Lefty Slide Step

I haven’t gone through the entire index, so if this question has already been posted I apologize.

I am not a fan of the Slide Step for a left handed pitcher. I pitched, and coached, for years and found the loss of control and pitching speed negated any advantage the slide step my offer. It also seems like the greatest advantage of being a lefty is the ability to decide at the top of the leg kick whether to go to the plate or first.

Stating that, it is only my opinion. My son, who is also a lefty pitcher, is being pressured to adopt the slide step by his coach. What is the general opinion of other coaches and players on this board? Certainly, at the end of the day, he will do what the coach tells him, but if anyone has any science or other professional opinions I can share I would appreciate it. (unless I’m wrong of course, then I’ll just keep it to myself! lol!)

[quote=“mbosso”]
I am not a fan of the Slide Step for a left handed pitcher. I pitched, and coached, for years and found the loss of control and pitching speed negated any advantage the slide step my offer. It also seems like the greatest advantage of being a lefty is the ability to decide at the top of the leg kick whether to go to the plate or first.)[/quote]

I’m not a fan for LHP’s, either… or for any pitcher for that matter. Give me one motion (a modified slide step) all the time and let’s call it a day! For LHP’s, the key is deception. Two motions out of the stretch is just not necessary.

But, I know there are some guys that do it and teach it. Defend yourselves!! :slight_smile:

Thanks! For awhile there I was feeling like I missed the day slide stepping was taught at coaching school! :lol:

I was a righthanded sidearmer in my playing days, and I always used the slide-step. Not having a fast ball to speak of, I had to build a good repertoire of “snake jazz”, and I found that the use of the slide-step actually added some speed to my delivery. It seems to me that it really doesn’t matter whether a pitcher is righthanded, lefthanded or standing on his or her head; some will go to the high (or modified) leg kick, others witll go to the slide-step, and whatever works for the individual, they will go to it. What’s important is getting the ball over for strikes, keeping the hitters off balance and getting them out. And being a sidearmer, I used the crossfire extensively, and because of the slide-step I was able to keep the ball down in the strike zone, and the batters couldn’t do anything with it.
My old pitching coach noted that I used the slide-step, and he worked with me and showed me how to make the most of it. 8)

From a biomechanical perspective, a pitcher’s delivery is comprised of a sequence of events that need to occur in the proper sequence and with good timing in order to maximize performance.

When a pitcher uses a slide step, the lower half becomes much quicker in doing the lower half events particularly because the knee lift event is omitted. This alters the timing available for the upper half events and often results in sequencing problems (e.g. hips and shoulders rotating together instead of hips before shoulders). Sequencing problems can affect both performance and health. And all of this applies regardless of whether you’re a RHP or LHP.

Now, being able to go from the top of the knee lift to either 1B or the plate means stalling over he rubber much like in the old balance point drill. If you’re going to do this, you better get good a creating some momentum from a standstill while balancing on one leg. Of course, in my opinion, being able to go from the top of the knee lift to either 1B or to the plate tells me your focus is on picking off runners as opposed to holding runners close. I emphasize holding runners close over picking off runners.

No problem here. Because of something I learned ages ago about driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, and working fast, I found that the slide-step worked to my advantage—especially because I used the crossfire so much! :slight_smile:

I see your point on the balance point, however I found that the fact that I could go either way from the top of the kick kept runners close right up until the point I committed. For me the problem wasn’t getting momentum from the balance point, it actually helped me focus on using my legs more effectively and kept my body in better balance.

Still, every pitcher is different. For me the slide step would have been a major disadvantage unless I was trying to quick pitch a batter. Which I rarely did.

mbosso,

All good and valid points. This particular topic involves a lot of philosophy which can and will vary from person to person.

Just curious, have you had runners on 1B go on your first movement as opposed to waiting until they see you commit to the plate? If so, how did your approach work out?

I was able to adjust and throw to first. I was called for a balk less than a handful of times over the years because of this approach, but it was something I had to be conscience of. I had many more instances of runners going back to first as I was going to the plate.