Sidearm Pitching

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

When a pitcher is throwing sidearm, it always seems to cause a big deal amongst other players, fans, etc. I never really understood this thinking…

In this article, I will go into detail about the negatives of sidearm pitching, and you can decide for yourself if sidearm pitching is really all its cracked up to be.

It is proven that sidearm pitchers are more prone to injuries than over the top pitchers. There is a lot of strain placed on the elbow and shoulder when throwing from the side. A college or pro scout does not want to invest in a young side arm pitcher who may get hurt later in his career. Most of the side arm guys you see in the big leagues did not get to the pros throwing side arm. They most likely came to the pros with good over the top mechanics, and eventually were trained to throw side arm.

The typical pitch from a sidearm pitcher is not as effective as that of an over hander. Once the “weirdness” of the side arm delivery wears off, a hitter is left with a mediocre fast ball and mediocre off speed. It is very rare to find a side armer throwing in the mid 90’s, and usually the junk of a side armer is not very effective. The ball just doesn’t like to move as much as it does when thrown over the top.

However, there are a few strong points to throwing sidearm. The initial shock to hitters from your weird delivery can be enough to get you through a couple of innings unscathed. This can be a great benefit if you are a reliever.

If you are a young pitcher trying to decide between over the top and sidearm, I recommend going the traditional route. Sure, everyone will say how cool it is to be throwing sidearm, but who really cares? You will be less effective against the hitters, and your arm will suffer in the long run.

However, if you are in the upper leagues of baseball and have found success throwing sidearm, stick with it! Don’t change what is isn’t broken.

So what do you think? Would you teach your kid to throw sidearm, or over the top?


Related Pitching Materials

Want to learn more about baseball pitching mechanics and techniques? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!

Baseball Pitching Drills

Learn baseball pitching drills to develop rock-solid mechanics

Title: Baseball Pitching Drills [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 76 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (219 reviews)


Baseball Pitching Strategies

Learn baseball pitching strategies to outsmart any hitter or team

Title: Baseball Pitching Strategies [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 82 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (103 reviews)


The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Pitching

Learn pro-level baseball pitching instruction for experienced players

Title: The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Pitching
Author: Steven Ellis
Paperback or Ebook, 164 pages
Price: $42 (paperback); $37 (Ebook)
Avg rating: (76 reviews)


The Pitching Manual

A complete training guide for youth pitchers ages 8-13

Author: Steven Ellis and Chris McCoy
Spiral bound, 90 pages
Price: $64.95
Avg rating: (156 reviews)


Baseball Pitching Tips

Learn essential baseball pitching tips for young players

Title: Baseball Pitching Tips [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 105 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (143 reviews)


 »  Discuss this baseball pitching article
 »  Read more baseball pitching articles
 »  See today's post on my pitching tips blog

want a more explosive fastball? click here