Slide step


#1

does anyone have any advice on throwing using a slide step. usually when I do one I have close to my regular velocity but cant control the ball. it is usually high and away to a RH batter. could this be from rushing my mechanics


#2

Sounds like it.

You need to break your hands sooner since your glove-side foot will plant sooner (due to the lack of the leg lift) and thus your shoulders will start to turn sooner.


#3

I would definately say it sounds like rushing it. Just curious if you have been able to throw a curveball at all from the slidestep. Personally I can’t, and on a side note I find if I’m rushing or opening early, trying to throw a change or curve is the instant red-flag to tell me I’m doing something wrong.

I prefer a “knee to knee” lift, it gets the ball there with plenty of time, just hold runner using differnet moves and timing, and you’ll be fine. A rarely will a catcher throw a runner out when a pitcher slide steps but wouldn’t if it was knee to knee (in my experience). Now a full leg kick is a completely different story, but if you can’t get comfortable with knee to knee, use it. Everything seems to stay in sync better.


#4

thanks for the reply but could you please explain to me what a knee to knee is, I havent heard of it before.


#5

Coach Ellis described and explained this very well in his book, so I have to give all the credit to him first off.

But anyways, it is like this.

You will want to have a weight distribution of about 40/60 (this will allow quicker to home, but still having weight back)
Basically from there you pick your front leg up just a bit. I go a bit above the back knee, but not much higher, while at the same time I add a light inward him cock.
Bring the leg down and out, and continue as usual.

With practice you can get the ball to home with plenty of time to spare for your catcher, and it is so much easier to stay consist while switching from the windup to stretch, and from fastball to offspeed.


#6

OK thanks I’ll start working on it


#7

just a personal preference of mine, and if the slide isn’t working great, it would definatley be worth a try.


#8

Problems with the use of the slide step are usually related to the different timing involved. With the slide step, the lower body becomes quicker than the upper body. Thus, you need to do something to help the upper body keep up with the lower body. You either speed up the upper body or slow down the lower body.

To speed up the upper body, you can do things like breaking the hands sooner or shortening the path the throwing hand takes to get into throwing position (e.g. take your hand straight back and up instead of down and up). To slow down the lower body, you can add some knee lift back in or you can take your knee back instead of up which makes the lower body take more time while not looking so obvious to a base runner.

HOWEVER, if you can get good at getting your hips going quicker, then you can be just as quick to the plate using your normal knee lift as with the slide step. This means you don’t have to use the slide step. Why try to get good at pitching two different ways (with two different timings) when you only need to get good at pitching one way?


#9

I’m 6’5", but I am relatively quick to the plate and don’t have many people steal successfully on me. I’m also a RHP. When I come set I turn my lead foot inward to close my hips a little, that means I don’t have to waste time cocking my body once I committ to the plate. Also, i only use a slide-step if I’m throwing a fastball or cutter. When you slide step, you are more likely to hang a breaking ball. It’s all about footwork too. If you have a good move to first, then you will make runners think twice about even attempting to steal and then you’ve nipped it in the bud and you don’t have to worry too much about them anymore…no one wants to get picked off twice!!