Every pitcher wants to learn how to throw a nasty curve.
There’s nothing like throwing a curveball that makes a hitters knees buckle. It’s a great pitch to have in your arsenal because hitters never really learn how to hit a curve or adjust to it. Even the greatest of hitters struggle hitting a great curve.
One of the biggest issues pitchers have when they begin throwing a curve is changing their fastball mechanics. Don’t! Throw the curveball, or any other pitch, using the same arm slot and arm speed as your fastball. The only thing that changes is wrist and forearm angle at release of the pitch.
With the curveball your wrist and forearm angle look like a “karate chop”. To get an effective rotation on the ball, released the ball late. The curve will squirt or hang when you release it early or you don’t keep your glove in front of you at release. I explain this in greater detail in the you tube video below.
Curveball Mysteries Unveiled
There are many myths about how a pitcher should throw a curveball. Most of the methods I will bring up on this article actually work; but at the expense of a shorter career and an unhealthy arm. If you are serious about pitching for a long time avoid throwing a curveball using any one of these methods.
A) Wrap the curve: This is when you throw the ball with a bent wrist. It is called wrapping the curveball. There is a reason why coaches like to teach this method to pitcher’s; it works! The problems arise when a pitcher complains of sharp and often deep elbow pain. Throwing a curve like this is also a hit and a miss with your control. Some days you’ll find the strike zone and others you won’t. The overall issue I have with it is that is unhealthy to throw like this.
B) Twist or snap your wrist: If you twist your wrist right before release of the baseball you will experience elbow problems in the long run. In fact, you will know that it is wrong to throw the ball like this to begin with because your arm will tell you it’s wrong. Why do pitcher’s continue to throw like this? Again, this method works for some pitcher’s because it does impart rotation on the ball.
C) Throwing the curveball over the top: In no way, shape or form do you want to change your natural arm slot to throw another pitch.
If you want to master this pitch and learn other knee buckling pitches take advantage of today’s opportunity!