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.
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.