Notes for Sidearm Pitchers
We receive many questions regarding how the throwing routine should change for sidearm pitchers. You may be surprised to find out that it doesn’t change much at all. Here are a few reasons why:
- Throwing sidearm is mostly the function of a shift in posture, with very minimum change in actual arm slot relative to the spine. This does create subtle mechanical changes elsewhere in the delivery, but not enough for the entire throwing routine to change.
- Sidearm pitchers still need the ability to throw over the top when fielding their position.
The warm-up and post-throwing recovery routines do not change at all; the only changes lie within the PlyoCare drills, pulldowns, and long toss. Reverse Throws and Pivot Pickoffs are to be executed the standard way, but sidearm pitchers should begin working towards their competition arm slot during Roll-In Throws, Rocker Throws, and Walking Windup Throws. All of the principles for the drills remain the same, the athlete simply adjusts the angle they throw from. For Pulldowns, sidearm pitchers should throw out of a ¾ slot to maximize intent while also getting somewhat close to their competition arm slot.
Lastly, it’s going to be hard for many sidearm pitchers to actually long toss because they don’t put enough backspin on the ball to allow it to travel farther distances. Some athletes will be more comfortable long tossing from a sidearm slot than others -- do not force long toss on athletes that do not feel comfortable trying to throw the ball far distances from a low arm slot. Instead, allow the athlete to play catch at a comfortable distance, gradually increasing their RPE % as they throw, similar to how athletes with a standard arm slot would in a real long toss progression.