How To Throw A Slider

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					                       How To Throw A Slider Reliably And Properly

 When it comes to pitching, one of the most well liked questions that is frequently asked is how to
throw a slider correctly.

There are two fundamental components to each pitch, and just like with each pitch, when learning
how to throw a slider, you should first understand the proper grip, and then understand the right

Most widely, a slider is gripped with the index finger and middle finger touching and the middle
finger pressed against the seams of the baseball at one of the two, large cupped ends. Your ring
finger and pinky should be off to one side and not making any contact with the baseball. Even
though your index finger is making contact with the baseball, there should be noticeably more
pressure placed on the ball by your middle finger and your thumb.

The slider is thought of as a speed pitch, and is thrown using your fast ball arm speed. For
purposes of demonstrating the proper release point, I would point to 2 different positions. The first
is a palm down hand position, which is the conventional release point for a fastball. The second is
frequently referred to as a karate chop position, and is the conventional release point for a

When teaching someone how to throw a slider, I really like to describe the proper release point as
being the midpoint of the palm down fastball release point and the full karate chop release point of
a normal curveball. With the natural outside-in action that this arm angle produces, The middle
finger applying force on the seam produces a cutting revolution through the centre of the ball
which is exactly consistent with the angle of the forearm, wrist, and hand. The simplest mistake to
make on this pitch isn't staying on top of the ball all the way thru release, or asserted an alternate
way, coming back to palm down position before release, junking the effect made by the angle of
the forearm, wrist, and hand.

A slider, when thrown correctly by a right-handed pitcher, will cut away from a right handed batter
and cut in on a left-handed batter. The opposite effect is true for a left-handed pitcher throwing a
slider. A good rough guide for the average predicted movement of a good slider is six inches
across and 6 inches down. When teaching somebody how to throw a slider, the best pitching
coaches will ordinarily recommend that the slider be anywhere from 9-12 MPH slower than one's
best fastball.

One last caution and it is linked to youth pitchers. A slider is maybe one of the most wearing
pitches on anyones arm and should not even be introduced until age 13 at the earliest. Coaches
will routinely be asked by players younger than this how to throw a slider, and they should all be
clear about its long-term risks and discourage its use.
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