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Coach Arnald Swift

George asks:

I am a right-handed, 12 year-old pitcher. I am trying to get a 2-seamer with good movement into a right-handed hitter. Please give me any tips or suggestions on how to get more "in" movement.

 Coach Swift answers:

This is a relatively difficult question to answer because I don't know how strong your arm is or your arm speed. But I can tell you that the way to do it correctly is by changing your grip and arm speed versus trying any type of twisting motion with your arm or wrist.

 You really don't have to try to throw breaking pitches just yet at your age. You will be very effective if you can throw strikes. Focus on control first and you'll be rewarded for your efforts.

 Now, as you've noticed with the two-seamer, you get different movement from the ball when you grip it along the seams with your index and middle finger. When you apply pressure with your index finger you'll be throwing a slider away from the right-hand hitters and into left-handers.

 To do what you are asking, you would move your fingers over to the inside of the ball and have your middle finger on one seam of the ball. When you throw it, using the same downward wrist snap as the fastball, the spin will try to take the ball into the right-handed batter. This is a very difficult pitch for a right-handed pitcher to throw with control, so make sure you practice throwing it before using it in a game.

 A better pitch to learn and master is the change-up, which is exceptionally effective and you just need to change your grip and use the same arm speed as your fastball.

 Most importantly, to stay on the correct development track to be a good pitcher the two most valuable things are location and varying pitch speeds. That will take you a long way, especially as you start to face better hitters. This philosophy, coupled with good mechanics, will save your arm from undo stress and allow you to pitch for as long as you want.

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