IM A SENIOR IN HS AND IM ONE OF THE STARTING PITCHERS… I HAVE SOME GOOD HEAT ON MY FASTBALLS BUT IVE YET TO BE CLOCKED. BUT I HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO THROW A DAMN CURVEBALL// BEING THAT IM LEFT HANDED IT SEEMS THAT I WUD KNO HOW TO THROW 1 RIGHT?? WELL ITS NOT WORKING AND I LOOKD AT THE TUBE TO SEE HOW THE LEFT HANDED PITCHERS THROW IT AND SOMETHING JUST ISNT WORKING… SOMeBODY HELP MEEE???
when you throw a fastball, you think smooth, loose velocity. on a curveball you think spin. the harder the spin, the more it will break. ideally, if you can get the curveball to come out of the hand looking like a fastball and then it just drops or sweeps, you’ve got something.
take a baseball and wrap a piece of black electrical tape aroud the equator of the ball crossong the middle of the 4 long seams of the ball (where the seams are farthest apart. when you can get the ball to spin with the electrical tape making a smooth continuous line as the equator of the ball, this will give you your best break. it doesn’t necessarily have to spin straight down (refered to as a 12-6 curveball which is very effective) the secret is to get that tape to form a smooth continuous line without “wobbling” as it spins. to do this the middle finger must get in front of the ballat release. if you were to point your finger like a gun (you remember doing this aa a kid). that is the same way you release the curveball. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO “TURN THE DOORKNOB”. this is a sure trip to the orthopedic surgeon.
this may take some time but this is the secret. if you can’t get it to spin effectively, you may need to try a slider. try this first.
[quote=“dusty delso”] DO NOT ATTEMPT TO “TURN THE DOORKNOB”. this is a sure trip to the orthopedic surgeon.
i always thought thats how you threw a slider?
Like Dusty said, its a different mind set, how many times can you make this thing spin? And in making it spin (vs. velocity) this does not mean it is a passive action. Guys with a great curveball are extremely aggressive with their approach to spin. Your grip needs to preload your finger pressure. That middle finger should be pressing hard up against that seam with the thumb countering that action in the other direction so when the thumb comes off the ball first the rotation starts immediately.
The other thing I see with lefties, and may be something you are struggling with, is because they tend have some natural pronation prior to release (resulting in natural arm side run) they can have trouble getting to and staying in the suppinated position for the curveball. Be patient, it will come.
My son is a lefty and we are about to attempt to learn the curveball as well. The advise in the above postings is spot on to everything I have read so far on throwing a curveball. You want a supple wrist and to put enough pressure on the ball with your middle finger and thumb that your finger nail starts to turn white. This will enable you to put enough pressure on the ball to entice a nice tight spin. The “pointing the gun” reference is an excellent one as well. If you do it you’ll see that you naturally snap your thumb up and your middle finger down. The index finger will point in the direction the ball will travel. Obviously as you get more comfortable with the pitch you can stop pointing the actual finger as it could tip off the pitch. I have read that you can set your wrist in the "tomahawk position in your glove as you grip the ball or you can wait and switch to that postion as you are coming by your ear, just remember not to twist the wrist to make the ball curve but apply the pressure with your fingers to make it spin. Be sure to complete your follow through as well.
Good luck with it!!
Oh ya…as lefty you’ll be more likely to have a sweeping curve then a true 12/6 (unless you are one of the few lefties to throw over the top) An 11/5 curve is most likely what you’ll develop. (left to right drop instead of north/south)
if you turn your wrist like you are turning a doorknob on any pitch, you will destroy your elbow. period, end of story. the best explaination of how to throw the slider is found on steve carlton’s website. he had one of the best in baseball. you simply hold the ball off center and it comes off the inside of the index finger with the wrist cocked in. even doing just this can cause the elbow to go. be extremely careful with this pitch. i would not recommend it till you are in high school. it is dangerous.
another thing you can do is use a roll of athletic tape to learn the curveball spin and the change up. make the roll of tape spin “end over end” like it would if you rotated it while holding it by the tips of the thumb and index finger.
to learn the change up, throw the roll of tape off the end of the ring finger spinning backwards like a fastball. the roll of tape will spin smoothly like a tire off the end of the ring finger like a tire if done properly. exactly the opposite axis of the curveball spin.
i wrote a long post last night about listening to guru’s and how to do quality research on pitching theories and it didn’t download. it took too long. i’m bummed, it took me over 2 hours to write. if i get chance i’ll try it again.
thanks for all the help. i sho thot this wud get passed up being this is my first post lol. but i have to remember that doorknob thing cuz i kno my damn arm be poppin sumtimes. i dont want pull nuthin so i gotta stay on top of that! thanks again
writing in normal English is appreciated and a sign of respect. you will be taken seriously when you do that. slang and texting shorthand kind of rubs me the wrong way, like petting a cat backwards. just an observation from an old schooler.
Here is how I teach throwing a curveball. Obviously, there are a number of possible grips, but as other posters mentioned, pressure is on the middle finger and thumb.
When throwing it, I have pitchers think fast ball all the way till release.( I even do a drill, where I tell them either fastball or curve while they are in the middle of their motion. ) This keeps arm speed and everthing else for that matter, the same.
Then you are simply trying to get your thumb on top, in essence replacing your middle finger and thumb. ( I use another drill called shoot the curve, where you actually look like you making a gun with your hand pointing at the target.) The better a pitcher can replace their fingers, the more tilt the ball will have. I teach throwing it with the same arm speed as a fastball. If thrown properly the ball will have tight 4 seam spin and late break.
Good luck on your quest to find an effective curveball.