Best way to teach a slider to 13/14 yr old

I was a college pitcher and my slider was my out pitch, lots of K’s on 1-2/0-2 counts with the slider so naturally I am trying to get my son to be able to throw it as a hard breaking pitch. He has a good change and 12/6 curve but the curve is slow, too slow IMHO…so trying to teach him to throw the curve harder without throwing it into the ground and to teach him the slider…his “slider” he throws now is almost more of a faster curve or should i say slurve…I have not see the hard fastball look with late dive from him…He gets ahead of a ton of hitters into 0-2 1-2 counts but often fails to but them away which leads to bloop hits and defensive errors that could be avoided…Both seem very natural to me to throw but I am getting frustrated in his lack of feel on these pitches…looking for some pointers…thanks

Okay, so he has a slow curve—you don’t have to worry about that one. As far as the slider is concerned, the best I can do is tell you how I learned mine. When I said to Ed Lopat that I just wanted to ask him something about that pitch, his response was to draw me aside and show me how to throw a good one. He told me, “Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it.” He showed me the offcenter grip he used—index and middle fingers very close together, middle finger on one seam, thumb underneath for support (almost like cutting the ball in half there), and he demonstrated the wrist action which is much easier than for a curve. Kind of like a chef flipping a pancake or a crepe. Then he handed me the ball and said “Go ahead, try it.” I worked with it for about ten minutes, just simulating throwing it because I didn’t want to lose the ball, throwing sidearm as I always did, and he watched me and made some mental notes. Then he took the ball from me and said "That’s it. You’ve got the idea."
I worked on that pitch all winter—this is not one you can get overnight, so patience is the key. And the slider became my strikeout pitch. I picked up a couple of variations of it, and you should have seen what happened to the batters as they tried to get a piece of that pitch!
Above all, don’t push or pressure the kid. Like so many others it’s a “feel” delivery and he has to find his own way of getting the feel for it or any other pitch. :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

wait until he’s 16 or 17…bury the curve in the dirt for now and keep your son healthy.

^^ i agree with the man above me. Please do not teach him how to throw a slider. Its one of the worst if not the worst pitch to throw in baseball. That and the splitter. To much stress on the elbow UCL ligament. you may be able to teach him a true 12-6 verticle curve …

I blew my elbow out the first time throwing a hard slider and i was in pretty good shape and 21yrs old. Ive had 2 all together. Trust me NO slider till he matures !

interesting, I threw a slider from 16 - 21 when I finished and never had any arm troubles with it. I was a 87-91 guy with the fastball too and 81-83 with the slider. Anyway first I have heard of it being bad for the arm. My son is 14 and will be a freshman next year.

Appreciate the insight.

I’ve thrown sliders since I was 13 or 14 with no problems and I just taught my 14 year old to throw one - not particularly harmful if thrown properly; a bit difficult to get down well, but that’s what bullpens are for!

Look at the scientific proof as well, i will not agree with you and would seriously debate that throwing a slider at such a young age is very harmful and if your throwing a true slider there is definately stress to the ucl ligament ! your going to blow his arm out or increase the risk 10 fold. slider and splitter worst pitches on the elbow.

actually the more i think about it anything where you snap the wrist is bad for the elbow, except for maybe the 12-6 curve.

As I mentioned earlier—you do NOT snap the wrist for the slider. You just turn it over. The slider, when thrown correctly, is actually easier on the arm and shoulder than just about anything else. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s definitely a “feel” pitch.
Someone mentioned the splitter, and here again he quoted a a nice little piece of misinformation. Fact: The splitter is indeed a first cousin to the forkball, but a lot easier to throw because it doesn’t require the extreme grip of said forkball. You grip the splitter like a two-seamer but with the index and middle fingers just off the seams—and you throw it the same way you would a fast ball, nothing complicated. 8)