Sidearm Pitcher trying out for highschool team

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January 28, 2013 7:06 PM

I'm trying out for my highschool freshman team. I throw in the low 60's and I have control of 3 pitches. (2 Seam, Circle Change, and a pitch called a "gyroball" which is a 4 Seam grip with late drop movement.)What should I do to increase velocity. And what do you think my current chances of making the team are?


Thanks,
Hedenberg
 
Current Pitches: 2 Seam Circle Change "Gyroball"
 
 
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January 28, 2013 7:27 PM

Hedenberg,

The Gyroball is a myth. So is having control of three pitches as a h.s. freshman, IMHO.

Low 60's is not your typical 70-74 for pitchers on the freshman team.

And side-armed throwers are usually just that--throwers. There are a lot of command issues sidewinders face.

Sorry if I sound negative. I really do hope you make the team. Just be realistic. Find a good pitching instructor to help you with your velocity (if not arm slot).
 
 
 
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January 29, 2013 2:43 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Hedenberg:
I'm trying out for my highschool freshman team. I throw in the low 60's and I have control of 3 pitches. (2 Seam, Circle Change, and a pitch called a "gyroball" which is a 4 Seam grip with late drop movement.)What should I do to increase velocity. And what do you think my current chances of making the team are?


It's really not possible to answer your question in a forum like this. There are so many things involved. With that understood, I think as a freshman, attitude is everything and if you show you work hard before, during, and after a practice; have a positive attitude; are very coachable, you'd probably have a good shot at making the team. Just keep in mind that if you don't, there's always next year. Your body is going to change a lot over the next few years and what you are now is surely to be very different in a couple of years. So, keep working hard at it whether you make the team or not.

As far as increasing velocity, that'll take some time and practice. Finding a good pitching coach to work with you could be just what you might need at this point.

Since you're body is at an age where it is now rapidly maturing, strength and conditioning workouts is important as is working on your flexibility. These things will help as you refine your mechanics.

Very often, young men like yourself don't have relatively high velocity because of various mechanical issues. Without seeing what you do, there's really no reference points. But, often one needs to work on a long stride and staying balanced with it. And a very typical issue is the torqueing of your upper body and getting a good "separation" (that's the difference between the hip alignment and the shoulder alignment)as you turn your back towards the plate and initiate your forward motion for your stride by leading with your butt. This is some basic stuff and if you can get it down, you very well could see some increase in velocity. (have someone video tape you as you throw and analyze it yourself and even compare what you see that you do to MLB pitchers that might throw like you. . .you should be able to see the difference in what you are doing and what they are doing)
 
 
 
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January 29, 2013 4:56 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Bum:
Hedenberg,

The Gyroball is a myth. So is having control of three pitches as a h.s. freshman, IMHO.

Low 60's is not your typical 70-74 for pitchers on the freshman team.

And side-armed throwers are usually just that--throwers. There are a lot of command issues sidewinders face.

Sorry if I sound negative. I really do hope you make the team. Just be realistic. Find a good pitching instructor to help you with your velocity (if not arm slot).


It's fine, you aren't being to negative, it's more of criticism which I'm fine with since I came here to learn. Regarding the gyroball and pitches, I don't know what it is I'm throwing then but it looks like its going to hit the RHB and then goes down and to the left, pretty much painting the corner. And I do have pretty good command of all three pitches, I havent thrown away a ball in a long time. I'm looking to make the freshman team on more movement and command over velocity because I know I'm lacking it for my age. I'm currently working with a pitching coach for 8 weeks so that's a help.
 
 
 
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January 29, 2013 4:59 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Hedenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Truman:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedenberg:
I'm trying out for my highschool freshman team. I throw in the low 60's and I have control of 3 pitches. (2 Seam, Circle Change, and a pitch called a "gyroball" which is a 4 Seam grip with late drop movement.)What should I do to increase velocity. And what do you think my current chances of making the team are?


It's really not possible to answer your question in a forum like this. There are so many things involved. With that understood, I think as a freshman, attitude is everything and if you show you work hard before, during, and after a practice; have a positive attitude; are very coachable, you'd probably have a good shot at making the team. Just keep in mind that if you don't, there's always next year. Your body is going to change a lot over the next few years and what you are now is surely to be very different in a couple of years. So, keep working hard at it whether you make the team or not.

As far as increasing velocity, that'll take some time and practice. Finding a good pitching coach to work with you could be just what you might need at this point.

Since you're body is at an age where it is now rapidly maturing, strength and conditioning workouts is important as is working on your flexibility. These things will help as you refine your mechanics.

Very often, young men like yourself don't have relatively high velocity because of various mechanical issues. Without seeing what you do, there's really no reference points. But, often one needs to work on a long stride and staying balanced with it. And a very typical issue is the torqueing of your upper body and getting a good "separation" (that's the difference between the hip alignment and the shoulder alignment)as you turn your back towards the plate and initiate your forward motion for your stride by leading with your butt. This is some basic stuff and if you can get it down, you very well could see some increase in velocity. (have someone video tape you as you throw and analyze it yourself and even compare what you see that you do to MLB pitchers that might throw like you. . .you should be able to see the difference in what you are doing and what they are doing)



Thanks, and I'll try what you said such as working on getting a longer stride, hip alignment when I throw, and comparing my stance with MLB players.
 
