When thrown, try to manipulate the pitch to come off of the thumb-side of your index finger – NOT your index- and middle-fingers, as with a two-seam fastball – because a two-finger release will cause the pitch to balance out, which reduces the spin that you are looking for. Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand's thumb-side upon release of the pitch. This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger. Avoid any twisting of the wrist upon release.

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.
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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).
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.”)
Do you know a baseball pitcher or someone who coaches baseball? Given the popularity of baseball, there's probably a good chance you know someone who can help you learn to throw a great curveball. Find a pitcher or a coach and ask them to meet you at a local field to give you a few pointers for throwing a great curveball. Enjoy giving your throwing arm a good workout!

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).
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Cut an old bed sheet (or similar material) into pieces 18" by 5". Fold the long side a few times until the cloth is 1" by 18". Form 2 lines, with one line of pitchers down on one knee, resting "glove side" elbow on other knee. Hold arm out (the one resting on knee) parallel to ground (with glove on) no higher than 18" above the ground. Players standing, hold out throwing hand (palm up), draping the folded cloth over their middle finger, and letting it hang down evenly on each side of their middle finger. Loosely holding the cloth in their fist, have pitchers go through normal windups, with the delivery being, slapping their partner's glove with cloth. Check for proper motion, balance and defensive position.

The main goal of Slider Domination is to simplify the learning process of pitching.  The extremely analytical world of baseball nowadays is not so much for the players. Never forget that.  It is for the decision makers at the top of the pyramid. Players at all levels will still have the natural pressures that come with performing.  Buying into the analytics just makes everything more difficult.   Please allow this simple breakdown of how to throw a Slider in just 3 simple steps to quickly advance your progress.  In conclusion, your obligations lie with mastering the Slider and elevating your pitching status.


“Dick’s Scientific Formula For Big League Pitching Mechanics Package has given me the knowledge I need as a pitching coach to help young people succeed. I highly recommend it to any pitcher Little League through college. From mechanics to conditioning to the mental aspect, everything he does is top notch. His program helped our pitchers go 29-1, have a 0.80 ERA last season, and win a State Championship.”
It is important when throwing a slider, or any breaking pitch in baseball, not to come "around" the baseball. When the pitcher "comes around" the ball, the pitcher puts extra tension on his pitching arm to throw that pitch. A slider is thrown with a regular arm motion, just like a fastball. Slider movement is a direct result of the fingertip pressure and grip. The pitcher may visualize throwing his fingers at the catcher in order to improve follow through and finish the pitching motion.

One of the biggest issues pitchers have when they begin throwing a curve is changing their fastball mechanics. Don’t! Throw the curveball, or any other pitch, using the same arm slot and arm speed as your fastball. The only thing that changes is wrist and forearm angle. With the curveball your wrist and forearm angle look like a “karate chop”. To get an effective rotation on the ball, released the ball late. The curve will squirt or hang when you release it early or you don’t keep your glove in front of you at release. I explain this in greater detail in the you tube video below.
5. Release: Releasing a curveball is much different than releasing a fastball. A fastball release is straight out in front of your body. In effect, the way you release the ball is the type of action you want the pitch to have. When releasing a curveball, your wrist will be hooked and your hand will pull down in front of your body. It is important that you release the ball close to your body (Short Arm). The further you release from your body, the less resistance your middle finger will have on the seam and therefore your rotation will be looser. Loose rotation curveballs tend to spin or hang.

Grip the outside of the ball along the long seam. Set your index and middle fingers along the inside of the right seam if you are right-handed, and along the inside of the left seam if you are left-handed. Place your thumb under the ball, opposite from your fingers, at a 45-degree angle. Make the ball roll off your index finger as you snap your wrist, creating a spin that takes the ball down and across the plate. Do not twist your elbow or wrist. "Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand's thumb-side upon release of the pitch," pitching instructor Steven Ellis wrote on his website, The Complete Pitcher. "This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger."


“Dick’s Scientific Formula For Big League Pitching Mechanics Package has given me the knowledge I need as a pitching coach to help young people succeed. I highly recommend it to any pitcher Little League through college. From mechanics to conditioning to the mental aspect, everything he does is top notch. His program helped our pitchers go 29-1, have a 0.80 ERA last season, and win a State Championship.”
A great drill for working on curveball rotation is the snap drill. It can be done anywhere as long as you have a baseball. Take your curveball grip and snap your fingers, making the ball pop straight up from your hand. Really emphasize the pull-down your middle finger creates on the ball. As the ball rises out of your hand, you should see good vertical rotation and minimal horizontal rotation.
Let’s begin by reviewing the mechanics of throwing a fastball. The goal of the pitcher is to eject the ball from the hand with the maximum velocity. To do so, he employs the longest, straightest launching system, running from the shoulder, through the arm, elbow, wrist and palm, all the way to the tips of the fingers. In the figure below, shown from the batter’s point of view, a right-hander is about to release a fastball:
One common situation arises when a pitcher faces a “same-handed batter” – a righty pitcher matched up against a right-handed batter, or a southpaw against a left-handed batter. In these matchups, a fastball breaks toward the batter, while sliders and curveballs break away from the batter. If the pitcher aims his slider toward the outer half of the plate, it tends to move farther and farther away from the batter as it approaches him – perhaps ending up far outside the strike zone.
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):
In 2004 we developed the first evidence-based pitching program based on sports science research, instead of common coaching beliefs. Through this research we've also learned video analysis is still the best and most accurate way to assess pitching mechanics. We not only show pitchers at all levels their faults and the adjustments, but work with there style in order to improve their velocity and control, all while reducing their risk of arm injuries. The true difference about our coaching methods are simple, our clients will truly feel the difference and that's the only true way towards improvement and development.
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.
From the wind-up position have the pitcher rock, turn and raise his leg to the balance position. However, instead of either stopping, or going on to pitch, he now lowers that leg to the ground next to and immediately behind the pivot foot. He should now be standing facing either 3b (rh) or 1b (LH), in good balance before beginning. Now he simply re-raises the non-pivot foot and pitches.
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.
A 12-6 curve ball will break downward more sharply. Place your index and middle fingers between the seams, and your thumb on the bottom of the ball. Do an abbreviated snap as you throw, or release the ball as your hand passes your head instead of following the arm motion all the way through. To account for the sharp break, throw a 12-6 a bit higher than you would a normal curve ball.
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.
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.
Whether you're in the middle of a season, practicing in the off-season, or getting warmed up for another year, baseball pitching drills are an excellent way to perfect your technique, work on new pitches, and keep your muscles active and ready. But when you’re juggling school, hobbies, and other activities, you don’t always have time to hit the baseball diamond to practice on your own, and that’s when baseball pitching drills like these three can come in handy.
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