The most fundamental property of any pitch is its speed. In the graph below, the speed is shown on the vertical axis. Looking at pitches thrown by Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a game against the Dodgers last year, we see that there are some leisurely ones (curveballs, denoted by pink symbols) and some electric ones (fastballs, marked by red and green symbols):

Baseball Tutorials is the premier source on the web for free youth baseball drills and coaching tips. With over 758 articles, videos and step by step tutorials, covering everything the youth baseball coach needs to know—from hitting mechanics and fundamentals, to pitching technique, fielding drills, base-running drills, conditioning drills and coaching strategy. Visit the website for access to free youth baseball drill videos.
6. Arm speed: It is extremely important that you maintain similar arm speed with your curveball that you have with your fastball. A hitter reads arm speed. The matter of arm speed is obviously more important with a changeup than it is with a curveball, but it’s important for other reasons. Another way to get a tight rotation and hard downward movement with a curveball is to throw it with quicker arm speed. If two pitchers have the exact same curveball grip, mechanics, release, etc. but one throws it with quicker arm speed, the one with quicker arm speed will throw the curveball with more break, and thus the harder pitch to hit.
First and foremost, when you take the mound, the main thing that you need to focus on, is executing pitches. Thus doing so consistently, means that the results position you above the rest of the pack.  Now who doesn’t want that? Whether you are new to throwing the Slider, or you need to go back to the drawing board, hence this post/video will simplify your process dramatically.  You will not be able to find this basic yet dynamic information anywhere.  Believe me, I have looked.  Of all the Game Changing content that the Slider Domination Blog has provided for pitchers, this is the most important one yet. Very easily, this is How to Throw a Slider in Just 3 Simple Steps.  Throw the Slider consistently, and you will flat out DOMINATE THE COMPETITION!!

One thing I did with this pitch in college and in professional baseball was to always throw my two-seam fastball to the throwing-hand side of the plate and my four seam fastball to the glove-hand side of the plate. In other words, because I'm a righty, I'd throw two-seamers inside to right-handed batters and four-seamers away. I always liked how the feel of the grip of the two-seamer in my glove (when I was in my pre-pitch stance) let me know on a sub-conscious level that I was going inside on guy.

Throw this pitch with the same arm speed and body mechanics as a fastball, only slightly turn the ball over by throwing the circle to the target. This is called pronating your hand. (Think about this as giving someone standing directly in front of you a "thumbs down" sign with your throwing hand.) This reduces speed and gives you that nice, fading movement to your throwing-arm side of the plate.
Pitchers and catchers stand at regulation distance from each other. The catcher stands behind home plate, and a batter stands in the batter's box. The batter should alternate between a left-and right-handed batting stance after five pitches, but not take any swings. The catcher calls balls and strikes. Have the batter wear a helmet in this practice session.

