Developing a Curveball from scratch

This is my first Post on this Board and I am looking for advice from the experts and others who have gone through this process.

My son is 14, turning 15 next month. He has not thrown the curveball as a competitive pitch… only a fastball and change.
Over this summer our goal is for him to develop a High School grade curveball by next season.

Since we are starting from scratch, I would like to hear some advice on steps of progression to reach our goal.  I read a decent piece in Collegiate Baseball about this but I would like to hear from others who may have found success with their own son.


No way a dad who taught his son a fastball change-up. Thats rare. Sorry I can’t give you too many tips, just want to compliment you.


and as to the question, curveball is really a trial and error type of pitch. just start off by understanding how to release the ball then go on to trying to throw it. most likely it will bounce in the dirt 10 feet infront of your son but thats normal… just akes practice and patience

the best feeling ever is when you throw your first breaking ball and see it move

I might have a tip, when he first starts just make sure he gets the good spin top to botton. Don’t even let him get into the habit of letting the pitch go from the batter to the middle of the plate. Yes if he takes his curve at the batters head to right down the middle, it will be good against bat batters but if he never changes it once he faces the right batter it’ll get crushed. Make it a real good 12-6 curve. Also don’t think he needs to learn a curve, you can always teach other pitches. If you want to go the slider route, you can always teach him a cutter which can be a beginners slider in a way. If the curve doesn’t work don’t feel that he needs to be forced to throw it.

Stand a few feet apart, just practice getting the spin rotation right, this is done with the wrist, not rolling the arm. Take your time and just let him feel and see how the rotation works. Start by the ear and bring it forward to release and let him see and feel it tumble…no need to do anything but toss. Heck you don’t even need to back up to 60 or 90’ right away. After he’s got it down, back up. Just don’t get in a hurry, let the pitch develop. Once he sees it break and he understands the it will do that anytime he wants it to, he will commit to the pitch and develop it further. The concept that worked with my son was “throw the C” (For a lefty…backward C for a righty)…remember it’s pull down not extend on the pitch.
As I just mentioned to pitchking, the physics of the pitch will let it work if you throw it through the catchers glove, have him concentrate on throwing it properly and not trying to over-torque his arm in an attempt to get more break (This is where I see kids get into the trouble). If thrown properly you can throw it effortlessly and for a strike nearly every time.
Well that is my 2 cents…I don’t know how it works for the mag you mentioned, but it has been a plus pitch for my son (With no elbow or shoulder issues) since he was 12.

Yeah my dad just not me the grip and just always said snap hard and follow through hard. It takes alot of time im 17 now learned it at about 14 and just mess around with it playing catch. I throw it to just get the feel of it and you just have to throw it right hell know when it comes out clean. Just take breaks if his arm begins to hurt and adjust it around because it shoudnt hurt your arm if done correctly. I like to think of it as open a door. Just remember to always keep the fingers up top of the ball and drive them down hard for that fast tight spin. Start with him throwing very slow curves to you so he can understand the movement of the ball and as he begins to get the feel of it speed it up. More rotation = more movement. Good Luck.

I like the idea of flipping the ball over the “C” or backwards C if you are right handed. Your thumb should be pointing towards your ear.

Next, buy a nerf ball, and practice getting the ball to roll out of the horseshoe with overspin. This means the heel of your hand is leading-no wrist snapping yet! Just get used to the ball rolling out. When you get the sensation right, you can graduate to a baseball. Start as another poster suggested short toss with the right spin (overspin) on the ball. Do not worry about the break at this point (although it might). Proceed back until your at 60 feet 6 inches. After this go to the mound and repeat. Now perfect your release point. Still NO wrist snapping.

Now after all of this is mastered, Think about arm swing and wrist snap. In a fastball you are driving toward the plate, like you are throwing a spear. With the curveball you want just as much effort, but think of a more rounded delivery. Instead of a very low arc like on a fastball think more about a 1/3 of a rainbow arc (or a 1/2 rainbow arc if you are throwing a changeup off your curve which comes much latter). But you are still swinging your arm with maximum effort, the energy is directed differently though. Now add wrist snapp which is like turning off a light bulb on a string switch. Keep ypour wrist in a neutral position.

Now learn the release points to either front door the ball or make it dive low and away. You’re on your way.

If I have not been concrete enough let me know and I will try to help, Ian.

all i do is grip it with my thumb and middle fingers on the horseshoe seams, make sure my palm is facing my head, and throw it with the same arm speed as a fastball. also make sure your choking the ball deep in those 3 fingers, and the key to mine is making sure i have the arm speed like a fastball.