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!

The difference between a slider and curveball is that the curveball delivery includes a downward yank on the ball as it is released in addition to the lateral spin applied by the slider grip. The slider is released off the index finger, while the curveball is released off the middle finger. If the pitcher is snapping his wrist as he throws, and the movement is more downward than sideways, then he is probably throwing a curveball or slurve, and not a true "slider".
The key with the slider is to hold the ball slightly off-center (on the outer third of the baseball). Remember to slightly cock your wrist, but don't stiffen it. That way, you can still get good wrist-snap upon release. If your wrist is slightly cocked to the throwing hand's thumb side, your wrist-snap will enable you to have the pitch come off of the thumb-side of your index finger, which, in turn, promotes good spin on the ball.
The arm action on this pitch is a little abbreviated at the end. Instead of getting a nice long arc of deceleration and finishing throwing elbow outside of your opposite knee (as with your fastball), you'll want to bring your throwing-hand elbow to the opposite hip. This, of course, shortens your follow through, but allows you to really snap off the pitch.
When you start actually throwing the curveball, I recommend getting the feel for ball release first and working backwards from there. So start off real light, about 15-20 feet from your target. I usually like to start guys off facing their target, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward. You can even start out on your knees to take the legs out of it completely (forces you to keep it light). And just get the arm up with that good hand and wrist position, and work on tossing/flipping the ball with good forward spin.
Another more advanced variation of the curveball is the knuckle curveball (sometimes called a spike curve). This is the curveball grip that I used. Thrown the same way as my beginners curveball only you'll tuck your finger back into the seam of the ball. Your knuckle will now point to your target instead of your index finger (in the beginners curve).
In order to master the curveball, you must start by gripping the ball with your middle and index fingers together, with the fingers across the seams of the ball at the widest part (the widest distance between the seams). Keeping a tight grip on the ball, especially with the middle finger, don’t let the ball touch the palm of your hand, or you won’t generate enough topspin, which is what allows the ball to drop when it gets close to home plate.

In 2004 we developed the first evidence-based pitching program based on sports science research, instead of common coaching beliefs. Through this research we've also learned video analysis is still the best and most accurate way to assess pitching mechanics. We not only show pitchers at all levels their faults and the adjustments, but work with there style in order to improve their velocity and control, all while reducing their risk of arm injuries. The true difference about our coaching methods are simple, our clients will truly feel the difference and that's the only true way towards improvement and development.
The drill is used to develop great pitcher control by having the pitcher throw strikes at varying distances. The drill has a catcher set at a stationary plate. The plate never moves. The pitcher should begin throwing at a distance 1/2 of his normal pitching distance. You should have 6-8 distance markers with the first being at his starting point and the longest being twice his normal pitching distance. The markers should be at 10 foot intervals and in a straight line with the plate. The object of the drill is to develop control by gradually moving toward and away from the targeted strike zone. The pitcher is required to throw 1-3 strikes from each marker before moving to the next. The catcher serves as the umpire. Variations of this drill may be to have 1-3 pitchers working and competing against each other. The drill teaches them to work fast, concentrate, and execute a perfect pitch. Make sure your pitchers are in condition for this drill. They will find that throwing strikes from longer distance requires great mechanics and builds arm strength. Make sure your players stretch and warm-up first.
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Recommendations: Drills to address “good arm action” should focus on getting both arms working together in concert. What the glove arm does directly affects the throwing arm and there should be a sort of seesaw effect. Establish the positions, but practice moving right through those positions in a fluid, efficient manner. And always remember, every pitcher is different, so let young pitchers find their own natural arm slot – avoid teaching cookie cutter pitching mechanics.
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Another property of pitches is their break. Most commonly, that is the difference between their trajectory and that of a ball thrown with the same initial velocity, but no spin. As you may recall from earlier articles in this series, a basic fastball breaks up, while a basic curveball breaks down. A pitcher’s arm angle can modify these motions, so that a righthanded pitcher’s (RHP’s) fastball moves tends to move toward third base, as well as up.
Later that summer, the kid would commit to Vanderbilt University, better known as “Pitching U’ because of the plethora of first-round draft picks they were pumping out under the tutelage of pitching coach, Derek Johnson. (Derek Johnson is a member of the BaseballThinkTank Advisory Board and author of the best selling book, “The Complete Guide To Pitching.”)
The slider breaks down about six inches and in by six inches to an opposite hand hitter. A left-handed pitcher’s slider breaks down and away from left-handed batters; down and in on right-handed batters. It appears to be a fastball but breaks at the last minute going about six to eight miles an hour slower than the fastball. It is one of the fastest pitches in baseball.
What pitcher doesn't want to throw a powerful, record-breaking fastball? According to Dr. Bagonzi, a great pitch isn't just about genetic talent; it can be taught. By now we know that velocity begins in windup, followed through with a powerful throw. Good upper body baseball pitching drills improve velocity by increasing arm strength and speed. For that, the legendary pitcher recommends the following:
Another more advanced variation of the curveball is the knuckle curveball (sometimes called a spike curve). This is the curveball grip that I used. Thrown the same way as my beginners curveball only you'll tuck your finger back into the seam of the ball. Your knuckle will now point to your target instead of your index finger (in the beginners curve).
A straight curve requires mastery of my beginners curveball, because many of the same principles that apply to both grips. This doesn't mean that you have to throw a beginners curve (most pitchers actually start right out with this pitching grip). But the beginners curveball is a good place to start. Then, of course, this pitching grip is the next step. That's because there is essentially no significant difference between a straight curveball and a beginners curveball, except for the finger placement of your index finger. It should be placed on the baseball as opposed to pointed at a target.
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)
In order to throw a proper Curveball, it is necessary to get "on top" of the ball and then spin it downwards. The grip is pretty simple: just put your index and middle fingers together and then place the middle finger alongside the Blitzball seam. You should get a good, tight grip on the seam with your middle finger so that you can really get some leverage on it.
Following the tuck jumps athletes will continue the youth pitching drill by performing alternating split jumps. Athletes will begin in a lunging position with one foot out in front of the other while maintaining a high chest. Athletes front leg should stay at around a 90 degree angle throughout the explosive pitching drill. From this starting position athletes will use an explosive upward arm action to help them explosively jump in the air and switch feet, athletes should land with the opposite foot forward. Continue this jumping and switching process for 3-4 resisted sets of 8-12 repetitions followed by 2-3 unresisted set of 8-12 reps.
Hold the ball so that the u shape is facing you upside down.  If you are a righty do it like this.  Placed your middle finger of you right hand onto the right seem of the upside down u.  place your pointer finger directly beside it.  Place your thumb on the seem on the other side of the ball on the left seem.  Place your ring finger on the bottom of the ball curled up with the pinkey finger beside it.  The pinkey finger should not touch the ball. Here is a picture of the grip.

