The flat ground vs. mound debate

EDIT: Though this topic is relevant to pitching workouts, I think I’ve posted it in the wrong section. If a mod can move this to General Pitching Advice that would be great.

A quick search of the forums returns a number of results on this issue, and it has come up several times, but I think that it is worth revisiting.

I do a lot of my throwing on flat ground simply because my access to a pitching mound is limited. Flat ground serves well for regular throwing and long toss, but I am hesitant to pitch off of it and work on my mechanics there.

Case in point, I threw a bullpen last week on a mound (I regret not recording…), and ended up lengthening my stride and improving my timing. I attempted to throw a pen on flat ground this week and inevitably, my stride was shorter and my timing was poor. I felt much more dynamic on the mound and definitely did not feel any bit of that trying to pitch off flat ground. I’m sure that a lot of us would agree that the two are very different. The results I obtain from either scenario never seem to translate to the other.

However, with limited mound access, it is almost necessary for me to pitch off flat ground and work on my mechanics there. I’ve always attempted to go through my entire pitching motion on flat ground and I’ve seen teammates and friends do that as well, despite the differences between the two scenarios. But given their inherent differences, should we continue to recreate our actual pitching motions on flat ground? Or are there better approaches to using flat ground to maximize the benefits it has (if any) for actual mound pitching?

Basically, how can flat ground work be used to improve our pitching on the mound?

I have always thought that practicing your mechanics on flat ground only makes you learn different timing than what is used on the mound. I think the most important part of throwing efficiently is the timing of your landing and where your arm is in its motion. In this aspect throwing off a mound and flat ground are completely different. I only like to practice mechanics off the mound.

Your question would be relevant in just about any section—except, perhaps, how to roast a chicken.
In my own experience, I found that doing both serves a useful purpose. I would throw from flat ground when I was learning a new pitch or working on some aspect of my mechanics, and after a while I would take it to the mound (which was higher in my day than it is now). You’re right, these are two different things entirely, and one really needs to be able to use both of them. For example—
You’re pitching in a game. All right. Someone hits a ground ball, and you have to get off that mound in a hurry to field the ball and throw to the base. The moment you step off the rubber, you become a fifth infielder, and you’re on flat ground and have to make the throw from there. So you see, you really need both. :slight_smile: 8)