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How to Throw a Breaking Ball

By Contributor

Players at the plate fear the breaking ball, which is sometimes referred to as a curve ball because it travels at a high rate of speed with the intention to curve downward at the last second. Its breaking point is the point where it changes direction during the split seconds before arriving at home plate. The art of pitching is a learning process that requires years of diligent work. Dedicating time to improving your pitching techniques will provide benefits that will last season after season. Read on to learn how to throw a breaking ball.

Demonstrate the Breaking Ball Grip

Hold the ball using the same two-finger grip as a slider but use more pressure with the two fingers and thumb.

Maintain a loose grip on the ball. The ball should sit on the finger tips, not in the web of the glove.

Place your thumb directly under your fingers for balanced control of the throw.

Move the arm in a downward motion and release the ball from the fingers.

Expand Your Pitching Styles

Try to use a variety of pitching styles for youth baseball. A fastball and a change-up pitch will be the most effective for all ages. These pitches will train a pitcher arm to throw the ball with heat.

Use different pitches to stump the batters. The last thing you want is for the batter to anticipate your pitch. If he figures out the wind-up, he will be able to adjust to the pitch and get the ball in play.

Teach the four-seam fastball for maximum velocity. This is the most important pitch because all other pitches are adaptations of the basic fastball.

Experiment with a sinker pitch to force the batter to hit a ground ball.

Consider Age-Based Guidelines

Save the breaking ball lessons for your teenage pitchers. The curving motion required to throw the pitch accurately puts unnecessary stress on developing tissues and bones of younger players.

Know the pitching limit for your age group. Some leagues have tight restrictions on pitch count to lessen the chance of long-term injury to younger players.

Verify each player on your team based on birth date if you are coaching in a competitive league. You don't want to be caught with an ineligible player on your roster.

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