Two-Seam Fastball grip

My 13 year old son is having a problem with his two seam and says it does not move. He said it moves the same as his four-seam, so he dosn’t throw a two-seam and sticks with the four-seam. His coach told him to place his index and middle finger between the two seams and to grip the ball lightly, and he gets no movement with this approach. After doing some research, I learned that the index and middle finger should be placed directly on the seams and the ball should be held tighter than a four seam. After reading this forum, I also learned that he should/could apply pressure to the seam with his index finger.

I know the ball will not move the same for everyone and there are variations of the grip to everyone’s preference, but I would be interested to learn if there is a “classic” approach of the proper way to teach a 13 year old how to throw a two-seam. I want to make sure he is getting the proper instruction at his age and that he gets good results from his efforts.

He’s 5’11’’ at 13 and has big hands and beautiful, long fingers for pitching, so we’re hoping he’ll get a good spin off the ball.

Thanks for any help.

People typically keep the fingers on the seams. I’ve heard of people holding it between the seams but it makes no sense to me to hold the ball on the slick part. The seams are there for a reason. Placing the fingers on the seams will allow him to get better friction resulting in a better spin and better control. I’ve never heard anyone teach to grip it lightly. I’d have him try gripping it a little more firmly than the 4 seam or have him hold it a little deeper in his hand. Remember your looking for movement more-so than velocity with this pitch.

A sinker is held by putting your fingers in between the laces.

As for helping him get movement on it. For one no grip should be held too tightly but firmly, you should have a nice relaxed wrist and forearm when throwing. Finally tell him to worl on snapping it at the end by bringing his index and middle finger down hard. That should get you some movement on it, but remember that its not gonna move like a slider but it should tail. Your best bet is to ask the catcher if its moving at all, he would know more than anybody.

sorry man but thats not all true. plenty of people grip it between the seems including me for that matter. i get plenty of movement on it and i throw from a little above the three quarters arm slot. ive heard that on a 2 seamer the closer your fingers are together the more movement u get. its worked for me using that approach.

sorry man but thats not all true. plenty of people grip it between the seems including me for that matter. i get plenty of movement on it and i throw from a little above the three quarters arm slot. ive heard that on a 2 seamer the closer your fingers are together the more movement u get. its worked for me using that approach.[/quote]

The closer your fingers get the more sinker/tail action you get, and the more your fingers move together the higher you need to throw. Throwing from a mid/low 3/4s or lower you won’t really see movement. Sidearm you will, but you will see a tail with any pitch.

Just throw it from your natural arm slot with fingers on the laces. Just keep throwing it, and you’ll eventually start to see that veer into a same handed batter. Also, I hear of MLB sinkerballers who struggle in early innings, but get better as the game goes on. This is because their arms tire, and that the sinker dives more if you take a tad bit off(or so I’ve heard), so that might be worth trying.

Don’t worry about holding the ball tighter than a 4 seam either, that can lead to restricting the wrist.

try throwing the 2 seam cross seam, or if he already is then throw it with the seams

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=ViewDo%3A+How+To+Throw

shopuld help

sorry man but thats not all true. plenty of people grip it between the seems including me for that matter. i get plenty of movement on it and i throw from a little above the three quarters arm slot. ive heard that on a 2 seamer the closer your fingers are together the more movement u get. its worked for me using that approach.[/quote]

As I mentioned…I’ve heard of people holding it between the seams. If some people do it that way, then I’m sure some people (you for example) have success that way. However, I’ve heard of a lot more people who hold it on the seams. Tom Glavine, for instance. and it makes sense because the seams provide the opportunity to get better friction with your fingers resulting in better spin. That’s how Leo Mazzone teaches it.

Anyways, I would just have him experiment both ways until he finds the grip that works best for him.

