Teaching the Curveball

I’m curious as to how different people either teach or have learned to throw the curveball. I’ve heard of people talking about “chopping wood,” bringing the thumb over the ball, etc. I’d like to know what everyone thinks is the best method, and/or how they learned it.

i dont do anything special, it just came naturally to me :shock:

but when i release it looks like im giving the catcher thumbs up

I start them with a nerf ball so they can understand the spin on the ball. The sensation of having the ball roll out of the top of the hand.

I have them make a “C” with their thumb and index and third fingers. Their thumb should be pointing toward their ear. The wrist should be neutral not hooked. Then we practice releasing the ball over the first joints of the index and third finger.

Then we move into arm swing and things like that…with fastball and change up (and later slider) you are very much thinking about back to front, but whith the curve you are thinking about high to low acceration of your arm. Later on, thats how great ones like Tom Gordon throw both a hard and soft curve. Hope this helps, Ian.

Thumb and middle finger cut the ball in half and index finger right next to middle finger. Ball is thrown using a karate chop motion. Since I work with young pitchers, I have them set the hand/wrist angle (supination) while the hand is still in the glove to help ensure they get into the karate chop position before the arm starts forward instead of during.

i use a roll of athletic tape. if they can get it to spin with topspin, they can usually get a baseball to spin hard with topspin. you could throw it like a tire spinning, but i make the tape spin the other way (that i can’t describe briefly). tumble from the side maybe?

How bout bringin the hand down into the body, keeping a slight flex in the elbow. Think of it as throwing your hand over a barrel in front of your chest.

Hammer, if I’m interpretting that correctly, the concern I’d have is that attempting to do that will slow the arm down. I teach the curve to be thrown using fastball arm speed.

I want the arm speed as well. I actually believe that it will tighten up the rotation of the breaking ball. I’m trying to avoid getting to full extension with the elbow.

All are good ways to teach the curve. What I’ve found over the last year or so, is the best way to teach the curve is which ever way they understand it the best.

You must make sure there is no supination during forward acceleration of th arm because that’s what blows out elbows - that and throwing too many curves.

Set the hand/wrist angle before forward acceleration - even while the hand is still in the glove if that helps ensure no further supination.

I agree and I think the difference between Rogers and your approach is the age difference…HS and above on yours and younger fellas for Roger.

For younger guys…an older guy would be tipping his pitches

I would only add throwing too many incorrectly.

For younger guys…an older guy would be tipping his pitches[/quote]
Agreed. Although I make the younger guys aware this could tip their pitch and teach them to be very subtle when they do it.

close the shade with 2 fingers :wink: