Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

A small tip for a bigger curve ball

May 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Pitching

Before I give this tip, do me a favor and snap your fingers for a few seconds.  Now snap your fingers again but this time use both your index finger AND your middle finger (equal pressure) along with your thumb.  How did it work?  Probably not as well the second time.  The reason for this is that to snap your fingers effectively, only two parts are necessary – the thumb and the middle finger.  When you add the index finger to the process, it doesn’t work.  No snap.

This simple experiment shows why some pitchers get no “snap” on their curve ball.  Their index finger gets in the way.  To throw an effective curve ball, only the thumb and middle finger are needed.  The other fingers are just there for the ride.  To show you what I’m talking about, look at the following pictures of MLB pitchers in the act of throwing a curve.

Variations of the index finger off the ball

Variations of the index finger off the ball

In each one you’ll notice that their index finger is off the ball, some more than others.  The “knuckle curve” is a variation that accomplishes the same thing.  Doing so allows the same strong “snap” on the curve ball that you get when you snap your fingers without a ball.

It’s important to note that not all pitchers lift their index finger off the ball when they throw a curve ball.  Most pitchers (I was in this category) will apply very little, if any, pressure on the ball with their index finger while throwing a curve ball.  They lay their index finger on the ball but don’t really use it.

There are many other mechanical aspects of throwing a curve ball but sometimes it just simply comes down to a better grip.

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