When it comes to baseball, it is a good idea to learn how to perfect many throws. One of these throws is known as the curveball.
A curveball looks very similar to a fastball, except it spins in the opposite direction which causes it to break in a whole different direction before it gets to the hitter.
The aim of a curveball is to make the hitter swing too early and miss the ball, creating an advantage for your baseball team.
If you want to master the curveball (and trust us, you want to!) you will need lots of practice! Luckily, we are here to help.
In this article, we will detail how to master two different kinds of curveballs so you can make serious plays and psych out the opposing team.
If you’re interested, read on for more!
Throwing A Curveball 1: The Basic Curveball
The first curveball to master is known as the basic curveball. Here’s how to do it.
Grip The Ball In Between Your Middle Finger And Thumb
First, you need to grip the ball between your middle finger and thumb. To do this, you need to place your middle finger on the baseball’s bottom seam. Meanwhile, place your thumb on the baseball’s back seam.
It is important to leave your index finger off the ball. This is because you will need it at a later point of this curveball method – to point to the place you want to send the curveball.
Now, you need to hold the ball so that the place where the seam curve is close to your palm. One should be on top of your palm, the other should be on the bottom.
If you are right-handed, you need to place your middle finger on the top seam (the right seam) and the bottom finger on the left seam (the bottom seam.) If you are left-handed, then you need to do the opposite.
Hide Your Grip
As soon as the hitter realizes you are going to throw a curveball, they will be prepared and are likely to hit the ball. So, you must hide your pitch right up until you are winding up to throw it.
To do so, you need to ensure your glove is covering the hand that is gripping the ball. By doing so, nobody on the other team will be able to see that you intend to throw a curveball.
It is important to note that experienced hitters can usually spot a basic curveball with ease, even during your windup. However, if you practice hiding your grip, your throws will be more difficult to read no matter how experienced the hitter is.
Wind Up And Throw
First, you need to place your dominant foot on the rubber flooring. Now, lift the opposite knee and turn your hips forward.
Throw the ball simultaneously. At this point, your elbow needs to be at the same level or above your arm. No matter where you choose to place your elbow, it should be bent 90 degrees.
Now all you need to do is throw. Throw the first part of the curveball as if you were going to throw a fastball.
Snap The Release
While ensuring your palm is facing inwards, extend your arm and release the ball. While doing this, step forward with the opposite foot to your dominant foot.
It is important to note that your arm should be moving towards your opposite hip after you have thrown the ball.
It is important to snap from top to bottom, instead of moving your hand across your body in an arc shape.
Also, it is vital that when you release the ball, you move your middle finger down and your thumb up. This is so the ball will move in whatever direction your middle finger points.
It is absolutely vital that you consistently practice the basic curveball before moving on to other forms.
Don’t forget that the throw’s spinning action can be achieved by holding the ball without putting pressure on it from your index finger. It is also important to snap the ball as it is released.
As soon as you learn how to do this, you can move on to more complex curveballs.
Throwing A Curveball 2: A Straight Curveball
Here’s how to throw a straight curveball!
1. Grip The Ball Between Your Middle Finger, Forefinger, And Thumb
The bottom seam should be between your middle and index fingers while your thumb should be on the back seam. The curves of the ball should be at your palm.
One curve should be at the front of the ball – the part that travels away from you when you throw it. The other should be on the bottom rear – the part that faces you after you throw the ball.
Right-handed people should place their middle finger on the top right seam, and their thumb on the bottom left seam. Left-handed people should do the opposite.
Your index finger should point at the placer you want to throw the ball. It also works to steady your middle finger.
As before, it is important that the opposing team does not see your grip. It may be helping to place the ball as deeply into your mitt as you can to help hide it.
2. Wind Up, Throw, And Release
With your dominant foot on the rubber, lift the opposite knee and turn your hips forward while throwing the ball. As before, your elbow should be at the same level as, or above, your arm. It should always be bent at 90 degrees.
Step with your opposite foot and release the ball, with your palm facing your body. Snap your arm towards your opposite hip as it comes down from the throw.
Throwing a curveball will confuse hitters and give your team an advantage in the game. Here are two great examples of curveballs you can throw. However, you will need to practice them well if you want to succeed.