I have an average fastball, a Great Curveball, and a mediocre change-up and I have been working on a slider. But it hasn’t been working. It has minimum break and I can’t really control it. I was wondering what I should do. Is it my grip? Is it the degree that I’m doing my wrist snap? Should I do the wrist snap in more of a sideways snap? Thank you.
For me, the slider is not so much of a snapping pitch. Your fingers do more of a roll off the side of the ball. Personally, my slider breaks later, the closer to the back of the ball my grip is and the more neutral my wrist is positioned (lack of pronation or suppination). The more I suppinate my wrist, the slower the pitch and the softer the break.
I grab my slider on the right seam of the horse shoe—it just works best for me there based on my arm angle. Often pitchers have to change their grips to compensate for their arm angles and get the proper rotation on the ball.
Experimentation is often the path to YOUR slider.
Eddie Lopat—the guy who taught me the slider many moons ago—instructed me thus: “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 and the middle finger just touching one seam, thumb underneath for support—and demonstrated the wrist action, then handed me the ball and said “Go ahead, try it.” Now, I threw my curveball with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap, so all I had to do was ease up on it. You probably have some other way to do it; experiment with it until you find what works for you, as Coach Paul said. However you do it, the slider is a very nice pitch indeed—and if you throw sidearm you can crossfire it. I did that all the time, and you should have seen the batters explode at the plate with invectives, imprecations and a whole compendium of cusswords because they couldn’t hit it for sour apples. It was my strikeout pitch for many years.
Reed, no offense but you’re a freshman in high school. IMO you need to work harder on developing the fastball and improving the change. Worry about adding another breaking pitch later.
Since the slider is more of a velocity pitch than the curve, I agree with Turn22: develop the fastball and improve the change.