I’m probably not the best one to consult about the 2 seam. Since i’ve been throwing it since i was nine i never paid attention as to how i throw it to get movement. I know finger pressure helps. have your son put more pressure with the middle finger. Throw and see the results. Then with the index finger. They both move differently but they move.You could also try having one finger further out on the ball then the other. I’ve been told my 2 seam USUALLY has alot of movement but i think this is due to the fact that i’ve thrown it and grown with it since i was 9. Never stop experiemnting with grips. Even the slightest changes in grip can cause your pitch to dance. What i do if i want my pitch to move in on a righty is: Start off with the regular 2 seam grip.Then place your middle finger outside the seam on the outside of the ball. If you look at the spin it has like no forward spin but has a flat spin going clockwise (if you were looking at the top of the ball as its in motion) so it cuts in.

[quote=“Mike’s Mom”]My 13 year old son is having a problem with his two seam and says it does not move. He said it moves the same as his four-seam, so he dosn’t throw a two-seam and sticks with the four-seam.

Thanks for any help.[/quote]

How does he know for sure that it does not move. I bet it moves more than he knows. It’s hard to see your ball make a subltle break from the mound. You don’t need massive, Maddux like movement on the two-seam (though it would be nice).

My two-seam, I just grip it along the seams… doing so ensures that the ball either tails in to righties, or stays down in the zone. And that’s pretty effective in terms of keeping out of the fat part of the zone.

It might only tail in two inches, but that’s plenty enought to screw with a hitter’s contact.

It all just boils down to the pitchers preference, weather or not they want a large break or small. I get about 8in on mine and I can see it, it looks small to me but not to my catcher. I found that if I hold my 2-seamer with my fingers on the “horse shoe” or wider part of the seams and apply equal amount of finger pressure I get good and consistant movement. Just experiment and play around with it and you’ll find something you like. That’s what I did.

Huh… ya know, I never thought to throw it along the horseshoe, I’ll have to try that.

My philisphy for me is, I don’t need a big break on my two seam. I just need it to not be straight and be a little less-fast than my four seam.

The way I see it, the breaking ball is my movement pitch. The changeup is to upset timing … and the fastballs are the foundation from which to work your timing pitch and movement pitch.

If you can pronate and get a BIG break, such as 8 inches (I consider that big), on the two seam, that’s a bonus.

Snake Maniac -say what? Most guys with good sinkers throw from 3/4’s in some manner.

Some of this is determined by arm slot.

Movement is caused by the seams and the spin on the ball. If you throw straight overhand you are not going to get sinking movement on the ball unless you are throwing a splitter.
The reason is you have 6 to 12 rotation on the ball, this helps the ball go very straight. Some guys can get the ball to sail or cut from this position.

To get the ball to sink, you need some 7 to 1 or 8 to 2 rotation that makes the ball move sideways. When thrown low, gravity starts to pull on the ball as the spin pulls it in the inward direction. This gives it a real good/sharp “yank.”

If thrown from sidearm or submarine some guys actually get over/sidespin on the ball and the ball work under the same principles as a curveball -the Magus Effect which will give you a hell of a sinker.

Best way I found to teach movement on a ball for dead arms. I get the old trackball game from Whamo and start throwing it with a pitcher. I ask him to read the spin. (we then spend some time chasing the ball around til he masters how to throw it back to me).
Then I ask him to throw it with his arm slot, to read the spin, and how the ball moves. Track ball does not have seams, but has more friction over the ruff surface of the ball, and it does not benefit nearly as much from gravity, its too light and can be thrown too hard. After he see’s the difference from different arm slots, we pick up a baseball. He now understands the spin part of it. 6 to 12 and it actually rises!The more a pticher moves down the dial with the trackball the more he gains lateral movment. When the ball is thrown low, gravity takes over and the ball sinks.

Now that the pitcher understands and might have picked up that a loose & flexible wrist works well for putting spin on the ball, we can move on. For guys that just can’t get any movment there is “turning” the ball over. It seems to get the pitcher about a "tick of the clock " 1 to 2, 2 to 3. This seems to reduce velocity on your fastball though, but should make the ball sink.

Hope this helps some. Ian.