The Slide Step is the most misunderstood conventional wisdom and hardest for coaches to accept.
The most important job for a pitcher is to get the batter out. With runners on base, our job is to keep the runner close by using different looks and changing how long we hold the ball.
The major league average for catchers throwing out runners is around 20%. I’d like you to guess what the average of stolen bases is in a game? I guessed around two a game. Between 2002-2006 the average was .78 per game. That’s right, less than one a game.
I know, a lot people will say they are big leaguers. In the little league, they are going to steal the base anyway. Is it better to give up a two run homer or a stolen base? Strike 1 or ball 1?
Most importantly, the slide step messes up the pitchers timing.
Out of the wind up, what are kids told to do? Big leg kick, stay tall, stay back, and then when someone gets on base — They are told to be short and quick to the plate. This will also mess up their sequencing and this will lead to an injury. So, you can see why it’s hard for kids to find the strike zone with two different deliveries. If you get to foot strike in one second or less, you will be getting more energy and momentum going towards home plate.
Believe it or not, the ball will get to home plate faster and the delivery will become more repeatable. So find their right timing and this will enable them to be sequenced right. This will make the pitcher more efficient and effective.
So the numbers don’t lie. As long as you get to foot strike in one second or less in the stretch and wind up, this will help keep their timing more repeatable.
Inform, Instruct & Inspire,
Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
©Kevin Beirne 01/2012
**We are in the Houston, TX area educating and training pitchers so they can reach their greatest potential while minimizing injury. Learn more about pitching mechanics, velocity and what about the slide step.
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