Pitching Mechanics: Teaching Proper Slide-Step Technique

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ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

Noah Syndergaard pitching mechanics
Noah Syndergaard

Because the true slide step often negatively affects control and causes early arm fatigue, we prefer the modified slide step.

This technique does take slightly longer to unload the pitch than with the true slide step, but it is still much quicker than a normal leg lift.

With the modified slide step, the pitcher rocks back quickly as he breaks the lead knee back quickly before slide stepping outward.

This action helps to keep his weight back and not rush. Also on first movement, the pitcher breaks his hands downward quickly.

These two adjustments allow the pitcher to use his normal arm action which should help his control.

Most left hand pitchers don’t develop the slide step, but I’ve come to believe it is a very effective technique on occasion for lefties. With a runner on first, the modified slide step presents another read for the runner. It’s almost like a quick pitch. It’s also effective against runners who like to gamble steal on first movement. But the most effective use of the slide step for the lefty, is with a runner on 2nd base. This technique allows the left hand pitcher to unload the ball quickly and vary his motion.

The left hander should also develop a pick off move off the modified slide step . Just break the hands quickly, slide step within the 45 degree angle towards first base without using the normal lift of the lead leg and foot.

This in conjunction with a good step back move makes it real difficult for the runner to get a consistent read on the left hand pitcher.

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One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

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