The most important assets a pitcher can possess is good control which means having command of his various pitches within and outside the strike zone.
Occasionally, most pitchers experience a loss of command on certain pitches within a game, or even within an inning. Successful and more experienced pitchers know how to make proper and quick game adjustments with their arm action, grip, finger pressure or release point. They know themselves, understand their usual problem, and know what to adjust to work best for them on a particular pitch.
An experienced pitching coach can help young pitchers by recognizing problems quickly and teach them techniques for game adjustments on their different pitches. Each pitcher will have his own particular fault and his own method of adjustment. The pitcher will need poise, mental control, and focus under game pressure to make effective adjustments.
In the chart below, I am listing some common problems many pitchers experience, some techniques which often cause the problem, and various adjustments which may be effective for a pitcher. As a coach, teach the pitcher how he can best adjust. That way, the pitcher will be better prepared to self-correct problems during a game and be able to work himself out of trouble.
Game adjustments with the curveball
|Poor break||wrist and forearm tense, ball choked in hand, low cocked position||
Firm finger pad pressure, but wrist and forearm relaxed, leave space so thumb can flick up over ball, get fingers on top of ball.
|Hanging curve ball||low cocked position, over striding, lack of hand speed||
Get hand and elbow up like FB, drive head and shoulders down over lead leg, think fastball until arm accelerates forward.
|Curve ball in dirt||Arm circle too short, upper body leads, rushes motion||use normal arm swing, lead with front hip, stay back as on fastball|
|Loss of normal velocity||Wrist curled inward, ball gripped too loose, Ball choked in hand||hand and wrist in a neutral position, firm finger pad pressure, leave space between thumb and 1st finger|
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What do you think?
Now it's time to hear from you:
What do you do when your curveball isn't working? Are there any additional tips for throwing a curveball that I missed?
Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.
Either way, leave a comment and let me know.