Sidearm Mechanics

Hi all, I’m a sidearm pitcher and being a sidearm pitcher, it’s difficult to get the proper coaching even at the college level. I’m currently injured and taking a serious look at my mechanics. I will be editing a video shortly to post and hear feed back. In the meantime, what major league sidearmers tend to be especially good with there lower half?

I personally enjoy watching Brad Zielger

Steve Cishek.

Javier Lopez on the Giants.

Here is a recent clip of Javier Lopez:

Here’s a clip of a good young LHP sidearmer at University of San Francisco:

Ah, memories—and good ones: in my playing days, many moons ago, I was a natural, honest-to-gosh sidearmer who threw hard, used the slide-step, and fell so in love with the crossfire that I used it all the time! I recall that there were quite a few pitchers who threw that way, starting with the Cincinnati Reds’ Ewell Blackwell, and nowadays there are a few who do throw that way. I recall that I started out throwing long-arm, and later on Eddie Lopat showed me how to adapt the short-arm motion to my delivery, which gave me twice as many pitches. I believe that the short-arm motion is especially effective when you crossfire your pitches.
You might keep an eye on a Kansas City reliever named Louis Coleman, who usually sees action in the late innings. He works fast and throws strikes, lots of strikes, and his crossfire motion is particularly lethal, because it is so effortless. He uses it about 98% of the time, and he gets outs. YOU might take a cue from him (he’s a righthander) as to how he does it. Don’t worry too much about mechanics when throwing sidearm, just make sure to keep your elbow on a level with your shoulder and keep the ball down.
If I didn’t have that @#$%^&^* arthritis… :slight_smile:

Here is Brad Ziegler w/ the Oakland A’s:

And Brad Ziegler more recently, w/ the D’backs:

Here’s another Brad you might like to look at…Brad Clontz:

Great clips as usual la!

Thanks for all the feedback! I’ll definitely take a look at those clips.

In my down time today, I was able to find a way to crop the YouTube live feed from some of my games.

Please feel free to point anything out mechanical or my approach to hit or anything for that matter.

This is my test post to see if the link will work then I’ll post a few more videos.

Thanks

The link worked, here are a few more videos.

Please feel free to comment, I’m currently injured and would like to clean up my mechanics.

Thanks

From what I think I’ve learned over the years, there shouldn’t necessarily be a whole lot of difference between the way sidearmers are coached versus any other pitcher.

Some basic ideas that every pitcher needs to work on:

(1) Strength & Conditioning for pitchers…especially pay attention to strengthening decelerator muscle groups. They are often neglected in pitcher’s weight training.

(2) Maintenance of a repeatable delivery and a repeatable release point. Whatever your delivery looks like this starts with a consistent sense of balance and posture at beginning of your delivery, continues with getting your momentum entirely focused toward the target, correct sequencing of events within the kinetic chain…i.e., hips rotate open around foot-strike/shoulders rotate open as late as possible after the hips.

(3) Good nutritional habits to support your strength & conditioning work.

From the clips you provided I thought you looked very good. You didn’t mention how you got hurt, or what part of your anatomy is hurt…do you believe that some particular feature in your delivery caused your injury, or was it more to do with a lack of strength & conditioning to properly support your delivery? Or, something else?

[quote=“laflippin”]

(1) Strength & Conditioning for pitchers…especially pay attention to strengthening decelerator muscle groups. They are often neglected in pitcher’s weight training.

From the clips you provided I thought you looked very good. You didn’t mention how you got hurt, or what part of your anatomy is hurt…do you believe that some particular feature in your delivery caused your injury, or was it more to do with a lack of strength & conditioning to properly support your delivery? Or, something else?[/quote]

I would say I was probably slacking a bit in my in-season band work… I got hurt playing some routine long toss before a game. I partially tore my UCL and a flexor tendon. I’m not sure what possibly caused the injury.

However, my reason to post the video was to possibly clean up my mechanics to put less stress/strain on my elbow when I return to action next

It’s not really possible to answer this from 30 fps video, but do you actively supinate your hand/wrist at the release of any of your pitches? For a RHP active supination would be a clockwise rotation of the hand/wrist at release point…sometimes called “turning the door-knob”…and that might lead to unwanted stresses on your elbow.

Take a look at the side-view Ziegler clip above (when he was with the A’s). Follow just the motion of his throwing hand & wrist through the entire delivery. Notice that his hand and wrist smoothly pronate after the release (for a RHP sidearmer/submariner this means that his hand & wrist rotate counterclockwise after release, until the palm is temporarily facing down at the ground.)

If you are actively supinating, or “turning the door-knob”, for example to try and get slider-spin…then your hand & wrist must very abruptly reverse this motion after release of the ball and go into pronation.

To get side-spin on a slider, your hand/wrist/forearm should be preset in a “karate chop” configuration and the ball should be released like a karate chop… without ever trying to actively rotate your hand/wrist clockwise.

[quote=“laflippin”]It’s not really possible to answer this from 30 fps video, but do you actively supinate your hand/wrist at the release of any of your pitches? For a RHP active supination would be a clockwise rotation of the hand/wrist at release point…sometimes called “turning the door-knob”…and that might lead to unwanted stresses on your elbow.

To get side-spin on a slider, your hand/wrist/forearm should be preset in a “karate chop” configuration and the ball should be released like a karate chop… without ever trying to actively rotate your hand/wrist clockwise.[/quote]

I do not supinate on any of my pitches. I really try to give a good wrist flick on my fastball. I do use the preset “karate chop” as you describe when throwing a slider and I pronate when throwing a change up

Here’s a website you should be interested in:

http://www.sidearmnation.com/

Lots of very informative interviews with pro sidearmers.