I never experienced any problems with the windup, the delivery, the release point or anything else, and if any adjustment needed to be made, say with my follow-through, my coach would show me a thing or two I could do. I would think that the towel drill or anything of that nature would work best with the overhand or 3/4 delivery; the sidearm motion has a lot of that stuff built in. :slight_smile:

Zita, I know you talk about the crossfire action, does that take much away from velo? ive been anywere from a true knuckle dragger to just now getting comfortable with this slot, im trying to keep as much velo while keeping all my movement if not adding movement. any tips on velo(based on flaws in delivery) and then how to add more movement?

It shouldn’t affect velocity at all. The crossfire, as I have said before, is a move that works only with the sidearm delivery, and it has nothing to do with the speed. What it does have to do with is the angle from which the pitch is delivered. You’re a righthander, right? So what you do is, after you’ve gone into the windup or the stretch, take a step toward third base, whip around and deliver the pitch from that angle. If anything, you get more momentum and therefore greater speed as you do this. I’ve seen guys like Jeff Nelson and Randy Johnson, both of whom were true sidearmers, and if you watch them you’ll notice how they got the entire body into the action and therefore more power into their pitches. They both used the crossfire with devastating effect.
And don’t worry about throwing across your body—most sidearmers do this to some extent, and it actually assists in the follow-through—completing their pitches. I remember when I picked up that delivery, when I was about thirteen, and I fell so in love with it that I was using it most of the time—a fact that was not lost on my pitching coach. One day he was helping me with my circle change, and he commented “I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw.” I’ll tell you something else—few things will discombooberate the hitters more than having to face a sidearmer who uses the crossfire, because they don’t know where the pitch is coming from!
I would advise against dragging the foot, because it’ll slow you down, and you don’t really want to do that. If you want to change up on a pitch, you can do it by altering the grip, tightening it or loosening it, or holding the ball a little further forward or further back in the palm of your hand (but don’t grip the ball too tightly, because you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of it!) In any event, have fun with the crossfire—it’s a beautiful and deadly delivery, believe me. :slight_smile: 8)

tried the crossfire today…absolutly loved it, faced 6 simulated batters K’d all 6! everything had so much bite! by far my change up was incredible it just dove on me! slider seemed to flatten out though, is that normal by stepping across? although i have had consistent problems with it lately. with the dragging my foot its a huge problem i cant get my slef to really drive down the miound and push off? any tips? honestly i was a catcher till sr of hs just started pitching a yr and a half ago, embrassed side/sub delivery from the begenning so i really lack the basic pitching mechanics most guys have. and i think i could get alot more of my hips to? thanks guys its such a blessing to have you guys be able to help, were a D3 school so are blackout period is so long so its great to have you guys be able to help!!!

Downunder, let me tell you about “THE SECRET”. This was something I learned a long time ago, when I was a kid. I used to go to Yankee Stadium (the original ballpark) every chance I got, and I would sit and watch the pitchers. I noticed that every one of the Big Three—Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi and Ed Lopat—was doing the same thing, in workouts, in pregame practice and in the games themselves: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and it seemed to me seamless) motion, and the arm and shoulder were just going along for the ride. They were getting more power behind their pitches, and they were throwing harder with less effort, even Lopat who was by no means a fireballer. I saw just how they were doing it, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own.
As I practiced this essential—and believe me, it is essential—element of good mechanics I found myself doing the same thing they were, and the immediate effect was to take a lot of pressure off my arm and shoulder—how not to get a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore elbow or a sore anything else! Later on, when I was working with Lopat (and what an incredible pitching coach he was) he helped me refine this move. There is one aspect of it you can work on—it’s called the “Hershiser drill”, which aims at getting the hips fully involved, and you can find it and a few other drills on this website, which should get you started. The whole idea is to get that continuous motion, and when you get that worked up you’ll find your whole delivery a lot smoother and more effortless.
In the meantime, I’m glad to see you’re enjoying that crossfire. And as I said before, don’t worry about the foot drag—you don’t really need that. :slight_smile: 8)