The drill is used to develop great pitcher control by having the pitcher throw strikes at varying distances. The drill has a catcher set at a stationary plate. The plate never moves. The pitcher should begin throwing at a distance 1/2 of his normal pitching distance. You should have 6-8 distance markers with the first being at his starting point and the longest being twice his normal pitching distance. The markers should be at 10 foot intervals and in a straight line with the plate. The object of the drill is to develop control by gradually moving toward and away from the targeted strike zone. The pitcher is required to throw 1-3 strikes from each marker before moving to the next. The catcher serves as the umpire. Variations of this drill may be to have 1-3 pitchers working and competing against each other. The drill teaches them to work fast, concentrate, and execute a perfect pitch. Make sure your pitchers are in condition for this drill. They will find that throwing strikes from longer distance requires great mechanics and builds arm strength. Make sure your players stretch and warm-up first.

Grip this pitch softly, like an egg, in your fingertips. There should be a "gap" or space between the ball and your palm (as shown in the middle picture). This is the key to throwing a good, hard four-seam fastball with maximal backspin and velocity: A loose grip minimizes "friction" between your hand and the baseball. The less friction, of course, the quicker the baseball can leave your hand.

A well-timed curveball can be highly beneficial to pitchers, but a curveball is pretty useless if the batter knows it's coming so that he or she has time to adjust to the swing. For that reason, it's important that pitchers not only master the grip and motion of the curveball but also the secrecy of the grip itself, which is necessary for fooling the batter.
Your next indoor baseball practice is a great place to train your accuracy with a helpful and effective drill from the mound. To run this drill, you’ll need a catcher and an additional teammate to stand in the batter’s box. Your teammate should be carrying a bat and wearing a batting helmet, but they won’t be swinging at any pitches. Instead, they’re serving as a point of reference for your aim.

a slider spins more toward the vertical axis and hence tend to move across the horizontal plane with a slight to moderate downward angle (otherwise it’s a fat pitch, not a slider) L to R from the vantage of the mound for a LHP and R to L for RHP. A great R hand slider will look like a fastball inside to a RH batter and wind up moving away and down from him so the catcher catches it on the low outside corner of the plate and the batter is completely fooled and half way back to the dugout by then after whiffing at it. A curve spins toward the horizontal axis so that the rotation produces downward force (bernoulli) and hence it “breaks” or curves more than “slides”. A great curve will break 12 to 6 or down the face of a clock. A great slider is more 2 to 7 for comparison. Both wickedly effective pitches when thrown in the right count and settings.


Your next indoor baseball practice is a great place to train your accuracy with a helpful and effective drill from the mound. To run this drill, you’ll need a catcher and an additional teammate to stand in the batter’s box. Your teammate should be carrying a bat and wearing a batting helmet, but they won’t be swinging at any pitches. Instead, they’re serving as a point of reference for your aim.
Players get on one knee about 45 to 55 feet from each other, kneeling foot on upside-down 10-gallon bucket. The pitcher with the ball will rotate his shoulder toward his throwing partner, bring his arm back with his hand on top of the baseball, use a good circular arm motion, and throw the ball, and popping up and over the bent stride leg, making sure the pitcher bends his elbow and finishes throwing elbow past the opposite knee.
As a curveball flies through the air, the spin creates an imbalance of air pressure on either side of the ball. According to Bernoulli's principle, this imbalance of air pressure creates lift. When applied to a spinning object, the Magnus Effect holds that the force of lift generated will cause the spinning ball to move in the direction of lower pressure.
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.
For example, physical forces and properties, such as gravity, friction, velocity, acceleration, and momentum, are constantly at work when a ball is thrown and subsequently hit by a bat. When it comes to a curveball, though, the spin put on the ball by the pitcher brings a couple of other scientific principles into play: Bernoulli's principle and the Magnus Effect.
Following the tuck jumps athletes will continue the youth pitching drill by performing alternating split jumps. Athletes will begin in a lunging position with one foot out in front of the other while maintaining a high chest. Athletes front leg should stay at around a 90 degree angle throughout the explosive pitching drill. From this starting position athletes will use an explosive upward arm action to help them explosively jump in the air and switch feet, athletes should land with the opposite foot forward. Continue this jumping and switching process for 3-4 resisted sets of 8-12 repetitions followed by 2-3 unresisted set of 8-12 reps.
Launching a great pitch requires good timing, and lots of control during the leg kick. New pitchers tend to fall forward too soon on follow-through, rather than staying on top of the baseball. This balance drill gets pitchers to practice holding their leg kick before full delivery. It keeps the pitcher in a position to maintain control, rather than rushing the follow-through. Slowing down the leg kick will ultimately help a pitcher to deliver straighter, faster balls, with more power and poise.
Launching a great pitch requires good timing, and lots of control during the leg kick. New pitchers tend to fall forward too soon on follow-through, rather than staying on top of the baseball. This balance drill gets pitchers to practice holding their leg kick before full delivery. It keeps the pitcher in a position to maintain control, rather than rushing the follow-through. Slowing down the leg kick will ultimately help a pitcher to deliver straighter, faster balls, with more power and poise.

