How To Throw A Slider
How to throw a slider – If you’re a baseball pitcher and want to make your pitches better, you should learn how to throw a slider. It is a tricky pitch that moves a lot and gives batters a hard time. Many young pitchers can throw fastballs and changeups, and now they are adding curveballs and sliders, too.
In this article, we will explain all about how to throw a slider, like how to hold it and when to let it go so that you can use this awesome pitch in your games.
What Is A Slider Pitch In Baseball?
A slider pitch in baseball is a super tricky move by the pitcher. It is like a secret weapon. They use it when they are winning in the game and want to make the batter confused. If the pitcher does it right, the batter might swing and miss or wobble around.
Imagine a slider like a special kind of fast throw. It is not as fast as the regular fastballs, but it is faster than a curveball. Moreover, here is the tricky part: it changes its direction.
When a pitcher throws a slider to a right-handed batter, it goes down and away from them. If the batter is a lefty, it moves towards the left. At first, it looks like a regular fastball, but then it surprises the batter by suddenly moving out of the strike zone. That is when the batter takes a big swing and misses the ball. It is a cool move in baseball.
How To Hold A Slider
Just like when you are learning a new pitch, you need to begin by holding the slider pitch the right way. Anyone can learn to throw it, but those who hold it correctly can make it look like a fast throw that suddenly changes direction.
There is no single way to grip a slider. There are lots of different slider grips, but we will tell you about the most common ones.
How To Throw A Slider – Step By Step
To become awesome at something, all you need is practice. It is the same when you want to throw a tricky slider pitch. It is a bit like a curveball, but it has some differences. Many young baseball players learn the regular slider, but some want to master a knuckle slider, which is a twist on the pitch.
Throwing any pitch in baseball boils down to three main parts. First, there is the wind-up, which is the same for any pitch. Then comes the grip, which we talked about earlier for the slider. The last part is how you actually let go of the ball. That part has a bigger impact on how the pitch turns out than some people might realize.
How to Let Go of a Slider
When you are learning to throw a slider pitch, here is a tip: bend your wrist a bit when you are releasing the ball. This way, you put some pressure on the outer part of the baseball with your index finger.
This small change in how you throw the ball will make it spin really well because it will roll off your index finger, which is on the same side as your thumb. Just be careful not to twist your wrist and get under the ball. If you do that, your slider will not spin the way it should.
Does Throwing A Slider Hurt Your Arm
Pitchers can hurt their arms even if they are just throwing fastballs. When it comes to special pitches like sliders, the risk of getting hurt can be even higher. That is why it is super important to practice and throw sliders the right way.
Young pitchers often get injured because they either use their arms too much or have bad throwing techniques. It is not just about the kind of pitch they throw.
A recent report from North Carolina State University found that the relationship between age, the type of pitch, and the risk of getting hurt is tricky. However, there is not clear evidence that throwing breaking pitches at a young age is as risky as throwing many innings or having a history of shoulder or arm injuries.
So, along with using your arm too much and having bad technique, throwing curveballs and sliders when you are young can increase the risk of getting injured.
Curveball vs Slider
People sometimes mix up the slider and the curveball because they move a little differently.
When you are thinking about how to hold a baseball slider, make sure to grip it firmly between your thumb and your middle or index finger. This way, the ball will slide off your fingers smoothly to make it move sideways, not down. This sets it apart from the curveball, which usually goes more downward.
Knowing these differences between these pitches and getting really good at throwing a slider in baseball can give a pitcher a big advantage over batters. If you are hard to predict, it makes it tough for batters to know what to expect.
- It is easier to control because the break is not as strong.
- It is faster than a curveball.
- It tricks the batter more because it breaks sharply and later.
- Batters find it hard to figure out how the ball is spinning.
- Some pitchers find it easier to learn.
- If you do not use the right technique (like with any pitch), it can hurt your arm and elbow, which might lead to serious injuries.
- A slider that does not break properly is basically like a slow fastball and can be an easy target for a big hit.
- Young players often mix up the two pitches and end up throwing something in between, which is not very effective.
When to Use Your Slider
As a pitcher, knowing the right time to throw your slider can really help you in the game. One good time is when you are ahead in the count, like 0-2 or 1-2. Throwing a slider then can surprise the batter and make them miss the ball or hit it weakly.
Another smart moment to use the slider is when the batter is expecting a fast pitch based on what you have thrown before. The slider is difficult; a late move can mess up the batter’s timing.
Finally, if a batter has had trouble with sliders before or is not good with breaking balls, it is a good plan for the pitcher to take advantage of that weakness.
A slider can be a super useful pitch, but you have to throw it right. In this beginner’s guide on how to throw a great slider, we have told you everything you need to know. You should have the knowledge to throw a slider in baseball, from how to hold it to the mistakes to avoid. Now, go out on the pitcher’s mound and try out these tips.