Curveball help


#1

Hi,
I’m learning to pitch at the young age of 53. (I was born a catcher but I’ve
turned that over to the younger guys on the team.)

I built myself a mound and am throwing 5-6 times a week in the garage
(it’s COLD here in Germany!) into a popup net. I play in an adult league
here close to Munich–I drastically affect the average age of the team!

I’ve been working on a curve with the kind help and advice of Dr.
Bagonzi. I still am not getting the really good spin on the curve and
can’t seem to get past the “lollipop” stage. Any hints/drills/other advice?

In January I had the chance to pitch in a Florida Senior Tournament and
several times threw an “accidental” cutter. It broke very sharp but way
too late–past the plate. How can I affect the point where the break begins?

Sorry to make this a novel–thanks in advance.

Can’t wait for spring!


#2

Getting good spin on your curve requires solid mechanics with a release point that is out in front . Things like postural issues, timing problems pull the release point back (and up) and make it more difficult to put spin on the ball.

Also, it is important to throw the curve with fastball arm speed. That helps disguise the pitch and it also helps put more spin on the ball.


#3

Roger is right there are many factors that play into a curve, you don’t throw it like a fastball. I liken it to pointing your finger at someone while holding a baseball. Point the finger and grip the ball tight with the middle one and thumb. You take a shorter stride and as you throw the ball it is going to go up and drop down like you are pointing at someone. The ball will roll right over the middle finger when done right. Practice a bit using only the middle finger and thumb then after a bit use the pointy finger too.

Hope this helps


#4

I had a natural curve ball that had come attached to my sidearm delivery, and when I threw that curve I threw it with a sharp karate-chop wrist action, which gave the pitch a sharp late break and threw batters off balance. This is just one of a number of ways one can throw a curve ball, and this was the one that worked for me, so I stayed with it. I also had a slider which I had nicknamed “Filthy McNasty” after a character in a W.C. Fields movie because that was exactly what it was, and a very good knuckle-curve—these were my tw strikeout pitches. And a good bit of other stuff as well—plus the control and command I had of all these pitches, which more than compensated for the fact that I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of…not to mention a crossfire, which I had picked up early on and had fallen so in love with it that I used it with just about everything I threw; this gave me twice as much stuff.
And let me say that one can never have too many changeups—you might want to think about developing one or two of them, like a palm ball or a circle change. In this way you can change speeds, which is an essential part of deception on the mound and one of the keys to getting batters out. :slight_smile: