A right-handed pitcher snaps his wrists in clockwise rotation when delivering a curveball (he grips the ball with his middle finger near the top of the ball and his thumb on the bottom---but releases the pitch with his thumb near the top).  A pitcher throws a slider with smaller wrist-break.  He imparts spin by gripping the ball "off-center" (that is, he grips the ball with his middle finger at "2 o'clock"-- instead of 12 o'clock)
[circle_list] [list_item]The drill should address and benefit at least two of these components (Balance and Timing, Timing and Power, Balance and Power, or all three).[/list_item] [list_item]The drill must not negatively impact any one of these components (for example, if a drill teaches balance, but hurts timing and power by having the pitcher pause and lose momentum, then it is counterproductive).[/list_item] [/circle_list]

For a right-handed pitcher, a curveball spins clockwise as it heads toward home plate, pushing through the air, and slowing by the force of friction caused by the resistance of the air. Because of the ball's spin, air will pass more quickly on one side than the other. In other words, the air will move with the spin of the ball on one side and against the spin of the ball on the other side.
Every pitcher wants to learn how to throw a curveball. Why? Because it’s effective and it gets hitters out. There’s nothing like throwing a curveball that makes a hitters knees buckle. It’s a great pitch to have in your arsenal because hitters never really learn how to hit a curve or adjust to it. Hitters can hit a good curveball but they can’t hit a great one. Even the greatest of hitters struggle hitting it; they just hope they don’t miss the opportunity to hit a fastball when it comes.

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, he is now a professional scout with the Colorado Rockies. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier


The downside risk makes some experts advise pitchers to avoid drills altogether. But I've seen them produce tremendous results in too many of my pitchers to discredit them. What athletes, parents and their coaches need is a way to navigate the landscape of pitching drills. The following will help you know what to look for so you can separate the good from the bad.
The Curveball is generally a more advanced pitch to learn and throw because of the unique mechanics involved. Many coaches feel that younger players (below the age of 15) should not practice throwing the Curveball with real baseballs because it might place too much stress on a young arm. Although it is likely much safer to throw curveballs with a Blitzball because of its light weight, younger players should still ask parents' for their approval before trying to learn it (you might want to learn a hard Knuckleball instead to get a similar dropping action without having to throw actual Curveballs). The Curveball is unusual because it is the only pitch that involves "topspin" (think of it as the opposite of a fastball's backspin).

While this partner is rotating their arm in and out the other athlete will hold the KB Powerbands with both hands extended out in front of their body. With knees slightly bent, back straight, and shoulder blades pinched together this athlete will squeeze their abs and hold this position. As their partner rotates the athlete will feel tension build in the abs. Athletes must keep abs tight to avoid being pulled or rotating the hips or arms.
There are several versions of the Slider, but we will illustrate the cut-fastball version (aka a “Cutter”) because it’s the easiest for most people to learn and throw. The Cutter is gripped similarly to a Two-Seam Fastball (index or middle finger along the Blitzball seam), except the two fingers should be closer together and the ball should be held with an off-center grip (towards the outside half of the ball).
Coach Phil grew up in Rye, NY where he graduated from Rye Country Day School before heading to Northwestern University on a baseball scholarship. Phil was drafted by Major League organizations on three separate occasions: first by the Detroit Tigers as a High School Senior, then following his Junior year at Northwestern by the Atlanta Braves, and finally by the Cleveland Indians after his graduation in 1999.Most recently, Phil pitched for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. His years of pro experience and his commitment to studying the art (and science) of pitching give him a real understanding of what it takes to be a successful pitcher at any level.
The downside risk makes some experts advise pitchers to avoid drills altogether. But I've seen them produce tremendous results in too many of my pitchers to discredit them. What athletes, parents and their coaches need is a way to navigate the landscape of pitching drills. The following will help you know what to look for so you can separate the good from the bad.
One of the biggest issues pitchers have when they begin throwing a curve is changing their fastball mechanics. Don’t! Throw the curveball, or any other pitch, using the same arm slot and arm speed as your fastball. The only thing that changes is wrist and forearm angle. With the curveball your wrist and forearm angle look like a “karate chop”. To get an effective rotation on the ball, released the ball late. The curve will squirt or hang when you release it early or you don’t keep your glove in front of you at release. I explain this in greater detail in the you tube video below.
Asking if a kid can see that slider spin is occurring is a common question I will bring up in lessons. Having a thought process and feeling with what they are doing is something that he or she can control and fix from throw to throw but it is not often taught. We like to have kids visualize and react to what is being said and into what is being felt. When trying to recognize the slider spin, the catcher should be able to see where the thrower is missing with his fastball. Seeing the ball out of the thrower’s hand and knowing that a slider has clockwise spin on the baseball you will be able to clearly tell that they released the ball wrong.
Two pitchers sit, with legs crossed, about 20-30 feet from each other. The receiver puts his glove in front of his face as the target. The thrower must hit the target without the ball bouncing, and with minimal rocking motion. This will require the elbow to be above the shoulder, and a good rotation of the shoulders to just get it there, thus teaching good technique.
When thrown, try to manipulate the pitch to come off of the thumb-side of your index finger – NOT your index- and middle-fingers, as with a two-seam fastball – because a two-finger release will cause the pitch to balance out, which reduces the spin that you are looking for. Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand's thumb-side upon release of the pitch. This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger. Avoid any twisting of the wrist upon release.
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.
While this partner is rotating their arm in and out the other athlete will hold the KB Powerbands with both hands extended out in front of their body. With knees slightly bent, back straight, and shoulder blades pinched together this athlete will squeeze their abs and hold this position. As their partner rotates the athlete will feel tension build in the abs. Athletes must keep abs tight to avoid being pulled or rotating the hips or arms.
Pitching is a connective chain of movements.  As you put this into action, you will notice the prerequisites of staying behind the ball as they continue on to the next 2 steps as well.  When you can stay behind the baseball, you will be in command of your pitches.  When you see a pitcher falling underneath the baseball as a result of mechanical flaws, you know bad things are going to happen.  Due to this mechanical breakdown, it is easy to foresee this before the ball even gets released.   When you do this step correctly, you will execute #2 correctly.
This simple drill keeps the weight back while in the wind-up. Once the pitcher gets used to it, he can develop a nice natural flow, rock, turn, raise, drop, raise and pitch. Then alternate the drill every other pitch. Pitchers who are comfortable with it, can even do it between innings for a pitch or two just to reinforce their proper piece and keep from rushing.
Recently, Indonesia’s island of Sulawesi was hit by a tsunami following a series of devastating earthquakes, affecting more than 1.5 million people. Our partner, Direct Relief, is working hard to supply Indonesia with much needed medical aid and supplies in response. If you click below to let us know you read this article, wikiHow will donate to Direct Relief on your behalf to support the relief effort for Indonesia.