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.
Zito grips the ball with his index and middle fingers straddling the seam. "I want to get on top of the ball," he says. "When I release it, I force those two fingers down hard. That creates the torque on the seams, which causes rotation and spin. I also don't want to get my arm angle too high because that will take away the ball's bite -- I want to maintain a three-quarter arm slot."
A slider is the third fastest pitch in baseball. (The No. 1 fastest is a four-seam fastball and No. 2 is a two-seam fastball.) It's important for pitchers, parents and coaches to learn a proper slider grip and to learn correct throwing technique of a slider to ensure and promote arm-health. A slider is gripped like a two-seam fastball, but held slightly off-center.
This simple drill keeps the weight back while in the wind-up. Once the pitcher gets used to it, he can develop a nice natural flow, rock, turn, raise, drop, raise and pitch. Then alternate the drill every other pitch. Pitchers who are comfortable with it, can even do it between innings for a pitch or two just to reinforce their proper piece and keep from rushing.
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.
There are several versions of the Slider, but we will illustrate the cut-fastball version (aka a “Cutter”) because it’s the easiest for most people to learn and throw. The Cutter is gripped similarly to a Two-Seam Fastball (index or middle finger along the Blitzball seam), except the two fingers should be closer together and the ball should be held with an off-center grip (towards the outside half of the ball).
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.
Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, he is now a professional scout with the Colorado Rockies. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier
There are several versions of the Slider, but we will illustrate the cut-fastball version (aka a “Cutter”) because it’s the easiest for most people to learn and throw. The Cutter is gripped similarly to a Two-Seam Fastball (index or middle finger along the Blitzball seam), except the two fingers should be closer together and the ball should be held with an off-center grip (towards the outside half of the ball).
Typically, it's only a good pitch if you've got bigger hands. That's because the pitch itself should be "choked" deep in the hand. This is how splitters get their downward movement. Your index and middle fingers should be placed on the outside of the horseshoe seam. The grip is firm. When throwing this pitch, throw the palm-side wrist of the throwing-hand directly at the target while keeping your index and middle fingers extended upward. Your wrist should remain stiff.
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.

The beginners curveball is a great pitch for younger pitchers. In essence, this pitch does the exact opposite as a fastball. Where as a fastball spins from the bottom to top (which is known as "backspin"), a curveball spins from top to bottom. And instead of leverage coming from behind the top of the baseball (as a four-seam fastball), leverage on a curve comes from the front of the baseball.
See, ultimately when you use it in the game, you do want to throw your curveball with good arm speed and hand speed (or good fastball tempo). But the problem is, if you’re not used to throwing a baseball with the correct curveball hand and wrist position (supinated – palm turned in), chances are you’ll have a tough time maintaining it through ball release.  Your hand is going to want to revert back to the way it’s used to throwing.
For a right-handed pitcher, a curveball spins clockwise as it heads toward home plate, pushing through the air, and slowing by the force of friction caused by the resistance of the air. Because of the ball's spin, air will pass more quickly on one side than the other. In other words, the air will move with the spin of the ball on one side and against the spin of the ball on the other side.
For all three variations of the preventative youth pitching drills athletes will perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions per arm. Athletes need to rotate through this pitching drill with their partners moving from the shoulder portion into the abdominal portion. Rotating positions will act as the rest period for the athletes which is why rotating after every set is important to keep athletes arms and abs fresh for the next set of pitching exercises. This pitching drill is a great way to get athletes shoulders and core warmed up before a game or training session and should be utilized before athletic activity is performed.
a slider spins more toward the vertical axis and hence tend to move across the horizontal plane with a slight to moderate downward angle (otherwise it’s a fat pitch, not a slider) L to R from the vantage of the mound for a LHP and R to L for RHP. A great R hand slider will look like a fastball inside to a RH batter and wind up moving away and down from him so the catcher catches it on the low outside corner of the plate and the batter is completely fooled and half way back to the dugout by then after whiffing at it. A curve spins toward the horizontal axis so that the rotation produces downward force (bernoulli) and hence it “breaks” or curves more than “slides”. A great curve will break 12 to 6 or down the face of a clock. A great slider is more 2 to 7 for comparison. Both wickedly effective pitches when thrown in the right count and settings.

