Learning how to throw a slider will give you one of the most effective pitches in baseball. Similar to a fastball, the slider breaks late, making it a dangerous pitch. While yours may not develop to the caliber of Mariano Rivera's slider, you can learn how to throw a slider to add to your repertoire.
In order to throw a slider, you will need:
- Baseball (glove as preferred)
- Get into your normal pitching stance. Learn how to throw the slider just as you would any other pitch. As you learn how to throw the slider, you will be able to pitch it within your normal stance/motion easier if you practice it this way.
- The slider grip. Place your thumb under the ball, with your ring and pinky fingers to the side (right for right-handed pitcher). Your index and middle finger should come across the widest seam, similar to a two-seam fastball. However, these two fingers should be on the ball slightly to the right (third of the ball). Your thumb and middle finger should apply pressure to the ball.
- Go into your motion. Practice throwing the slider as you would any pitch. This will make it easier to learn, as said previously, but it will also do other things. For instance, you should always keep the ball hidden when you're in your motion. Work on these aspects along with the elements that are unique to the slider.
- Throwing the slider. You should throw the slider like a fastball. Keep your wrist loose. Imagine cutting through the ball with your middle finger. When you release the ball, the ball should roll off of your index finger, which accounts for the late break that is associated with the slider.
- Follow through. Follow through with the slider, just as any other pitch. You may not be following through correctly if the slider is too high.