In the stretch

Is it okay or good to mix up slide steps and normal leg kicks (like in the windup) when your in the stretch to “toy” with the runner a little or should you just always use slide steps?

for the first time the runner gets on, I find out if team is a highly stealing team, or not. I start with a fast stride. If they happen to not steal, then occasionally go back to your high kick.

I have my pitchers show a slide step early just to let the other team know we’ve got it but then avoid it as much as possible.

When I was pitching, I used the slide-step all the time. For some strange reason I found that it enabled me to speed up my delivery to the plate, and the batters couldn’t set themselves—especially because I used the crossfire so much of the time. :slight_smile:

I’ll have to check this, but I’m pretty sure that my son slide steps every pitch when he is throwing out of the stretch. The only place where he might not is when there is a base runner on third and no place else. He might be able to switch it up some when we move from 80 feet bases to 90 feet, but for now our catchers need all the time the can get.

It doesn’t seem to affect him negatively, however.

Very true. The one time when the pitcher can go to the full windup, rather than pitch from the stretch, is with a runner on third (first and third, second and third, bases loaded)—that runner doesn’t dare take a big lead, because he’ll get nailed! :slight_smile:

No. You should always use just one move out of the stretch – a modified slide step. It should be fast enough while still allowing you to get your arm into proper position with your body upon release. With a true slide step, the arm usually ends up chasing the lower body, which gets too far out in front. This causes flat off-speed pitches and increased stress on the arm.

In the Cubs organization, Larry Rothschild (the MLB pitching coach) instituted a no slide step policy. So we all went with a modified slide step, but most of us were doing that anyways.

I’d like to chime in on this one. The statement above is as accurate as it gets with the “true” slide step. The “slide and glide” as some may call it, from the set, can be a real problem for a pitcher who’s either heavy in the bulk department (belt line) and pitchers coming off of a long stretch of days off for whatever reason. From my experience, this posture - slide step from the set, is a way of the body to holding back due to something else - soreness, sprains, stiffness, etc., when the pitcher knows better and/or has had professional training that directs him/her to do otherwise. By the way, this “move” from the set, can tip off an experienced pitching coach that something else in the wind with his guy, while everyone else see’s little concern.

Young pitchers with very little if any real core strenght can find themselves bending over too much at the mid section while progressing towards home with their delivery - thus, stressing out the shoulders and pitching arm with loads that both weren’t designed to take. I also don’t like the last minute “twist” to the small of the back (spine) that this posture enlists.

Also, some advocates support this delivery move (slide step from the stretch), saying that it helps keeps the pitcher closed longer. First off, this “keeping closed thing” is talked to - to death, and it’s not truely understood by many in the amateur game, much less shown or explained to youngsters properly. In any event, any benefit(s) associated with this posture move is off set big time by Steven’s remarks, above - AND HE’S BEEN THERE.

I understand and totally support Coach Rothschild’s policy - he is highly respected and knows his stuff - in my opinion.

If any youngster dosen’t understand the difference between the moves described and disussed here - SAY SO. Jump into the conversation and ask what is it that you want to know - it’s that important.

Coach B.