Slide Step & Stretch Position Mechanics for Pitchers


what’s up coach Dan Blewett here today
we’re gonna talk about how to do the slide step / stretch in baseball so I
was a reliever in my last my last three years of pro ball a little bit of a spot
starter my fourth season and then I transitioned completely into just a
reliever so I pitched exclusively out of the slide step but the way I say slide
step is different than some coaches teach it but really what I teach is a
blend of what all pretty much the best pitchers do so I know lots of coach of
the youth level they’re kind of insane about you got to be super fast to the
plate and they almost hold their youth pitchers to a higher standard than they
do their pro guys so if you watch major league baseball if you watch my league
baseball college of baseball you’ll see almost all pitchers doing some sort of
counter movement which is your leg going back before it goes forward and that
helps them get set keep their power staying control but still be really fast
to the plate so that’s why I’m going to teach you here today this is all about
the slide step and the stretch position okay so let’s talk about stretch
mechanics so the big thing here is being fast to the plate without losing your
velocity losing your command or does losing control of your sort of game
speed in general alright so with our stretch mechanics most pro pitchers
don’t just pick up their foot and go and the reason they don’t do this is because
this often leads to them landing with a little bit more weight on their front
foot their shoulders kind of sloped downhill it’s basically the same as a
hitter who’s lunging at the ball so one of the big things that we want to
prevent or in the stretch is going too fast and a rushing quote-unquote down
the mound so the way to do that is just to make sure we have some kind of
counter movement and we have some amount of weight already sort of stacked in our
back leg so the way I teach this is I prefer that players come set with a
slightly bent back leg so not fully straight so their weights 50/50 but with
a little bit of weight in here and their knee slightly inside their toe so if
they do this now my weights already sort of back I could balance while remaining
still pretty tall so from here all I have to do is sort of
knock my knees together or I could bring my ankles together I can do either one
and this is just called a counter movement so when we’re pitching from the
stretch when we’re trying to do a slide step quote-unquote we are just trying to
quickly get to the plate without again losing all of our power and our accuracy
and our control of our body in general so the way we do this is we load up our
back leg first so if you look at me I’m still pretty much exactly as tall as I
am with this slight amount of Bend I’m not punching down I’m not getting
shorter so I’m just taking a little bit on my weight into my back leg the next
big thing is that my feet are gonna be about shoulder width apart if my feet
are too close the only place my leg can really go is straight up all I can
really do I can’t go back in front when my feet are only six inches or less
apart so that’s a big thing that I correct right away when I work with
younger pitchers especially who like to set up like this from the stretch
because then the only thing they can do is lift their leg and now it takes a
long time and runners get a very big jump towards the plate so the really
important thing here is about shoulder-width apart and this can vary
picture the pitcher is not a set in stone amount this is about how far I set
up slight bend in the back leg and again from behind it looks like this just a
little bit and I’m still tall and my knees slightly inside so now I’m set and
then when I want to go to the plate all I have to do is start with the counter
movement and a counter movement just means I’m going the opposite direction
of the way that I want to go which is obviously towards on plate so I’m here
counter movement and then I go so the stretch and the slide step they don’t
have to be complex but at full speed this is what it’s going to look like so if you watch again I’ll go in
full-speed one more time that’s a very fast move so you don’t have to be
lightning quick but a lot of times youth coaches try to hold their pitchers to
this crazy standard where we’re going they’re shooting for one second towards
the plate Pro guys need to be 1/3 or less that’s the ideal and so what we’re
trying to do is just be quick without losing who we are as pitchers so again
we don’t want to go up and down we don’t want to have a huge twist we don’t want
to have a huge leg kick but really just this half sort of knee knock or or ankle
knock some kind of counter movement to help our hip get out and help me go up
hill towards the plate is all we really need to do as far as this slide step or
stretch antics are concerned and the last thing I’ll talk about here the word
slide step is just misuse it just it’s it’s kind of a ambiguous term when I say
slide step what I’m teaching here today is what I actually mean some people when
they say slide step they mean pick up and go most again most pro pitchers they
either are extremely good at just picking up but still loading their back
leg or they have some kind of counter movement the way I pitched with so if
you watch Bigley games watch these relievers most of them go exclusively
from the stretch and all of these guys are doing something to make sure they
still get their hip to go out first and they still get their weight back and
completely stay in control when they’re from the stretch when they’re from the
slide step alright so the one last time I’m gonna throw this ball right past my
camera here that would have been behind the batter it’s by thrown down the
middle would hit my other camera again full-speed very quick very in control
very repeatable those are our goals for the stretch or for the slide step
alright so if you enjoyed this video definitely hit the subscribe button
below like it share with a friend check out my links to my books my online
courses so if you like the way I teach I teach a lot more in-depth stuff in my
books in my courses and of course here on YouTube as well thanks for watching
and I’ll see you in the next video

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