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The curveball is a great off-speed pitch that when thrown well gives the appearance of a fastball and tricks the batter.   Also, its movement makes it a harder pitch to hit than say a changeup which a batter has a better chance of making an adjustment on.   The two schools of thought concerning a curveball center on whether it is appropriate to snap the wrist.   As a little league pitcher or a developing pitcher, it is generally a good idea to avoid methods that require snapping of the wrist because your body is still developing.   Many young pitchers have had otherwise promising careers derailed because overuse of wrist snapping curveballs.


To throw a curveball, have the horseshoe opening up towards your right. You will again use your middle finger and index finger. Put them together and place them so they are rubbing up against the top seam of the horseshoe. Your hand should look like you are making a reverse C. Then, your thumb will end up on the opposite side seam on the bottom. When, you throw this pitch, you want to have the ball fall out of your hand as you are throwing it home similar to the way you might hand someone a diploma or think of your hand as like a tube of tennis balls where you are letting the baseball fall out when you throw the pitch home. You will know when you are doing this right because the ball should drop or "curve" on its delivery. Do not snap your wrist for this type of curveball.

Now, if you are an accomplished and seasoned pitcher you can obviously consider a wrist snapping motion. This will put a greater impact on your body, but may give you the edge you are looking for. Either way, recognize that to get a good curve on the ball will depend on two things (1) pressure applied to the seam by your index and middle finger and (2) and how hard you swing your arm down when delivering the pitch.

Mastery of the curveball can be tricky as you are trying to find a good combination of speed and drop on your hook.  By applying more pressure on the ball and having a moderate downward motion, you will notice your ball has more curve to it.  However, if you increase the speed of your downward motion of your hand, you will notice the pitch will have a shorter curve to it, but it will be faster.  In a game, there may be a use for both types of curves.  Yet, in the high school level, a slow moving curve will probably work best.  It would be better to use a slider if looking for a faster pitch with movement on it.  After a little experimentation, your hooks should curve as much as ball falling of the table.  One thing to keep in mind is that is possible to have your ball curve too much.  Different situations will dictate whether you want the ball to be in the strike zone.  Some of the best curveball pitchers in the major leagues like the late Darryl Kile could throw a really nasty curve, but only became truly effective when they learned to throw it for strikes by taking something off of it.


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