How to get less break on curveball


#1

Right now my curve is one of them huge and kind of slow breaking balls. I want to know how to shorten and speed it up. i just pitched against a good team, and they seemed to be able to recover in time to get a piece of it. It would fool them out of the hand, but they would be able to recover and get a piece of it because it was so slow.


#2

For a faster, sharper break you want the ball to have a tighter rotation leaving your hand. Try working on snapping the ball off harder.

Also, you might want to re-title the thread. It’s a little misleading.


#3

Fastball arm speed.


#4

This takes a lot of practice, I mean a lot of practice. In addition, I wouldn’t suggest this delivery posture to any player under the age of 18.

The fundamental curve ball grip is used consistently with each release point. What these release point do, is to reduce the signature of the curve ball’s flight, thus, the influence of the ball’s seams using the atomsphere is reduced.

This take a ton of practice and mental discipline to accomplish. But, once a pitcher masters this body motion and the effects on the ball, that pitcher is a force to be noticed.

By the way, each release point generates a totally different pitch. But again, this take a ton of time and practice.

Coach B.


#5

Thanks Coach B, but i am only 14 and a little confused. Does that mean that the higher you start the curve, the more it will break? So if i want less break i should start it lower?

Also i was wondering if it could be the grip. I use a beginners curveball grip. Are there different grips that would give a sharper break?


#6

Basically, yes … the higher you start your release the less “forward force” is impressed on the ball and the slower the rotation. Don’t forget, the signature of the curve is the pulling down action that the hand/grip along with the posture motion of the pitching arm, chest, shoulders, etc., influences the ball upon release.

Hence, when you release your curve ball with greater arm extension, you’re putting more forward motion from your stride foward, into the pitch, and thereby increasing the release “umph” and snap of the pitching hand. Don’t forget, with all breaking pitches, you’re dealing with the laws of physics which state that an object can not go in two directions at once. An object that has foward velocity keeps that velocity as long as it moves forward. Influence that object in a way that directs it away from a straight line and you decrease, or give up, forward velocity for some other influence … in this case, an object (ball) that cuves.

The design of the baseball has a lot to do with the curve ball’s flight and movement (curve). Without giving a physics lesson here… your release to allow a greater foward straight movement by releasing your pitch more out in front of you, sustains that ball’s flight in a more forward signature - thus, velocity over comes the ball’s design and the seams emotions on the atomsphere and visa versa. Slow down the pitch, releasing the ball a bit higher, and you have the contra-effect on velocity giving way to allowing the ball to move a bit slower through the atmosphere and thus giving the seams a greater chance to inter-act with atmosphere, and do its thing … curve. There are other elements to this and describing tick-for-tac “how-come” is not my purpose here.

Here’s what you can do to witness what I’m trying to explain. Do long toss, but with little stress action on your shoulders and arm. In other words toss the ball back and forth without really firing the ball.

Stand about 200’ from the player that you’re having long toss with.
Grip the ball with a curve ball grip.
Release the ball high above your head and continue your arm motion
as if you where releasing a curve ball. Keep doing this until you start to witness the ball actually curving as it approaches the player 200’ away.
Once you witness the control of your curve ball, release the ball, with the same grip, a little lower in front of you. Notice the break of the ball has a tendency to break closer to the player that’s catching this ball.

ON THE OTHER HAND …
As far as your age is concerned, I wouldn’t concern myself with the curve ball. It’s a good pitch, but at your age there are fundamentals related to the art of pitching that you should be focusing on.

For example, your accuracy at the four corners of the strike zone box, 60’ away should be a greater priority right now. Upper inside and outside corners, lower inside and lower outside corners to be specific. This is very basic to developing as a pitcher. Control, control, control.
Besides, the curve ball is usually thrown by youngsters under the age of 18, purely as a measure of luck, and not much else going for it. As a true pitch, for this age group, it’s just not there. And with good reason. The curve ball takes a lot of physical maturity and a keen sense of awareness of what the body can and can not do. Maturity, both with the physical and mental state, is the corner stone of the curve ball and other breaking pitches.

Coach B.


#7

With respect to your question about the grip – yes there can be different grips used for this pitch.

At the very top of this web page there is a section called ARTICLES.

Click on that top bar, scroll down to a section about pitching grips and you’ll come across the curve ball, in addition to other pitches.

Also, you can experiment by using a baseball and marking it up like in the picture below. Those markings are various finger and thumb grips along a baseball so as to give you a reference point while developing various pitches. In additon, keeping a notebook of what your doing and what you witness, helps a lot.

Coach B.


#8

Roger is absolutely right. You have to throw all of your pitches, and I mean all of them, with the same arm speed and the same arm motion as you do for the fast ball. One of the greatest mistakes many pitchers, and not just the 14-year-olds but also professional pitchers, make is to slow down the arm speed for breaking pitches—that way lies disaster. I recall when I was playing we often faced a team with a starting pitcher who had the prettiest slow curve I had ever seen—but he telegraphed it all the time; he slowed down his arm speed (in addition to twitching his elbow in a funny way) when he was going to throw it. You can be sure we got after him in no time at all and knocked him out of the box in the third inning!
You might try a different grip—there are quite a number to choose from—and even a different wrist action when delivering the pitch. I was a natural sidearmer, and when I threw my curve ball (which, by the way, came attached to said delivery) I used a sharp karate-chop wrist snap, and that curve had a break that had opposing batters screaming blue murder! That is one of the most effective ways to get a curveball to do what you want it to do. And later on, when I learned the slider, I just had to ease up on that wrist action—nothing complicated.
If you want to use the big loopy curve from time to time, throw 'em an eephus pitch—that’s really just a slow, high-arcing curve ball that can reach heights of 20 feet before descending. and it’s a difficult one for batters to time. And you might also try a knuckle-curve—actually a misnomer, because you don’t use your knuckles. You grip the ball with your fingertips and maybe even extend one finger, and which finger it is will affect how the pitch breaks. That’s a nice pitch. But always remember—you have to throw EVERYTHING with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you would the fast ball! :slight_smile: 8)


#9

Must have more hand speed. Shorter, tighter, later break.


#10

Ok, thanks everyone. i will try and make sure i have the same arm speed when i throw the curve and really try to snap it off. Although i’d like to work on placing my fastball right now. My curve is really just a once in a while K pitch. About 5 times a game. Will try that Knuckle-curve, Zita. Will check out the articles section also.


#11

so your looking for a hammering curve. snap your wrist a lot faster and harder. smaller break. but harder to catch up too