As a fairly new fan to baseball back in the late 1970's and early 1980's I enjoyed watching pitchers like Kent Tekulve and Dan Quisenberry pitch with their submarine deliveries. At the time, I remember hearing that pitching that way is a more natural motion for the arm and shoulder, and would be less likely to cause injury.

Now, decades later I find myself coaching youth baseball. I considered teaching sidearm and even submarine delivery. However, other coaches have warned me that such deliveries can be harmful to young players. Is this true?

1 Answer 1


This is anecdotal, so keep that in mind, but as a young pitcher, I threw out my shoulder (some undiagnosed rotator cuff issue probably) by throwing overhand.

All I wanted to do in the world was pitch, and my coaches were idiots, so they let me keep pitching even though I was in pain.

Gradually I switched first to sidearm and then to full submarine. Two things happened:

  1. My accuracy increased dramatically with no loss of velocity

  2. The pain virtually stopped. I could pitch 3 innings easy (which is what I was pitching at the time)

Long term - I have a rotator cuff injury now (but it's from co-sleeping with my son, not sports related) - and I'm 38 and still play softball.

I'd check out what the experts say, but for what it's worth, it worked for me.

  • Co-sleeping with your son gave you a rotator cuff injury? That's weird. Then again I thought my kid had given me a concussion once when we were co-sleeping ... I got kicked in the head! Later concluded it was an inner ear problem.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 4:16
  • @GreenMatt - lol - in my case, I was so worried that I’d roll over on him, I had my arm permanently in a funny position, and it began to hurt over time. I’d sleep with my arm behind his head, while on my back, so that I’d really have to work at it to roll over.
    – dgo
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 4:27

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