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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Throw a Curveball

HandsBackHitter by Swing Buster

Article Title: How to Throw a Curveball
By Kyle Cross

Being a pitcher in baseball is one of the most stressful, important positions in sport. Everything the pitcher does is analyzed over and over, from the windup to the delivery to the control of the pitches to the fielding stance after the ball has been delivered. A pitcher needs to have repertoire of multiple pitches in order to surprise the opponent, the batter. An imperative pitch in the repertoire is the curveball. This pitch is one that when thrown properly will fool even the best of hitters. The "curve" is slower than the fastball and has a distinct path to the plate in which the ball "breaks" downward. Like all things in sport, the pitch needs to be practiced a great deal to become more and more effective, but learning the pitch can be broken down into seven steps.

1. Hold the ball in front of you so the seams of the ball look like an upside-down "U."

2. Grip the ball with your index and ring finger together on the outside of the ball, but on the inside of the seam.

3. Continue to grip the ball in this was throughout your routine windup.

4. As your arm comes forward, make sure your delivery is identical every time so the batter will not notice a change and expect the different pitch.

5. When you have reached the release point, quickly snap your wrist outwards, putting a good deal of rotation on the ball.

6. Follow through with your release, fully rotating your wrist outward.

7. Releasing the pitch, proceed to position yourself into a good fielding position as most curveballs, if hit at all, will be hit into the ground.

Young pitchers should refrain from throwing this pitch. The release puts a large amount of torque and strain on forearm muscles and elbow ligaments. The arm of a child is not fully developed and thus the strain of consistently throwing this pitch will result in severe injury. When your body is ready, this pitch can be devastating. All of the great pitchers in the history of professional baseball had a dominant breaking pitch or a solid curve to go with a power fastball. The best hitters in the world can hit a pitch going over 100 MPH if the ball is moving straight. The movement of the pitch is what makes it so difficult to make contact with, so repeating the motion is crucial to success.

Kyle Cross is a sophomore at Nichols College studying in the Sport Management program. He strives to work in professional baseball upon graduation.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick