All my coaches are encouraging me to use the slide step when pitching in the stretch, but I really hate it. I have no velocity when I throw from the slide step, and I don’t feel comfortable. Should I keep working on the slide step? Or should I go back to the leg kick while in the stretch?
I’d be listening to my coach, or showing him I can hold runners better another way (Super pick off or something).
Redsox you are not alone i hate slide stepping because i have bad velocity doing it … to me its like you have to use more of your arm to throw then your legs… thats just to me what it looks like
If you’re throwing properly from the slide step there should be little difference in velocity. Make sure that you’re first movement isn’t just straight to the plate so that you can be quick.
Think of the slide step as an abbreviatation of your regular leg kick. Lift your leg at the same angle as your normal kick, just lift it to a shorter height. When you lift your leg, bring it in toward your body a bit so that you get a bit of a “load” while your hips are moving toward the plate.
This will help you throw in a similar manner as your normal delivery. Since your lower half is moving quicker, your arm needs to move a bit quicker too.
Another way of throwing with the slide step is to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and almost click your front heel with your back heel and then step and throw. You will be plenty quick to the plate without sacrificing your power.
The problem a lot of pitchers have with the slide step is the mindset of being quick to the plate. Just understand that abbreviating the leg kick will take care of your time to the plate. You just have to worry about making it feel like a normal delivery. And the more you practice, the more comfortable it will become. Don’t forget, most of our most important pitches take place with men on base, so practicing from the stretch/slide step may be more important than practicing from the wind up.
I would only use the slide step if you think you’re catcher is worth it.
If you’ve got a catcher with a poor arm, chances are likely that the guy’s gonna steal second anyway.
If you’ve got a catcher with a strong arm, he might gun the guy out anyway.