First, a pitching drill should not be counterproductive. Second, it should not negatively impact any of the three components. For instance, if a drill is great for balance but hurts your natural timing, it's ineffective. Make sure the drill does not kill your momentum or train bad habits. This is often caused when a drill overly requires you to pause throughout the movements. The end result of training with these types of drills can be a slow, robotic release.
Place your index and middle fingers. Grip the baseball with your index and middle fingers placed tightly together across an outer seam of the ball located at the horseshoe or U-shape seam. For right-handers, place your middle finger across the right half of the seam. Left-handers should do the opposite: place your middle finger across the left half of the seam. This should position your fingers towards the outside of the ball (off-center).
Pitching is a connective chain of movements.  As you put this into action, you will notice the prerequisites of staying behind the ball as they continue on to the next 2 steps as well.  When you can stay behind the baseball, you will be in command of your pitches.  When you see a pitcher falling underneath the baseball as a result of mechanical flaws, you know bad things are going to happen.  Due to this mechanical breakdown, it is easy to foresee this before the ball even gets released.   When you do this step correctly, you will execute #2 correctly.
The slider is a cross between a fastball and a curveball. It’s harder than a curveball, but with less downward action. The slider has a smaller break with a tighter spin. Many times you can see a small dot in the baseball as it’s coming toward you. It’s important for pitchers, parents and coaches to learn a proper slider grip and to learn correct slider throwing technique to ensure and promote good arm health.
Strictly speaking, a curveball breaks more in the vertical plane than horizontally. Curveball masters can throw a “12–6” (think clock), purely vertical and do it anywhere from 70–90mph. More commonly, the ball drifts from 1–7ish, 2–8ish. If a ball breaks more laterally (horizontally), ie. 3–8, then it’s a slider, but thrown faster than a curve (80mph territory). If it just breaks laterally at more or less fastball speed (80–90), then it’s a cutter.
Throw the ball at half of regular speed to your partner when practicing. A really important part of throwing a curveball is ensuring that you get the direction of the spin correct and that you can repeat this at least 80% of the time. As such, throwing at half your regular speed is a good halfway point to get your action started but to minimize the variables you have to battle.[10]
The one-knee drill brings you more to the throwing position and allows you to work on your curveball without worrying about the lower half of your body. Once you and your partner have performed a dynamic warm-up, band work and stretched out your throwing distance, stand about 30 to 40 feet apart. Take a knee so your stride leg is in front and your hands are already separated, with the baseball in the throwing position.
Why does a curveball curve? How does a pitcher throw a changeup with the same arm speed as a fastball? Baseball is filled with buzzwords that are often used imprecisely. In this series of articles, Mike Richmond explores the baseball’s motion as it travels through the air: How does it behave, and what can a pitcher do to control it? This article looks at the slider to see what causes its very distinctive break.
The arm action on this pitch is a little abbreviated at the end. Instead of getting a nice long arc of deceleration and finishing throwing elbow outside of your opposite knee (as with your fastball), you'll want to bring your throwing-hand elbow to the opposite hip. This, of course, shortens your follow through, but allows you to really snap off the pitch.
This is a good partner drill to practice with a friend or teammate, as it will give you both an equal opportunity to practice improving your accuracy. Start by sitting cross-legged on the ground, facing each other, about 20 feet apart (gradually increase the distance to 30 feet as you get better). When you start, toss the ball back and forth, aiming at each other’s centers. The less the receiver has to move his arm to catch the ball, the more accurate the pitch.
To perform tuck jumps athletes will jump as high as they can in the air, while airborne athletes will tuck their knees into their chest. These jumps should be performed consecutively jumping, landing and immediately jumping back into the air and tucking the knees. Athletes cannot allow the resistance to alter their body positioning and need to maintain good spacing between the knees so the knees, hips, and ankles are all aligned. Athletes will perform 8-12 resisted tuck jumps for 3-4 sets before removing the Kbands and performing 2-3 unresisted sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Place your index and middle fingers. Grip the baseball with your index and middle fingers placed tightly together across an outer seam of the ball located at the horseshoe or U-shape seam. For right-handers, place your middle finger across the right half of the seam. Left-handers should do the opposite: place your middle finger across the left half of the seam. This should position your fingers towards the outside of the ball (off-center).
The difficulty with this pitch isn't from the pitch itself. In fact, most pitchers feel this grip gives them the most rotation – and most movement – of any breaking pitch. However, many pitchers who are learning this pitch for the first time, aren't comfortable with the "tucking" part. It's not super comfortable at first to tuck your index finger into the baseball.
In the world of sports power is defined as the combination of speed and strength. Adding more strength to an athlete will help increase an athletes ability to produce power. However, the greatest gains in power are made when both speed and strength are improved. For example, one athlete may be able to throw a baseball a certain distance, but the ball does not travel at a high speed. Whereas another athlete may be able to throw a baseball very fast, but the ball does not travel a great distance.
Gripping a curveball is simple. Place your thumb on the bottom seam of the baseball and then place your middle finger directly above your thumb; splitting the baseball in half with thumb and middle finger. Your index finger is placed right next to your middle finger. Make sure your index finger applies no pressure on the ball. When you start throwing the curveball you can experiment how tight you want to grip the ball. If your grip is too tight the ball can “squirt” on you or it will not make it across the plate. If your grip it too loose you will lose complete control and the ball won’t even know where it will go. Thumb and middle fingers are the only two fingers that apply pressure on the baseball.
In order to throw a proper Curveball, it is necessary to get "on top" of the ball and then spin it downwards. The grip is pretty simple: just put your index and middle fingers together and then place the middle finger alongside the Blitzball seam. You should get a good, tight grip on the seam with your middle finger so that you can really get some leverage on it.
The arm action on this pitch is a little abbreviated at the end. Instead of getting a nice long arc of deceleration and finishing throwing elbow outside of your opposite knee (as with your fastball), you'll want to bring your throwing-hand elbow to the opposite hip. This, of course, shortens your follow through, but allows you to really snap off the pitch.

