Sidearm pitching question

ok, so I’m a right-handed pitcher. 5’9’’ 125 lbs.
14 turning 15 soon throw about high 60’s to low 70’s mph

I pitch almost completely sidearm(almost 3 o’clock), but I sometimes have control problems. Any suggestions on how I can improve my control

also I currently throw a 4-seam fastball(a ton of movement), slider(that moves side to side) and working on a changeup.

-does the changeup grip stay the same even though your throwing it sidearm?
-and what other pitches can I throw?(and the grips please)


Your control problems probably trace back to other elements of your delivery. How well do you stabilize your posture through your delivery? How well do you manage your glove side? You delivery needs to be repeatable from start to finish to improve your control/consistency.

What Roger said, plus this extra bit from recent personal experience:

My son is a 15 yo RHP, with a pure sidearm delivery. There is nothing “low 3/4” or “submarine” about it: The kid is a sidearmer and has done very well as a pitcher at each new competitive level.

Right now he’s pitching/playing in an 18U Fall Ball league and he’s facing better hitters than he was used to, as well as trying to hit better pitching than he’s used to seeing. He might be pressing a little in order to prove that he belongs at this level.

For awhile now, his delivery has included a substantial reverse rotation of his torso going into leg lift–but lately he has been rotating so much that the hitters get a full view of his numbers before he strides forward.

This has several consequences–the one he wanted (and got) was that some hitters are pretty nervous when they see that delivery–especially righties.

The consequence that he didn’t want is: His command of the strike zone is not nearly as good as it used to be.

I probably should have seen it coming sooner, but it took awhile to sink in: Video clearly shows that when he reverse rotates his torso to “show his numbers”, his eyes and head are far off the target–basically at the farthest point of this reverse rotation his face is pointed toward 3rd base.

Then he goes into his stride and his hips open, then his upper torso/shoulders open–but, again, video shows exactly what is happening: His eyes and head should have been tracking forward in a straight line to the target from the earliest part of his delivery, but they don’t…instead he must rotate his head through almost 90 degrees of angle (from 3rd base to HP) to get on track to the target and his eyes then track forward to the target very late in the delivery. It is very hard to reliably pick up the target off of that kind of head movement.

We talked about it just last night, because he again had mixed results in a Sunday game–when his pitches were in the zone it was awesome but he couldn’t reliably control the zone and he was missing inside/outside a lot. He is going to eliminate that exaggerated reverse rotation in his delivery, because there is no physical way he can keep his head on a stable track toward the target when he does that.

He doesn’t keep up on all the drills he probably should be doing but last night we got very good results with the towel drill in our front room. We talked about focusing on the target and then not rotating so far backward that his head/eyes would ever come off of the target. When he kept the target in complete focus throughout his delivery, the towel drill worked perfectly. When he fell back into his habit of too much reverse rotation he was erratic again–so that was good feedback.

We both are feeling very confident that his command will return shortly…

Hello there, offset! You are speaking to an old-time sidearmer here.
As far as the control problem is concerned, I can’t think of a better way to sharpen it than what I used to do as a little snip. I would get a catcher, and either he would mark off with chalk a pitcher’s rubber and a home plate at the requisite distance—the only problem with this is that the chalk marks could be scuffed int oblivion—or, more often, if we could get to an unused playing field I would take the mound and he would get behind the plate. we would then play a game we called “ball and strike”, and the purpose of this was to do just that—sharpen up one’s control. The catcher would position his mitt in various places, high, low, inside, outside, every which way except standing on his head ( :lol: ), and what I had to do was concentrate on getting the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt. I would do this with all my pitches, at varying speeds, and what a satisfying feeling it was to hear the ball go “THWACK” into the pocket of the mitt! I would do this with the crossfire, which I had picked up at the age of 14, and the whole point was not to aim the ball but to throw, as they say.“through the target”, which meant completing all my pitches, finishing my follow-through so I would end up in good fielding position. It was more than just a drill; it was a terrific workout and a lot of fun besides, and believe me, there is no better way to work on control. At times I would have someone else stand in the batter’s box so I could really zero in on the strike zone.
As for the grips—you don’t change them when you throw sidearm. Oh, you can tighten or loosen them according to how fast or how slow you want to throw—but please, don’t try to squeeze the juice out of the ball!—too tight a grip will only result in the ball squirting out of your hand and falling to the ground with a resounding “plop”. And you would do well to work on that crossfire—it’s a beautiful move, it will give you twice as many pitches, and what it does to a batter’s timing—and his thinking.
The rest is a matter of fine-tuning your mechanics, however you need to do that. Oh, and one more thing: be sure you don’t telegraph your pitches. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

alright thanks, so for crossfire, I don’'t know much about it…Is it when you step towards third base with your left foot and then swing around and throw it sidearm?(like Jered Weaver)?

Okay. About the crossfire. As I said, it’s a move that works only with the sidearm delivery. It’s been around a long time; the first I heard of it was when Cincinnati pitcher Ewell Blackwell was using it back in the 40s and 50s. I read about how to use it, and I picked it up when I was about 14 and fell so in love with it that I found myself using it all the time. One day when Ed Lopat (what an incredible pitching coach he was) was helping me with the circle change he said to me, “I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw.” As to how you do it, how you describe what Jered Weaver does is pretty much it. You go into the windup, or the stretch, whatever—but instead of pitching directly to the plate you take (assuming you’re a righthander) a step toward third base, whip around and fire the ball from that angle. And what it does to the hitters—they get all discombooberated, confused, off balance, because it looks as if the pitch is coming at them from third base or behind your back or anywhere but from the mound. And, also as I said before, it will work with any pitch—even a knuckler. :slight_smile: 8)