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How to Throw a Power Curve

By Scott Levin

The ability to throw a power curve gives pitchers a valuable weapon for retiring batters. A powerful curveball produces sharp movement, as the ball quickly darts toward the bottom of the strike zone. Because of this movement, a powerful curveball is sometimes referred to as a "12-to-6" curve, as the ball goes from the "12" position on a clock straight down to the "6." Hitters are left off balance and struggle to track the ball in an attempt to hit it. Throwing a power curve requires pitchers to use a specific grip and release.

Step 1

Grip the baseball so the two seams run along the top of the ball. Your middle finger will lie on the outside seam. The index finger lies next to the middle finger but no pressure is placed on the ball by this finger. The thumb falls underneath the baseball.

Step 2

Begin your normal pitching delivery. As you begin to stride, your throwing arm rises into pitching position.

Step 3

Keep your pitching elbow at or above shoulder level as you begin to throw. The angle of your elbow should be no more than about 90 degrees. Arm speed is the same as that of a fastball so that hitters cannot differentiate between the deliveries and predict the pitch coming. Upon release, the forearm is outside of the elbow.

Step 4

Pull down on the ball with your index and middle finger coming over the top of the ball when you release the pitch. Snapping the wrist creates the spin on the ball that produces curve. Upon follow-through, the back of your pitching hand should be facing the catcher and batter.

Step 5

Finish your delivery, coming to an adequate position for fielding a potential ball hit back to you.

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