Major League pitcher Garrett Richards shares 4 tips for how to throw a slider.
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“Hi, I’m Garrett Richards…
…and today I’m going to be teaching you how to throw a slider.
Tip #1 – Proper grip for a slider
For me when I hold the ball, you can see there is a horseshoe [laces]. I hold the ball on the outside of the horseshoe, with my finger and my thumb tucked right underneath on the backside of the seam.
Tip #2 – How to throw a slider
Now my thought process on this pitch is to throw it out in front, and almost let my fingers work over the front side of the baseball.
So you will feel your fingers work over the front side of the baseball. If you feel your fingers work on the side of the baseball, that’s not going to do anything.
So really feel your fingers work over the front and top side of the baseball.
Tip #3 – When to throw a slider
Now when throwing this pitch, if you have good control over it you can throw it as an 00 pitch an 01 pitch… typically you can throw this pitch at any count. Typically it’s going to be a strike out pitch because it looks like a fast ball and then in the last five feet or so it breaks off the table to make it a slider.
I throw my slider as a strike out pitch or a pitch early in the count if there is a guy who is going to be potentially swinging first pitch or a guy who is just bad on swinging at breaking balls. So for me, this is a huge pitch.
Tip #4 – Focal point
When you set your sights on your slider depending on how much your ball breaks, for me its important to pick out a spot on the catchers body to start the ball at and then have it finish wherever you need it to. It’s called a focal point.
That’s my tip on how to throw a slider and I’ll see you at the ball park.”
About the source
Garret Richards is a Major League pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels. Richards’ MLB debut was in 2011, and as of the publishing of this post, sports a career ERA of 3.63. In 2014, Richards threw an immaculate inning against the Astros, when he struck out 3 batters in 9 pitches.
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