 
 
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January 29, 2013 10:07 AM

Post video if you can. Keep the positive attitude and keep working, you can succeed

Another good site to post video to is LetsTalkPitching.com You will get lots of constructive feedback there.
 
Last edited by Turn 22 January 29, 2013 10:08 AM
 
 
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January 29, 2013 2:16 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Turn 22:
Post video if you can. Keep the positive attitude and keep working, you can succeed

Another good site to post video to is LetsTalkPitching.com You will get lots of constructive feedback there.


I will try to hit the bullpen soon, I'll get a video then, and thanks.
 
Last edited by Hedenberg January 29, 2013 2:21 PM
 
 
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January 30, 2013 12:32 PM

The gyroball is not actually a myth...the pitch was developed by a Japanese computer scientist and a Japanese baseball coach.  Unfortunately, the media (especially the US media) jumped on the story, hyped it beyond all recognition, and mostly got it wrong, wrong, wrong.

 

The gyroball is a pitch that has bullet-like spin.  That is, the spin axis is exactly aligned with the direction of flight.  While that spin axis is good for bullets (because it stabilizes their flight and makes them accurate) it is bad for a baseball pitch.  It is essentially useless because a gyroball can only be thrown with slider-like speed (think of the release mechanics needed to get bullet-like spin) and the pitch has no deceptive movement--it goes where you (and the batter) think it's going.  Another apt name for the gyroball is "back-up slider"...i.e., a slider that accidentally gets the spin axis exactly aligned w/ direction of flight....leading to zero Magnus force on the ball and no lateral movement.  If they are in the strike zone, those pitches are usually hit a long way.

 

Assuming you are a righty sidewinder, your pitch that moves to the left and drops is most likely a slider.

 

The answer for your velocity concerns is probably about the same as any other pitcher at your level of development....start taking pitchers' strength and conditioning training seriously, work with a good coach who can help you overcome any mechanical flaws (note:  being a sidearmer is NOT a mechanical flaw, despite what some people may tell you), do the right thing when no one is watching--that is, apply yourself to achieving your goals with real dedication.

 
 
 
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January 30, 2013 1:53 PM

Good post la.

 
 
 
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January 31, 2013 5:21 AM

Thanks, it's good to get the whole gyroball myth set straight, and I'm currently in a pitching program right now to gain velocity but the coach has a personal vendetta against sidearm pitching, I try to throw it in practice and he thinks my elbow is going to blow out, it's either straight over the top or we don't pitch. Is there any chance I could convince him?
 
 
 
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January 31, 2013 11:32 AM

Hedenberg,

If a HS baseball coach is not aware of the many great sidearm pitchers in baseball history, and what they can do for a pitching staff, he may not be willing to give you the chances that you need to develop yourself further within his program.  It sounds as though your motivation to condition and train for pitching might really need to come totally from within yourself, because your head coach may not give you much encouragement, or at least he may not take the time to develop your personal style. 

 

It's probably never a great idea to openly defy your head coach.  If you feel strongly that you're on the right track, in spite of your coach's mandate to "throw from over the top, or else sit", maybe you can give the appearance of agreement with him more than you actually do agree.

 

He may have valuable knowledge to impart to you, despite an apparent ignorance of sidearm pitching in baseball....perhaps you both will find common ground on some of the things he knows well. 

 

Baseball is results-driven in most HS-level programs, so if you are eventually able to demonstrate that your pitching style could be an asset to the team, you will hopefully get some chances to prove it in games. 

 

In a situation like yours, your own attitude will mean a lot....if you grumble and whine, that's a road to sitting on the bench and/or being cut from the team.  If you keep a positive attitude and stay focused on developing into the best pitcher you can be, your life in HS baseball may go in the direction you want it to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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January 31, 2013 2:25 PM

I hear you completely, and I'm really committed to making the team and I do have a positive attitude regardless of the outcome, tryouts are March 1st and I've been conditioning since December so hopefully I will make it. And the coach that's giving me pitching lessons has nothing to do with my highschool so thankfully he has nothing to do with me getting selected or not. I'm 5 weeks into the program and all I've been able to do is throw over the top, I think this coming week I'm just going to give it a shot at the end of practice and see what the coach thinks. The worst part is he hasn't even seen me pitch side arm yet.
 
 
 
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February 2, 2013 9:11 AM

Changing your arm slot is a difficult thing to do. The HC that wants you to change your arm slot IMO has a lot to learn about pitching. Did he give you reasons for the change or does he just not like it? 

 

I would suggest that if anything you could go from sidearm to 3/4 slot, but if your natural arm slot is sidearm that's where you should stay.

 
 
 
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March 6, 2013 6:15 PM

Originally Posted by Hedenberg:
Thanks, it's good to get the whole gyroball myth set straight, and I'm currently in a pitching program right now to gain velocity but the coach has a personal vendetta against sidearm pitching, I try to throw it in practice and he thinks my elbow is going to blow out, it's either straight over the top or we don't pitch. Is there any chance I could convince him?

Your coach is right.

Throwing sidearm puts less stress on the shoulder, but it puts more stress on the elbow joint.

 

I heard it from Brent Pourciau's 3x pitching podcast.

https://soundcloud.com/topvelo...ng-podcast-episode-5

It's pretty interesting~

 

The most effective arm slot for velocity and arm health is 3 quarters.

 
 
 
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