How to Throw a Curveball(and Have More Strikeouts)

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How to Throw a Curveball

As veterans of the game might testify, throwing a curveball is as important as a fastball. For, in addition to deceiving the batter, a curveball places less strain on the elbow. Thus, for a player who has just started playing the game and hasn’t developed the particular strength of throwing the fastball, curveball might come to his rescue.

As for the older player, if they haven’t learned it yet, there’s an incentive to throwing a curveball: it can lower the pitch count. Thus, if you can command it perfectly, a good curveball will enable you to get more strikeouts and reduce the opponents to shorter innings.

Find the preceding scenario intriguing? Let’s learn how to throw a curveball.

Pitching a basic curveball

Step # 1: How to Grip the ball

gripping baseball

For beginners, it’s best if they grip the ball between the middle finger and thumb. If you belong to this category, grip the ball in such a manner so the middle finger is placed along the bottom seam. The thumb, however, should be placed along the back seam. As for the index finger, keep it off the ball. For, while you may not be using it to grip the ball, the index finger should be pointing at the location where the ball is going.

Step # 2: Hide Your Grip

Hiding your grip has a massive role to play in the effectiveness of a curveball. For, if you reveal the grip, the hitter will know in advance what you’re planning to do. Hence, he would become prepared. The key to throwing a curveball is to get the hitter off guard. Thus, while throwing it, make sure the glove covers the grip.

Step # 3: Throw the pitch

To throw a pitch, it is recommended that you follow the aforementioned steps.

  •  Start by placing your front foot on the rubber
  • Follow up by lifting the opposite knee and rotating the hips forward
  • When throwing the pitch, the elbow is required to be level with the arm. Also, it should be bent at a 90* angle.

Step # 4: Snap the release

If you want to throw a basic curveball, it is recommended to snap the ball from top to bottom. On releasing the ball, your thumb, and the middle finger should be rotating in different directions: upward and downward respectively. Lastly, release the ball as close to your body as possible. In this way, you would be increasing the curve and spin of the ball.

Pitching a knuckle curveball

Step # 1: Grip

Apart from the role which your index finger will play, the knuckleball grip is similar to any other grip. To do this, make the area along the bottom seam has been gripped by your middle finger and the one along the back seam by your thumb. Also, hold the ball in such a way that the curves are placed close to your palm. As for the index finger, it should be bent inwards laying on the ball in such a manner that the top knuckle and nail are placed on the ball. Also, to point at the target, use your middle knuckle.

Step # 2: Hide the grip

While it is also important in pitching a simple curveball, hiding the grip gains unprecedented importance in the case of a knuckle curve ball. For, if you don’t hide it, your finger placement would spill the beans to the hitter.

Step # 3: Throw

Throwing a knuckle curveball is the same as that of the simple curveball.

Step # 4: Release the ball

In releasing a curveball, your hand should release the ball the moments it passes your head. After throwing, your arm should snap towards the opposite hip. Lastly, to spin the ball, turn the thumb up and the middle finger down.

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