I have placed the long seam of the baseball in between my index- and middle-fingers, and I have put my thumb on the opposite seam underneath the baseball (as shown in the first picture above). Some baseball pitchers may find it more helpful to place their index finger along the seam of the baseball since the index finger is the one from which the slider is thrown.
Now, the "markings" he will have on the mound should create an imaginary letter "H" if one looks from the side. The pitcher then goes through his entire delivery (with or with out throwing the baseball at the end of the motion) and looks to see where his front foot lands in relation to the two lines he has etched out in the dirt. He can use either his full or set wind-up in this drill. Did the pitcher land the length of his height? Did the pitcher stride in a straight line toward his target? If not, a pitcher should perform this drill 50-times a day without throwing the baseball.
Choose a grip (start with the standard finger on top of the ball variation) and see how it feels, and get some feedback from a qualified partner on how it looks. Then, tinker. Try others, and see which grip works best for you. Remember: NO grip is best, and any can produce an amazing curveball – it just depends on the person and his level of comfort with it, and his unique way of throwing.
7. Parallel Feet Drill - Works on upper body mechanics. This drill isolates the upper body. The pitchers face each other chest to chest with the feet at shoulder width. The lower body remains stationary. The ball is held in the glove in the "check-your-pulse" position. The torso twists at a 90 degree angle as the ball is pulled down out of the glove, and in a sweeping arc brought to the power position with the hand always on top, and the elbow at least at shoulder level. The delivery is then made and the proper follow through is checked. The glove elbow finishes pointed toward the sky. The drill emphasizes that the pitcher throws with a "proud chest" that remains closed as long as possible.
B) Twist or snap your wrist: In this brief pitching video I explain this myth in greater detail. 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. The wrong rotation, but pitchers find success with it so they continue to use it.
Both partners will begin in a standing position, facing forward so athletes are side to side, each with one end of the KB Powerbands. The athlete performing the shoulder prevention exercises will put their hand or a towel high in their armpit, bring their elbow to their side, and make a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Holding the KB Powerbands athletes will maintain this position with their arm and begin to rotate just the bottom portion of their arm (forearm and hand) away from their body. It is important athletes do not let their elbow move away from their body. Keeping the elbow tight will allow athletes to experience the full benefits of the pitching drill. Athletes will move the hand away from their body at a normal speed while taking 4-5 seconds to control the resistance as the hand moves back toward the body.
Strictly speaking, a curveball breaks more in the vertical plane than horizontally. Curveball masters can throw a “12–6” (think clock), purely vertical and do it anywhere from 70–90mph. More commonly, the ball drifts from 1–7ish, 2–8ish. If a ball breaks more laterally (horizontally), ie. 3–8, then it’s a slider, but thrown faster than a curve (80mph territory). If it just breaks laterally at more or less fastball speed (80–90), then it’s a cutter.

Choose a grip (start with the standard finger on top of the ball variation) and see how it feels, and get some feedback from a qualified partner on how it looks. Then, tinker. Try others, and see which grip works best for you. Remember: NO grip is best, and any can produce an amazing curveball – it just depends on the person and his level of comfort with it, and his unique way of throwing.


One common situation arises when a pitcher faces a “same-handed batter” – a righty pitcher matched up against a right-handed batter, or a southpaw against a left-handed batter. In these matchups, a fastball breaks toward the batter, while sliders and curveballs break away from the batter. If the pitcher aims his slider toward the outer half of the plate, it tends to move farther and farther away from the batter as it approaches him – perhaps ending up far outside the strike zone.
Zito grips the ball with his index and middle fingers straddling the seam. "I want to get on top of the ball," he says. "When I release it, I force those two fingers down hard. That creates the torque on the seams, which causes rotation and spin. I also don't want to get my arm angle too high because that will take away the ball's bite -- I want to maintain a three-quarter arm slot."
Launching a great pitch requires good timing, and lots of control during the leg kick. New pitchers tend to fall forward too soon on follow-through, rather than staying on top of the baseball. This balance drill gets pitchers to practice holding their leg kick before full delivery. It keeps the pitcher in a position to maintain control, rather than rushing the follow-through. Slowing down the leg kick will ultimately help a pitcher to deliver straighter, faster balls, with more power and poise.
Now, the "markings" he will have on the mound should create an imaginary letter "H" if one looks from the side. The pitcher then goes through his entire delivery (with or with out throwing the baseball at the end of the motion) and looks to see where his front foot lands in relation to the two lines he has etched out in the dirt. He can use either his full or set wind-up in this drill. Did the pitcher land the length of his height? Did the pitcher stride in a straight line toward his target? If not, a pitcher should perform this drill 50-times a day without throwing the baseball.
Mostly the speed and amount of break. A curveball is thrown more slowly than a slider, and the amount of curve on its trajectory is more even. From the batter’s perspective it looks like the pitch is falling off a table. On the other hand, a slider is thrown almost as hard as a fastball. Its trajectory is much sharper than a curveball’s, its break becomes noticeable about 2/3 of the way towards the plate. To a batter it looks like a fastball, then suddenly breaks sharply.
Gripping a curveball is simple. Place your thumb on the bottom seam of the baseball and then place your middle finger directly above your thumb; splitting the baseball in half with thumb and middle finger. Your index finger is placed right next to your middle finger. Make sure your index finger applies no pressure on the ball. When you start throwing the curveball you can experiment how tight you want to grip the ball. If your grip is too tight the ball can “squirt” on you or it will not make it across the plate. If your grip it too loose you will lose complete control and the ball won’t even know where it will go. Thumb and middle fingers are the only two fingers that apply pressure on the baseball.
A pitcher's should stride at a minimum 80% his height towards home plate during his fastball delivery. On the curveball and change-up, his stride should be six to eight inches less than his height. For example, if a pitcher is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, then his stride toward home plate on the release of the baseball should be 5 feet, 2 inches (or thereabouts).
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