So, why do I switch pitch?

So many coaches and instructors have told me "eventually you will have to pick a side".  Every time I hear that it makes me determined to prove I am better than any "normal" lopsided pitcher.  My father has always said, "you can achieve anything I want, including switch pitching", and "old-school conventional thinking gets you old-school conventional results".  In fact, I honesty don't understand why more players don't pitch with two arms.​

 

Each game, ambidextrous pitching has substantial advantages over using just one arm -- not to mention the 2020 new MLB rules limiting pitcher changes to once every 3 batters.

What I have learned
  • I have learned a tremendous amount of information from 10 years of ambidextrous pitching:

  • If the coach tracks individual game batter splits combined with how fatigued each arm, this is ideal.  

  • I've been switch pitching for 10 years and have learned how to manage and optimize my arms in games, bullpens and practices. 

  • One of the biggest factors in pitching is self-confidence and many times, one side is better than the other. 

  • One huge advantage to both-hand pitching is my confidence which comes from having two pitching arms, whereas I know that if I am not feeling it on one side, I can always switch to the other side.  In short, ambi-pitching can take more coordination with any new coach, as they want to understand how and when I switch.  But, if the coach takes the time to learn how two arms together can beat the batting team, the coach will become very comfortable and embrace the incremental tool. 

  • Switch-pitching is easier than switch hitting.  I don't understand why it is not utilized more. 

What I Do in Games

I only use a few rules regarding which way I pitch. I usually pitch lefty to lefty-batters and pitch lefty when someone is on first base.  After that, I try to track how I pitched (lefty or righty) the previous batter's at-bat, and I look for opportunities to take advantage of that information.  For example, if I dominated the batter the first time through, I will stick with the same arm assuming no one is on first base and that arm feels good.  On the other hand (literally), if he hit me righty last time around, I may switch to my left and show different angles.  

 

What I Do in Practices

I typically throw lots of righty in the infield, playing short or third base, so I actually long-toss more with my left than my right.  This is because I want to equally stress and exhaust each arm to strengthen it.  To get enough hard throws in each week, I take into account how much I need to do with each arm and backwards plan into how much to long toss.  I use a number system to quantify and communicate to my dad how hard we need to work each arm each day.

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©2019 BY JON MORGAN SHIELDS, AMBIDEXTROUS PITCHER. PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM

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