Youth1’s Recruiting Counselors are on a mission to educate student-athletes and families about the recruiting process.  The process starts early and is very competitive so we want to make sure we do whatever we can for families interested in learning more about the college athletic recruiting process. We’re here to answer your questions and provide guidance through the important decisions that will shape your athlete's journey in sports.
[circle_list] [h5]Here are the big problems with most drills that teach “good arm action”[/h5] [list_item]Teaching the “L” – this works completely against developing fluid, efficient arm action. The “L” is a point in time. All pitchers should get to this position just before arm acceleration (or what I like to refer to as catapult & extend). But it’s just that – a point – and you pass right through it.[/list_item] [list_item]Starting from the “Power Position” or the “Power-T” (or whatever they’re calling it these days) does not teach good arm action. The act of throwing involves creating momentum and transferring that momentum out into the ball. When you start from a pre-set position, with your arm essentially where it would be mid-throw, you kill momentum and disrupt timing.[/list_item] [list_item]They teach “Thumbs to Your Thigh, Fingers to the Sky” … Catchy, but an awful teach. This is just not what good big league pitchers do, and is not the way to develop a fluid, efficient arm path. The problem is it teaches getting the arm up as the main objective, when really the focus should be on whipping the arm through and getting to a good fully extended release point.[/list_item] [/circle_list] [h5]So Say No to All Drills??[/h5]

Bruce Sutter, one of the best splitter pitchers in the history of the game, says that it is very important to put your thumb on the back seam, not the front seam. This puts the ball out front just a bit more than a fork ball. Then, he says, you just throw a fastball. A very sophisticated and misunderstood point is that the split-fingered fastball should be thrown with back spin just like a two-seam fastball. But in a Roger Kahn / Bruce Sutter interview in Kahn's book, The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound, he points out that this is not the case.

To begin the pitching drill athletes will need a set of Kbands and 2 Speed and Agility Cones. Athletes will attach the appropriate Kbands resistance just above the knees and space the Speed and Agility Cones at a challenging distance apart. Athletes will be jumping laterally so coaches and athletes should space the Speed and Agility Cones to act as a marker which the athlete is trying to reach. This distance will keep the pitching drill challenging for the athlete.
For these explosive youth pitching drills athletes will need a set of Kbands attached just above their knees. Athletes will move through two phases of this youth pitching drill, tuck jumps and split jumps. This unique combination of exercises allows athletes to focus on building baseball power in both legs while also isolating the legs and forcing them to individually develop these power characteristics.
I didn’t add this into one of the original 13 best baseball drills only because I already mentioned it above.  This is in the first video where I share my two favorite baseball pitching drills.  But I figured I post this video too because I explain it in a little different of a way.  So, if it helps someone understand a little better, then good.  That’s what I’m here for 😉
×