Throw the Blitzball just as you would a regular fastball, but with your two fingers positioned about a half-inch to the outside and the ball should naturally roll off of your index finger to the side when you release it (kind of like throwing a football spiral). This Cutter is thrown just like a fastball with an off-center grip and requires no wrist snapping of any kind. Just make sure that the ball rolls off of the thumb side of your index finger as you release it and the ball should curve sideways a good 3-4 feet (away from a righty batter if you are a righty pitcher and vice-versa).


Your wrist and forearm position with the slider at release is only slightly different than the curve. With your curveball grip your palm is facing you as you bring the ball out of your glove.: Throwing a slider is similar other than your palm facing you, it is slightly turned in. Using your fastball pitching mechanics with identical arm speed and arm slot, release the baseball in front of you.
There’s really just one curveball grip, with a number of different, slight variations. Basically, the curveball a 12-year old throws is the same as most Major Leaguers, but the main difference is execution. As we discussed already, this execution is in the type of spin we apply. Major Leaguers apply topspin, little leaguers apply a sloppy mixture of slow sidespin and topspin.
When you start actually throwing the curveball, I recommend getting the feel for ball release first and working backwards from there. So start off real light, about 15-20 feet from your target. I usually like to start guys off facing their target, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward. You can even start out on your knees to take the legs out of it completely (forces you to keep it light). And just get the arm up with that good hand and wrist position, and work on tossing/flipping the ball with good forward spin.
Don't worry about wrist motion; keep your wrist firm and worry about the angle of your arm. This will maximize bottom-left break if you are a right-handed pitcher. The side of your hand should always face the batter, and your wrist should always finish at your left hip (again, right-handed). Also, try to aim at the left shoulder of a right handed batter, as this is a good aiming spot for the break to be efficient. For more information, you can refer to this article: How to Throw a Curveball.

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)

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!!
Following the tuck jumps athletes will continue the youth pitching drill by performing alternating split jumps. Athletes will begin in a lunging position with one foot out in front of the other while maintaining a high chest. Athletes front leg should stay at around a 90 degree angle throughout the explosive pitching drill. From this starting position athletes will use an explosive upward arm action to help them explosively jump in the air and switch feet, athletes should land with the opposite foot forward. Continue this jumping and switching process for 3-4 resisted sets of 8-12 repetitions followed by 2-3 unresisted set of 8-12 reps.
B) Twist or snap your wrist: In this brief pitching video I explain this myth in greater detail. If you twist your wrist right before release of the baseball you will experience elbow problems in the long run. In fact, you will know that it is wrong to throw the ball like this to begin with because your arm will tell you it’s wrong. Why do pitcher’s continue to throw like this? Again, this method works for some pitcher’s because it does impart rotation on the ball. The wrong rotation, but pitchers find success with it so they continue to use it.
Armando Galarraga threw sliders 38.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starting pitcher in the majors, and Ryan Dempster threw them 32.9% of the time, more than any other NL starting pitcher.[2] In 2008 CC Sabathia had the most effective slider, among major league starting pitchers.[3] Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young award in 2009 in large part because of his slider, one of the better pitches in all of baseball.[4] In 2011, Clayton Kershaw won the Triple Crown by allowing only a .117 average against his slider.[5]
To throw start with your dominant hand facing away from the catcher facing sideways.  Bring up your front leg.  When you do this at the same time bring up your throwing arm with the ball facing away from the catcher 90 degrees to your shoulder like an L shape.  Then bring your arm down to your knee and release at the time necessary.  It should look something like the video.  He doesn't bring his arm and leg up at the same time but everyone's throw is a little different.

Armando Galarraga threw sliders 38.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starting pitcher in the majors, and Ryan Dempster threw them 32.9% of the time, more than any other NL starting pitcher.[2] In 2008 CC Sabathia had the most effective slider, among major league starting pitchers.[3] Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young award in 2009 in large part because of his slider, one of the better pitches in all of baseball.[4] In 2011, Clayton Kershaw won the Triple Crown by allowing only a .117 average against his slider.[5]

Another more advanced variation of the curveball is the knuckle curveball (sometimes called a spike curve). This is the curveball grip that I used. Thrown the same way as my beginners curveball only you'll tuck your finger back into the seam of the ball. Your knuckle will now point to your target instead of your index finger (in the beginners curve).
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):
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.")
3. Elbow: The throwing elbow must be equal to or slightly above the throwing shoulder. As soon as the pitcher lowers the elbow below the shoulder, they put additional stress on that arm. The angle of the elbow joint should be no more than 90 degrees. Pitchers who throw curveballs at angles greater than 90 degrees may put additional stress on their throwing shoulder.
What pitcher doesn't want to throw a powerful, record-breaking fastball? According to Dr. Bagonzi, a great pitch isn't just about genetic talent; it can be taught. By now we know that velocity begins in windup, followed through with a powerful throw. Good upper body baseball pitching drills improve velocity by increasing arm strength and speed. For that, the legendary pitcher recommends the following:
×