With my fastball, I'm trying to keep my two fingers behind the ball as long as I can to pull down on it and create as much backspin as possible. With the curve, instead of trying to stay behind, it's almost the opposite. At the very end of the release, you try to get your hand in front of the ball to create that topspin, which makes it break. You're rolling your hand forward and down off the side of the ball as you snap your wrist.
Coach Phil grew up in Rye, NY where he graduated from Rye Country Day School before heading to Northwestern University on a baseball scholarship. Phil was drafted by Major League organizations on three separate occasions: first by the Detroit Tigers as a High School Senior, then following his Junior year at Northwestern by the Atlanta Braves, and finally by the Cleveland Indians after his graduation in 1999.Most recently, Phil pitched for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. His years of pro experience and his commitment to studying the art (and science) of pitching give him a real understanding of what it takes to be a successful pitcher at any level.
A slider is a breaking pitch that is thrown faster and generally with less overall movement than a curveball. It breaks sharply and at a greater velocity than most other breaking pitches. The slider and the curveball are sometimes confused because they generally have the same purpose — to deceive the hitter with spin and movement away from a pitcher's arm-side. (When a pitch seems to toe the line between the two, it is referred to in slang as a "slurve.")
Michael grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, but rebelled against his parents by rooting for the Orioles (eventually, he came to his senses). After receiving his Ph.D. in Astronomy from UC Berkeley, he spent five years as a post-doc at Princeton working on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He now lives in Rochester, NY, studying supernovae and listening to baseball games far too often.
I learned this pitching drill from Coach Scott Birchler who was a high school coach at our rival high school but as I got older and made the transition from player to coach, he helped me a lot. This pitching drill that he taught me is great for any pitcher who wants to be more consistent with their curveball or slider and fixes two of the biggest problems in guys who throw these pitches, dropping that elbow and not finishing the pitch.