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Hey everyone,

So I am a 2017 LHP, and throughout the last few months I've made some pretty decent Velocity gains from where I was once was (used to throw unusually low, now pumping mid 70s and climbing I've put in tons of work to help change my mechanics, keep up with the lastest from Driveline, bands, weighted balls, etc. The product I've found to help the most was Austin Wasserman's HLT Throwing Patterns book! There's the good news.


Recently, our varsity pitching coach has begun to host small sessions of throwing after school. The first day I show up is back to "L-Drills" and the coach telling me I should now start throwing out of a very low arm slot (about as close to not submarining as you can get) for more "deception".


Some cues I've gotten so far:

Don't bring your arm down when you break, make a V and keep it there

First make the V, then an L

You don't throw hard, we all know that. So this will create deception (changing arm slot)


In the last week, the pain I used to have in my lower triceps from my freshman year has returned....coincidentally after I threw with him!


So as you can see, I'm a little frustrated. Even though our coach is a nice guy and pitched in the minors, I cant find the information he gives me helpful or useful. I don't know if I should just stop throwing with him, or try telling him what I think is best for me.


Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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Your coach, more than likely, is a well intended moron. 

If you feel like you can approach him I would bring up what you are doing the fact that it has allowed you to get rid of the pain and you are not comfortable throwing from a different arm slot.  If he, like many coaches, is an insecure vindictive JO, then maybe you just have to do your own thing.  One thing for sure, if you are going to develop as a player it is up to you.  Youth/high school coaches are almost always no help in this regard.  

Leftside is very possibly right about the guy being a moron.  On the other hand, he may have decided that the best thing a soft-throwing lefty could to is become a side-winder.  While it's generally not a good idea, IMO,  to change a pitcher's arm slot, it's also true in general that side-arm is less stressful on the arm.


In your case I'd talk to the guy away from the field - ask him why he thinks you should change your slot, talk to him about the work you've done to increase velocity, and make sure he knows about the pain you've been having.

There are some things we don't know or at least I don't. What size are you? What are your short and long term baseball goals?


It seems to me that this guy is trying to help you find a way to stay relevant as a pitcher. He is trying to find you a technique with guaranteed movement because you lack velocity. I know your velocity is improving but it is still below what you need for the next level. How effective are you now against your competition? Does your arm hurt because of the slot or because of the arm action he is teaching you? Do you buy into the lower arm slot? Could you raise it up some, maybe neutral sidearm and retain movement?


Can you tell him your arm is hurting and ask what he thinks you guys might do to help you maintain movement while taking some pressure off of your arm? The sub slot does provide an unusual visual presentation for the batter and sometimes wicked movement but it is not easy and usually only effective for short stints.


You need to let him know that arm action is painful but you should also be open to finding methods to be deceptive as a pitcher.


Has your arm pain abated and how does your arm feel when you throw from your more developed slot?


Good luck,



Hey bud,

First and foremost, let me tell you that I know first hand what it feels like to have a coach try and fix something that ain't broke. In college, I threw a sinking low-90s FB and an above-average CB but my coaches were constantly trying to change my arm action and get me to throw a SL that I could just never seem to get a "feel" for. I know they had the best intentions -- and some of their advice may have even been beneficial! -- but they just didn't go about it in the best way.

Here's what I think:

If your goal is to play beyond a low-level college program (if that) you absolutely need to resist your coach's desire to turn you into a "crafty lefty".

You're set to graduate in 2017. Which means you're at a premium stage in your life to make massive changes in your athletic ability.


There is absolutely no reason why you can't develop elite-level velocity in the next 1-2 years with the right kind of training. (I'm talking the kind of velocity that gives you the chance to play in college and/or beyond.) And, seeing as you're familiar with Austin Wasserman's and Driveline Baseball, you seem to be on the right track in that regard.

My advice would be to approach your coach in private and let him know that you have a desire to play baseball for a good college program and that you understand that improving your velocity is going to be a big part in making that happen. I would then mention that you've been feeling/seeing great improvements with your current program and that, although you're open to suggestions, you don't want to try to fix something that is not only NOT broken but actually seems to be working quite well for you at the moment.

And if you're worried you might upset your coach and you might lose playing time as a result, I would take the gamble on reduced playing time in the short-term for the sake of your long-term development.

Hope this helps and best of luck. And please let us know how things turn out.


Last edited by tavisbruce
This is becoming more and more of an issue.  At every amateur level.  How many parts helping the team win now vs. How many parts working toward your goal.  We have discussed that topic a few times here but not sure regarding mechanics.  I think you have to own your own mechanics.  I tell my pitchers we will have conversations.   I will make suggestions.   What they do from there is up to them.  It is their career or lack thereof.  Same with my son frankly.  But I never demand a change.  However I do let them know that their current level of success is not adequate for playing time.  Clearly your coach does not believe you have a future on the mound and is trying to make you a more effective hs pitcher.  And he may very well be right.  But what matters is what you believe in your heart.  If you have a dream and you are willing to work toward it, to do whatever it takes then you will accept not only a lack of playing time but even dismissal from the team.  You have to drive your own future and not  your coach.  But beware - there is a chance you won't make it and you will live with the regret you just didn't finish out your hs career.  Your call.  Good luck.

Originally Posted by 2020dad:

…However I do let them know that their current level of success is not adequate for playing time. …


I’m not sure how “level of success” equates to mechanics. When I hear success, I equate it to performance on the field such as ERA, WHIP, K:BB ratio, or something else measurable. But when I read your post, I got the sense that you were saying if a pitcher doesn’t have mechanics you feel are “correct”, he won’t be getting much time on the bump.

Do u have a Sunmer Team coach?   If so has he tried to help u w P or change your mechanics in anyway?  

If u have a good relationship w a second coach ask his advice on how to approach HS coach. 

If your on your own I would tell HS coach when u made changes u experienced pain so your not going that way. yes, u need to be respectful to your coaches, but it's u in pain. He needs to ask himself do I want to change this kid and deal w pain which will take him out of lineup, or go back and find another way to get more velocity out of his original mechanics.

good luck, keep us posted how it goes.

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