Let's face it: curve balls
are cool. A well-thrown one looks like a movie special effect. One
instant the ball is heading in a more-or-less straight line--then
suddenly (as if it thought of something better to do) it swoops off
and down to one side, utterly unnerving the batter.
Physics, that's what. While ball players tend to be mysterious about the process, the reality is that it's a simple (if somewhat counter-intuitive) procedure: spin the ball as it leaves your hand. This 2torial will talk you through the essentials of mastering the curve. We can't guarantee you'll make the majors, but we can at least make you look a little cooler up there on the mound.
The curve ball is held with the fingers close together and thrown with sidespin. This alters the speed and trajectory of the ball, throwing off a batter's timing and swing location. Use it when the batter may be expecting a fastball.
Practice control of the curve by playing an easy game of catch with a partner standing pitching distance away. Throw curve balls gently and award one point for each throw to the middle of the other player's chest. Play to 10, 15 or 21. Throw easy to get used to the pitch and to lower the risk of injury while learning the curve ball.
Pain and Discomfort
If you encounter any pain or discomfort while throwing the curve, stop immediately. Improper curve ball technique can lead to serious injuries.
Patience is vital when learning the curve ball. With practice, you can have the action and control of your curve. It may take longer to perfect than the fastball, but hang in there!
If your curve ball is not breaking sharply, you may be snapping your wrist sideways instead of downward.
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