Pitchers that have the ability to throw a curveball successfully tend to win more games than they lose. That’s because most batters have trouble making solid contact with a ball that is going to “break downward” or “drop” when it reaches the plate. But, very few pitchers, at any level, can make a ball move so much that a batter misses it. However, this article will show you “how to grip a curveball” and, equally important, how to throw a curveball, as well.
If you’re a dad and your son is a pitcher in Little League or on a varsity high school or college team, you are about to learn about three easy-to-master grips that can help your son, the pitcher, excel and get hitters out.
Most professional baseball pitchers use what is commonly known as “the basic grip” to make a pitched ball curve away from a hitter’s bat. But, some pitchers, especially those who are young, employ the “Index-Up Grip,” while very few, but highly successful, pitchers know how to throw the “knuckle curve.”
You’ll soon discover just how easy it really is to “perfect the grip” for all three curveballs and you or his coach will be able to instruct and help your son.
Now, here is everything you need to know …
The Basic Grip Can Help Your Son Throw A Curveball - That Is Very Hard To Hit
The Basic Grip may sound a bit complicated and hard-to-learn, but once your son practices holding the ball, as instructed, he will get used to the grip very quickly. And he will almost certainly throw “killer curveballs.”
It all begins this way …
Start By Gripping “Four Seams” On The Baseball
It is actually easy-to-do. Simply position the ball in your hand in such a way that two seams are visible on the front of the ball and the remaining two seams can be seen on the back of the ball.
The four-seam grip is popular with Major League pitchers because it enables them to deliver a pitch from any angle when they keep their pitching hand behind the ball and release the ball with a “snapping” motion.
It is worth noting here that the two-seam grip, which is used by some pitchers to throw a curveball, is generally better suited to throwing a fastball because it tends to break to the left or the right of the plate instead of downward.
Here is more useful information …
Keep Your Middle And Index Fingers Separated When Gripping The Ball
If you do this step properly, your two fingers will form a “V,” the sign often used to signal “Peace.” Make sure that the ball is comfortably located in your palm so that you can easily position your fingers to hold the top of the ball. Then, you need simply arrange your ring finger in a way that lets you rest the ball against it.
There is still more to learn …
Place Your Thumb And Middle Finger On The Seams That Are Near The Back Of The Ball
Once done, your ring finger should be on the bottom of the ball while your middle finger is on the top of the ball and together they encircle the ball and form the letter “C.”
This enables you to grip the ball firmly, but not in an overly tight manner so that you are in position to release the ball and make it “break downward” when it reaches the plate.
Now, here’s the final step for your successful curveball grip …
Pitch The Ball With A “Snapping Motion”
It’s easy to do. Simply “snap” your thumb and do the same with your middle finger at the moment you release the ball toward home plate. You also need to “flick your wrist” to complete the motion that will enable you to make the ball break or drop when it crosses home plate.
In order to create the snapping motion you want, your middle finger needs to “move in a downward motion while your thumb reacts in “an upward motion,” two actions that result in the kind of circular movement you require to cause the ball to “rotate” as it rushes toward the plate.
Here is something you need to consider when working on your curveball grip. You may need to work on slightly different ways to grip the ball and position your fingers until you arrive at a grip that is comfortable.
Here Is How To Hold The Ball - For The Index-Up Grip And The Knuckle Curve
It may not surprise you to learn that the positioning of the fingers is remarkably similar for all three curveball grips described in this article. In fact, the only difference between the Index-Up Grip and the Basic Grip is that the former requires that your index finger is completely relaxed and pointed in an upward direction on your hand.
This grip is ideal for new, inexperienced pitchers because the “raised” index finger helps the hurler to point the ball in the right direction – directly toward home plate.
The knuckle curve requires a four-seam grip just like the Basic Grip and the Index-Up Grip. But, the knuckle grip also requires a pitcher to apply pressure to the ball with the knuckle of his index finger. The result of this “pressure on the ball” is that it breaks more sharply and much later than a ball thrown with the Basic Grip.
The “late break” makes the knuckle curve very hard to hit. But, it is a difficult pitch to master. That’s why very few pitchers at the Major League level are able to throw this pitch successfully.
Here is the last thing I want you to do …
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