There’s really just one curveball grip, with a number of different, slight variations. Basically, the curveball a 12-year old throws is the same as most Major Leaguers, but the main difference is execution. As we discussed already, this execution is in the type of spin we apply. Major Leaguers apply topspin, little leaguers apply a sloppy mixture of slow sidespin and topspin.
Let's begin. A pitcher will stand perpendicular to a straight line (like a foul line in the outfield grass or line on a gym floor). If the pitcher is on the pitching mound itself, he can use his spikes to drag out a straight line in the dirt 8-feet long and perpendicular to the rubber (i.e. directly in line with home plate). Then, he simply marks out the distance of his height and drags out a second line in the dirt--only this one is parallel to the pitcher's rubber. If the pitcher is not on a mound, he will simply place a second object like his hat on the ground. This will mark the distance he should be striding toward his target.
The main goal of Slider Domination is to simplify the learning process of pitching. The extremely analytical world of baseball nowadays is not so much for the players. Never forget that. It is for the decision makers at the top of the pyramid. Players at all levels will still have the natural pressures that come with performing. Buying into the analytics just makes everything more difficult. Please allow this simple breakdown of how to throw a Slider in just 3 simple steps to quickly advance your progress. In conclusion, your obligations lie with mastering the Slider and elevating your pitching status.
Don't worry about wrist motion; keep your wrist firm and worry about the angle of your arm. This will maximize bottom-left break if you are a right-handed pitcher. The side of your hand should always face the batter, and your wrist should always finish at your left hip (again, right-handed). Also, try to aim at the left shoulder of a right handed batter, as this is a good aiming spot for the break to be efficient. For more information, you can refer to this article: How to Throw a Curveball.
If you’re interested in some more in-depth curveball training, I have a comprehensive program where I teach you how to master throwing a curveball. I’ve essentially put together a complete system for learning the right way to throw a true big league curveball. In this program, I’ll teach you the grip, delivery, drills, and how to integrate a curveball into your game. You’ll get access to a powerful step-by-step process for developing your curveball and learn exactly how to use your new curveball to dominate on the mound.
Go through your regular wind-up routine, but stop when you get to the kick, holding at your balance point for three to five seconds. Have a friend, coach, or teammate make sure that your leg is waist-height or higher, or have a look in the mirror. If you have trouble holding the stance for five seconds, practice tightening up your abdominal muscles, bending the leg you're standing on and aligning the height of your hips and shoulders.
Does your son or daughter have slider spin when throwing a fastball? A common problem in youth baseball is not informing kids that slider spin on a fastball is not ideal for throw/pitch efficiency. How can you identify if your son or daughter has slider spin on the ball in their throws? First thing is knowing what you are looking for when you’re playing catch in the backyard. If your son or daughter is a righthanded thrower, the first good indicator of slider spin is YOU may be catching the ball on the right side of your body consistently pulling the throws across your body. A slider has a clockwise rotation and spins on an axis that faces to player indicated by the blue line in the gif below. When playing catch you will be able to identify slider spin by seeing a circle in the middle of the ball. For righty or lefty throwers a 4 seam fastball should have close to perfect vertical spin/12 o’clock to 6 o’clock spin. A 2-seam fastball’s axis, in comparison to a righty, points towards 11 o’clock. For young kids slider spin when throwing a 4 seam fastball is not horrible for them but can become a bad habit to break. Plus we want to have the correct spin on the ball, especially as a pitcher. In this article, we will identify slider spin, what causes it, and how we can help eliminate it from 4 seams and 2 seam fastballs.
From the wind-up position have the pitcher rock, turn and raise his leg to the balance position. However, instead of either stopping, or going on to pitch, he now lowers that leg to the ground next to and immediately behind the pivot foot. He should now be standing facing either 3b (rh) or 1b (LH), in good balance before beginning. Now he simply re-raises the non-pivot foot and pitches.
Next, place your middle finger along the bottom seam of the baseball and place your thumb on the back seam (as shown in the middle picture above). When this pitch is thrown, your thumb should rotate upward, and your middle finger should snap downward while your index finger points in the direction of your target. This, of course, is the reason this pitch is great for beginners: the ball goes where your index finger points. The beginners curveball helps to align your hand and ball to the target.
Throwing a curveball in baseball is a fantastic way to dazzle your friends and baffle your opponents. Most of the technique of how to throw these curveballs is in the grip of the ball and the release. Although it takes a bit of practice, once you’ve put some time and commitment into it, you’ll be throwing steep curve-balls like the pros in no time!
I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this compilation of the best baseball pitching drills. I suggest that if you haven’t already, check out my Pitching Mechanics page. It’s where I break down a lot of the proper mechanics in the pitching delivery. You should also check out my pitching program if you’re interested in throwing faster and more accurate.