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Drop Ball Before Rise Ball / Inside & Outside Curves & Screwballs

Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
I've always felt teaching Drop Ball BEFORE Rise balls.... rationale is if a Drop doesn't break, often early on teh up/down pitches don't! , hopefully this Drop that doesn't break and is now a slower fastball generates a groundball where we at least have a shot at making a play or a single, whereas a Riiseball that doesn't break is generally a slower fastball up in a batters wheelhouse and resluts can be doubles or worse.......

Any thoughts?


Separately, I also teach INSIDE Curve and outside curve, same as Inside Screwball and Outside Screwball..... most girls tell me that although it makes sense to them, they've never been taught you can throw these pitches BOTH sides of the plate...... Why??
May 5, 2009
Order of pitches taught

Most instructors in my area teach the pitches in this order:
1> Fast
2> Change
3> Drop
4> Curve
5> Rise

Rise seems to take the longest to master. If it doesn't spin backwards 6-12 it is not a rise. I see a lot of upward angled pitches that our young pitchers smile at because the catcher catches the ball over her head. Progression drill is key.

On the curveball (I have a lefty) yes it is taught inside coming in on the hands or off the plate crossing the outside (as long as you don't get an unmpire that makes a call early, I hate that) A curveball that the batters give up early thinking outside is a fun as one completely clueless on the change. (trying to teach DD not to laugh in the circle)

One thing on Terminology "back door curveball"; I always considered this the pitch that starts outside and crosses the plate, basically getting to the plate from the back side. I say an interview the other day with someone saying the inside pitch was the "back door curveball". If anyone can correct my understanding that would be great.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
IMHO, few pitchers ever learn a breaking pitch.

Some coach shows them how to do a peel drop, and the pitcher gets where she can get it to break an inch, and then the coach moves on to a curve ball or a screw ball, and convinces the pitcher that she has a great curve or screw. The coach then ends up teaching a rise ball, and the best the pitcher gets is "rifle spin". So, the pitcher does OK at 16U, and maybe has a decent HS career, and her career ends.

One pitching coach (and this is the honest to go truth) told the pitcher that she had "curve screw" so that it broke first away from and then toward the batter.

May 12, 2008
Rise seems to take the longest to master. If it doesn't spin backwards 6-12 it is not a rise. .
Few pitchers have perfect 6-12 spin. Half rise half bullet spin will give you most of the lift perfect 6-12 will give you. I do agree with you that back spin is the definition of a rise ball. Throw backspin at the knees on the inside black mixed with drops on the inside black if you want to see confused hitters.
May 5, 2009
Thanks Mark. What I read says 6-12. What our pitching coach said I should see is a dot (the bullet) at the top left of the ball. Nice to have agreement.

We are back to relearning the curve ourselves. As slugger said what was sold as a curve is mostly a natural lefty ball movement. Just started using the Spin Right Spinners this month and the instant feedback has done wonders, it is almost a game now rather than me just saying "that ain't it yet". I can keep quite while she works it out.
May 12, 2008
I'm not following you. With perfect 6-12 spin the dots will be on the left and right sides of the ball at the spin axis. Most rises I see, even good ones, either the spin axis is level but at something of an angle to ball flight path (part bullet spin-part back spin) or the spin axis is perpendicular to flight path but tilted over (part rise spin part curve spin). Don't get me wrong, 6-12/pure perfect backspin is great (as long as you can do it and keep good rpm), I just don't see it that often. Some, but not that often.
Jan 13, 2009
I agree Mark.

When my DD does rise ball warm up (open/close or arm circles), the spin is near perfect 6-12.

When she throws full speed, the spin is more curve than rise. We keep working progression drills to get the spin better at full speed. Her problem seems to be in a follow through across her body rather than up a vertical axis.
Aug 21, 2008
Towpilot, I agree with Mark here. 6/12 rotation would not show a dot in the middle.

The sad truth here is, many people teach a "dot center" riseball and tell the pitcher to lean back to compensate and help the angle. This is mostly because people teach mechanics which prohibit the 6/12 rotation from being possible. So, they teach the lean and bullet spin while calling it a rise. That said, I disagree with Mark that "Half rise half bullet spin will give you most of the lift perfect 6-12 will give you."

I do agree with Mark that most people do not do the 6/12 rotation. Which is a shame because it can be done with hard work. It's not easy and I'm not very liberal with my students on anything less than 11:30-5:30 rotation. Some get it quicker than others, some struggle for a long time. But I believe it to be necessary hard work.

May 12, 2008
Those who do the math on such things reported that. It goes along with my experience as well though certainly your experience far exceeds mine. Don't remember the numbers for sure but my recollection is something like half rise half bullet spin got you about 2/3 or the lift of perfect backspin. I do agree get the best spin axis you can without sacrificing significant rpm.

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