Choose a grip (start with the standard finger on top of the ball variation) and see how it feels, and get some feedback from a qualified partner on how it looks. Then, tinker. Try others, and see which grip works best for you. Remember: NO grip is best, and any can produce an amazing curveball – it just depends on the person and his level of comfort with it, and his unique way of throwing.
One thing I did with this pitch in college and in professional baseball was to always throw my two-seam fastball to the throwing-hand side of the plate and my four seam fastball to the glove-hand side of the plate. In other words, because I'm a righty, I'd throw two-seamers inside to right-handed batters and four-seamers away. I always liked how the feel of the grip of the two-seamer in my glove (when I was in my pre-pitch stance) let me know on a sub-conscious level that I was going inside on guy.
Later that summer, the kid would commit to Vanderbilt University, better known as “Pitching U’ because of the plethora of first-round draft picks they were pumping out under the tutelage of pitching coach, Derek Johnson. (Derek Johnson is a member of the BaseballThinkTank Advisory Board and author of the best selling book, “The Complete Guide To Pitching.”)
It's always best to learn proper pitching mechanics early -- and then continue to refine those mechanics as a player gets older and advanced in the game of baseball. This starts in little league. These little league pitching drills can be used as a teaching and training tool to promote and develop proper pitching mechanics. Each little league pitching drill focuses on a specific aspect of the pitching delivery, allowing the pitcher to develop a feel for good mechanics that directly translates into better consistency in games, more strikes and increased pitching velocity.
When you throw the Curveball, you want to cock your wrist at a slight angle while keeping your middle finger high up on top of the ball so that you can roll your wrist downwards when you release the ball (almost like pulling down the string on a window shade). As a result, the Curveball should spin forward as it approaches the batter, giving the Blitzball a great downward movement. In terms of delivery, some people like to come almost straight over the top to get that great "12-to-6" / Barry-Zito-style drop (drops almost straight down) on their curveball, but this is difficult to do. Most people get better results with something closer to a three-quarters delivery for a "1-to-7" break (a pitch that drops and curves to the side). Try experimenting with different release points and arm slots to find the pitch that works most effectively for you.
A right-handed pitcher snaps his wrists in clockwise rotation when delivering a curveball (he grips the ball with his middle finger near the top of the ball and his thumb on the bottom---but releases the pitch with his thumb near the top).  A pitcher throws a slider with smaller wrist-break.  He imparts spin by gripping the ball "off-center" (that is, he grips the ball with his middle finger at "2 o'clock"-- instead of 12 o'clock)
Strictly speaking, a curveball breaks more in the vertical plane than horizontally. Curveball masters can throw a “12–6” (think clock), purely vertical and do it anywhere from 70–90mph. More commonly, the ball drifts from 1–7ish, 2–8ish. If a ball breaks more laterally (horizontally), ie. 3–8, then it’s a slider, but thrown faster than a curve (80mph territory). If it just breaks laterally at more or less fastball speed (80–90), then it’s a cutter.
When you throw the Curveball, you want to cock your wrist at a slight angle while keeping your middle finger high up on top of the ball so that you can roll your wrist downwards when you release the ball (almost like pulling down the string on a window shade). As a result, the Curveball should spin forward as it approaches the batter, giving the Blitzball a great downward movement. In terms of delivery, some people like to come almost straight over the top to get that great "12-to-6" / Barry-Zito-style drop (drops almost straight down) on their curveball, but this is difficult to do. Most people get better results with something closer to a three-quarters delivery for a "1-to-7" break (a pitch that drops and curves to the side). Try experimenting with different release points and arm slots to find the pitch that works most effectively for you.

Master the "two-seam" fastball. Once you effectively use the two-seam grip and arm motion, creating sinking action on the ball, you will be better prepared to throw sliders. For the two-seam fastball, place your index finger and your middle finger directly on the narrow seams of the ball -- the top of the "U" in the stitching. Put your thumb on the bottom of the ball, on the smooth surface of the ball directly under the fingers. Grip the ball tightly to create friction and movement. Use the same arm motion as on a regular or "four-seam" fastball.
The arm action on this pitch is a little abbreviated at the end. Instead of getting a nice long arc of deceleration and finishing throwing elbow outside of your opposite knee (as with your fastball), you'll want to bring your throwing-hand elbow to the opposite hip. This, of course, shortens your follow through, but allows you to really snap off the pitch.
Throw this pitch with the same arm speed and body mechanics as a fastball, only slightly turn the ball over by throwing the circle to the target. This is called pronating your hand. (Think about this as giving someone standing directly in front of you a "thumbs down" sign with your throwing hand.) This reduces speed and gives you that nice, fading movement to your throwing-arm side of the plate.
I have placed the long seam of the baseball in between my index- and middle-fingers, and I have put my thumb on the opposite seam underneath the baseball (as shown in the first picture above). Some baseball pitchers may find it more helpful to place their index finger along the seam of the baseball since the index finger is the one from which the slider is thrown.
Another property of pitches is their break. Most commonly, that is the difference between their trajectory and that of a ball thrown with the same initial velocity, but no spin. As you may recall from earlier articles in this series, a basic fastball breaks up, while a basic curveball breaks down. A pitcher’s arm angle can modify these motions, so that a righthanded pitcher’s (RHP’s) fastball moves tends to move toward third base, as well as up.

In this video I answer some questions about the King of the Hill Pitcher’s Trainer, one of which was “what type of pitching drills can you do on the King of the Hill?”.  If you like the King of the Hill, and I definitely suggest this product for pitchers of all ages, then you can check it out at King of the Hill.  I really love this product because it teaches pitchers how to properly and efficiently get the most energy out of their legs.
×