House primarily talked about kinematic sequencing, essentially developing good timing in your delivery.  The part that was most interesting to me was when he got into the idea of reprogramming movement patterns, or replacing old movement patterns with better ones His main point was that if you want to make lasting changes, you really need to break it down and go back to the early stages of development.

A slider is meant to be slightly more deceptive than a curveball because it is thrown harder and has spin that more closely resembles a fastball — although it doesn't create as much overall movement. Many power relief pitchers possess only a fastball and a slider in their arsenals — with one pitch setting up the other because of the late deception created by the slider.


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In 2004 we developed the first evidence-based pitching program based on sports science research, instead of common coaching beliefs. Through this research we've also learned video analysis is still the best and most accurate way to assess pitching mechanics. We not only show pitchers at all levels their faults and the adjustments, but work with there style in order to improve their velocity and control, all while reducing their risk of arm injuries. The true difference about our coaching methods are simple, our clients will truly feel the difference and that's the only true way towards improvement and development.
The pitcher must kick straight up and stay there for a count of 2 and then he has to reach back, while in the middle of his kick, and take a ball out of the hand of the person behind him. This will keep the pitcher from 'slinging' the ball and hurting his elbow, improves his balance point during his windup, and it keeps his hand on top of the ball during his windup.
A Hall of Fame pitcher famous for his slider was lefty Steve Carlton. Right-handed pitcher David Cone was famous for his slider, which he was able to use many different ways, as was Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. To right-handed batters, Cone would throw it to hook sharply outside the strike zone, getting hitters to chase and miss it. He threw the pitch from various arm angles to further confuse the hitter. Cone's slider was also a strikeout pitch to left-handed hitters, throwing it to curve back over the outside corner and catch the hitter looking. Cone used the slider effectively during his perfect game on July 18, 1999—the final out was recorded via a slider resembling a wiffle ball. In the first game of the 1988 World Series, Dennis Eckersley tried to strike out Kirk Gibson with a backdoor slider, but Gibson was sitting on that exact pitch and hit a game-winning home run. Joe Carter ended the 1993 World Series with a home run on a slider thrown by Mitch Williams. A remarkable slider was John Smoltz's, which would come in looking like a strike and then break out of the strike zone. Brad Lidge featured a slider in his perfect season as a closer in 2008, and used the pitch to strike out the final batter of the 2008 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. Closer Francisco Cordero also throws a slider.[citation needed] Other top pitchers to throw a slider included Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, who used the pitch to win a Cy Young Award in 1981,[1]and Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson, whose slider's lateral movement eventually spawned its own nickname, "Mr. Snappy". At times, Johnson's slider was faster than most pitchers' fastballs. Mike Jackson, who tied Paul Assenmacher with the most games pitched in the 1990s (644), also threw a slider. Ron Guidry threw a slider, which he was taught by Sparky Lyle.
Step 2: This grip provides maximum rotation movement, more than any breaking pitch. However, many pitchers who are learning this pitch for the first time aren’t comfortable with the ‘tuck’.  It’s not natural at first to tuck your index finger into the baseball. I recommend, preferably during the off-season, to practice tucking your index finger into the baseball. Do it while you’re watching TV!
In the stride phase of the pitching motion, a pitcher should be able to draw an imaginary line from the heel of his back foot, through the ball of his stride foot, and onward to the target. Keeping the lower body aligned in a straight line closes a pitcher's hips, directs the shoulders, and allows the throwing arm to reach the "high cock phase" of its arm path in the back of the pitcher's body. Additionally, if a pitcher lands too far to the glove-side of his body, he will open the shoulder too soon. This causes the pitch to be low and outside while creating stress on the arm and reducing velocity. If a pitcher lands too far to the throwing-side, he will inevitably have to throw across his body making the outside part of the strike zone difficult to hit. Plus, if a pitcher throws across his body, he creates an increased amount of stress on the arm.
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