Types Of Pitches: Slider
In this article, you'll learn how to grip and throw the slider.
The slider is the third fastest pitch in baseball. (The No. 1 fastest is the four-seam fastball and No. 2 is the two-seam fastball.)
It's important for pitchers, parents and coaches to learn the proper slider grip and correct throwing technique of the slider to ensure and promote healthy and successful pitching careers.
The slider is gripped like a two-seam fastball, but held slightly off-center.
When thrown, try to manipulate the pitch to come off of the thumb-side of your index finger alone -- NOT your index- and middle- fingers like the two-seam fastball -- because a two-finger release will actually balance the pitch and reduce the spin you are looking for.
Most good slider pitchers grip the outer third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand's thumb-side upon release of the baseball.
This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer half of the ball with the index finger, but avoid any twisting of the wrist upon release.
I have placed the long seam of the baseball in between my index- and middle- fingers, and I have put my thumb on the opposite seam underneath the baseball (as shown in the picture on the left).
Some baseball pitchers may find it more helpful to place their index finger along the seam on the baseball since the index finger is the one from which the slider is thrown.
The key with the slider is to hold the ball slightly off-center (on the outer third of the baseball). Remember to slightly cock your wrist, but don't stiffen it. That way, you can still get good wrist-snap upon release. If your wrist is slightly cocked to the throwing hand's thumb side, the wrist-snap will enable the pitcher to have the pitch come off of the thumb-side of his index finger which, in turn, promotes good spin on the ball.
The rest is simple: the pitch should work for itself.
REMEMBER: THERE SHOULD BE NO TWISTING OF THE ARM OR ELBOW WITH THIS PITCH!
The movement on the pitch comes from the baseball spinning off of the index finger from the outside of the baseball -- NOT twisting the hand underneath.
The slider arm speed remains the same as the fastball arm speed.