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Curveball Help

May 9, 2014
1
0
I just finished up my freshman year pitching at a small college. We have a paid head coach and 2 volunteer helpers. Anyhow my first year was tough, a lot harder than HS. Late in the year my HC told me my curve was not breaking late or sharply. She said it was "sliding" more than breaking and that it needed more late break, a lot of my curves ended up outside. She also told me she really couldn't help me much. Neither volunteer coach could help much either. So, long story short I found this place. Glad my semester is over. ;)

I was told that my arm motion should go pocket to pocket, and that I should keep my pitching arm close to my body. I've tried that, but is there anything else I should keep in mind when throwing a curve ball to get a good sharp break? I don't have any videos. Thank you.
 
Dec 16, 2010
164
18
Sep 5, 2019
3
1
I saw that video somewhere from fatpitchnut and he called it the corkscrew curve. Is that the same thing as a palm up curve? I had been trying to figure out the differences between them and didnt really have much to go by.
 
May 15, 2008
540
28
Cape Cod Mass.
What's important is how the ball spins. How you hold it and how you throw it are all designed to get a certain spin. If you can't recognize the spin you won't know if what you are doing is working. A good palm up curve should have horizontal spin. I consider corkscrew spin to be bulletspin and it will not produce as much break, depending on how 'tipped' the axis is it might not break at all. I use balls with dime size spots on them to help my pitchers recognize the spin. Once you can see the spin on the ball then you can play around with grip, finger pressure, release point, etc and get the correct spin. Once you get right spin then you can work on increasing the RPM's. When I teach the palm up curve I usually start with the overhand curveball. This allows the student to feel the ball coming off the side of the index finger and the turning of the wrist. We move from that to the palm up action from the sling shot position. The SS motion allows the pitcher to stay sideways and get the palm up.
 
Sep 5, 2019
3
1
Ok thank you so much. That is kinda what i was thinking as well. We have a ball with a stripe. And we also have a double ball. We have been working on a palm up curve...but have only just started to add that pitch recently. (My daughter is in her first season of 14u and shes been pitching since age 9....and has focused solely on fastball, changeup and drop ball until now. ) I saw that video though and in some ways it seemed like it might be a little easier but i wasnt sure if corkscrew was the true 9-3 we were wanting or if corkscrew was more of a bullet spin. So you helped me make a decision. I agree bullet spin is what we want to avoid. Thanks so much!
 
Feb 11, 2015
3
1
What's important is how the ball spins. How you hold it and how you throw it are all designed to get a certain spin. If you can't recognize the spin you won't know if what you are doing is working. A good palm up curve should have horizontal spin. I consider corkscrew spin to be bulletspin and it will not produce as much break, depending on how 'tipped' the axis is it might not break at all. I use balls with dime size spots on them to help my pitchers recognize the spin. Once you can see the spin on the ball then you can play around with grip, finger pressure, release point, etc and get the correct spin. Once you get right spin then you can work on increasing the RPM's. When I teach the palm up curve I usually start with the overhand curveball. This allows the student to feel the ball coming off the side of the index finger and the turning of the wrist. We move from that to the palm up action from the sling shot position. The SS motion allows the pitcher to stay sideways and get the palm up.
Could you post a picture of the spots on the ball please
 
May 15, 2008
540
28
Cape Cod Mass.
I just take a marker and draw the spots, there is no pattern. I used to darken the seams, make them black, but that didn't help much. I find that using a line on the ball is also difficult, especially for beginners.
 
May 15, 2008
540
28
Cape Cod Mass.
Ok thank you so much. That is kinda what i was thinking as well. We have a ball with a stripe. And we also have a double ball. We have been working on a palm up curve...but have only just started to add that pitch recently. (My daughter is in her first season of 14u and shes been pitching since age 9....and has focused solely on fastball, changeup and drop ball until now. ) I saw that video though and in some ways it seemed like it might be a little easier but i wasnt sure if corkscrew was the true 9-3 we were wanting or if corkscrew was more of a bullet spin. So you helped me make a decision. I agree bullet spin is what we want to avoid. Thanks so much!
You should give the corkscrew curve a try, if you can tip the axis up a little you might get enough horizontal spin to get some break. The corkscrew will probably have more velocity, palm up curves tend to be slow, so they will be different pitches. You might also experiment with a rollover curve where the fingers point down when they turn the ball. I like to let my pitchers try several different ways to spin the ball and then work on whichever method seems easiest for them.
 

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