Square fielding position or fall off the mound?

I have heard coaches telling their pitchers that after they throw the ball home, they must square up to home plate so they are in a good fielding position.

But on the other hand, I have heard pitching coaches telling pitchers that if you square up after you throw the ball, the pitcher is losing a couple MPH off his pitch rather then just let it go loose and fall of the mound.

Once pitching coach said if a pitcher does his job right, the pitcher shouldn’t have to worry about a ball coming back at him. So fall off the mound so the pitcher gets that couple extra mph on his pitch.

What do you guys think?

My opinion:

A pitcher should not be altering his mechanics just to be able to be in optimal fielding position. He is a pitcher first and that should be his priority. However, a pitcher with good mechanics and timing should be able to end up in a reasonable fielding position. Being in a position to defend one’s self against a come-backer is also important.

Case in point: Mike Mussina. When he finishes his follow-through he’s always in a perfect position to field anything that might be hit at or near him. I remember when I pitched, I threw sidearm all the time and I always ended up square to the mound, in a good position to field anything that might come my way, and bless my pitching coach, he made no attempt to change what I was doing. He told me that it was perfect for grabbing those comebackers. And not having a fast ball to speak of, I didn’t have to worry about that aspect of it. :slight_smile:

I consider this an ignorant statement…it happens in the pros…how stupid to make such an unrealistic bar for someone to reach (As a 12 yr old you may dominate but get into high school and see if you don’t need to field the ball). The truth is that the mechanics that you develop are just that, yours, my 19 year old is at 90 mph right now and he squares and fields in an exemplary manner (No errors for his entire Senior season)…but I wouldn’t in turn force that delivery on a kid who threw differently…absolutely, if you can field as a pitcher you are saving your arm many additional pitches and not throwing as often from the stretch…but if you are striking out everyone in sight and falling off a little…oh well. The bottom line is success.

depends on the mound. a good clay mound should allow you to stay in a decent fielding position, but a mound with loose sand a pitcher might start to fall off.

Balance…control of one’s body in space…whatever you call it, is the key to being able to consistently repeat the action. If you have a pitching coach advocating something other, well it’s up to you…but I’d run like heck.