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Let’s assume that we’re going to discuss how to throw a curveball in softball – How to throw a curveball in softball. What you need to understand is that unlike the more common and traditional ball types, curveballs have their own unique kind of speed, spin, and trajectory. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to learn how to throw a curveball in softball, although there are a few things you need to know first.
- How to Throw a Curveball in Softball – Learn How to Throw a Curveball in Softball
How to Throw a Curveball in Softball – Learn How to Throw a Curveball in Softball
Two Main Types of Pitches
You have two main types of pitches that can be thrown by a pitcher in a game of softball, a slow pitch and a fast pitch.
Most players tend to toss a slower pitch, as it gets them up in the zone a bit sooner. The drawback to this is that a slow pitch will have more fade than a fast pitch, especially for hitters with bigger bodies.
A throw in the “well” is considered a perfect pitch. In other slow pitch types, the only drawback is the inability to use the windmill; the pitching arm cannot, therefore, be raised above the shoulder and both the draft and release of the right arm are performed smoothly, allowing moderate speed and control during pitching.
A fast pitch is what most beginning pitchers learn to throw because it helps them get up in the zone quicker.
For a fast pitch softball, traditional pitching is the “windmill” movement, extending the arms across the body and releasing the ball at the hip height at full speed. The power obtained in manual windmill movement is based on hip open to close movement. If no form of hip movement and accuracy, the pitch may be inaccurate and may lose strength and speed.
How To Throw a Curveball in Softball
If you want to know how to throw a curveball in softball, here’s how you do it.
First, you have a slow pitch. Sometimes called a “weak” pitch, this is a slower type of pitch. Your pitcher will toss it with just enough arm action to create a full looping motion on his or her hand. When a pitcher is actually throwing the ball, the looping motion comes from his wrist, not his fingers. This means that when you toss a slow pitch, you should have your wrists open slightly more than they are when you toss a regular pitch. It’s important that your wrists remain relatively closed throughout the entire pitch in order to control the pitch.
Second, you’ll want to toss a curve in as straight a motion as possible. Unlike a changeup, a curve does not have a full curve in it. However, a curveball doesn’t need to have a complete 90-degree turn either. You can throw a curveball in a “nose” or “clean” arc. The more circular your swing and the further back your shoulders turn, the better the pitch will be.
The last tip, as the hardest one out there, is to toss a curve in as fast as you can. Don’t worry about getting into a rhythm or thinking about how hard you threw it. Just start your motion and move as fast as you can. This will help you generate some swing speed, especially if you use a curveball at a fast pace. A good pitcher won’t even slow down too much, they’ll just change speeds and go in a different direction. As long as you get some power with your curveball, you’ll do well.
When learning how to throw a curveball, it’s important to develop a release that’s quick but smooth. Don’t let your hands take over the throwing action. It’s best to keep them naturally where they belong – on the shoulder. Once your release is smooth and natural, you’ll be able to vary your hand speed without risking dropping the ball.
Finally, remember that a good pitcher isn’t just going to throw a fastball. You will need a good changeup as well. Softball pitchers will throw curveballs fairly often, as they have strong-arm actions. This means they need to have an open delivery with a good follow-through to make power throws.
How to throw a curveball in slow pitch softball?
It’s pretty simple in fact. Start off by holding a baseball in the palm of your hand with your hand flat, staying close to your body as you would when throwing a fastball. Now, before you throw the ball, slowly rotate the ball around on one axis until you feel it start to move upwards (or downwards if that’s what you’re aiming for). As soon as it starts to spin freely, quickly release your hand and flick it forward towards home plate.
There are a couple of variables that affect how effective a curveball will be, but assuming you are throwing the ball at standard outdoor softball speed (between 25 and 30 mph), the more you can spin the ball, and the more sudden you can release your hand, the more dramatic an effect it will have on the movement of your pitch.
It should be emphasized here that you need to keep the ball close to your body before you release it.
On a side note, this same principle can be used to apply a curveball spin in other directions depending on how you rotate the ball and how you release it.
How to throw a curveball in fastpitch softball?
This is a much more difficult proposition in fastpitch softball because the rotation of your hand is going to be much faster and you aren’t going to get the benefit of gravity acting on the ball like you do with slower pitch balls. In most cases, throwing a curveball in fastpitch softball is done with a snap of the wrist. It’s done by holding the ball like you would for a fastball, and then quickly rotating your wrist back so that your fingers are pointing almost directly down, releasing the ball as soon as you’ve snapped your wrist. As with other types of curveballs, the more sudden you can release it and the more rotation you can get on the ball, the more dramatic its effects will be.
More professional softball pitchers who throw curveballs often do this by using a windmill motion as their arm goes around. It can be a very effective technique if you can time it right.
Why do so many young pitchers throw poor curves?
The biggest problem most young pitchers have with curveballs is that they try to throw them too hard. In order for a curveball to be effective, you need to be able to rotate the ball rapidly on one axis, which necessitates a quick hand release. The harder you try to throw it, the less effective it will be as the ball doesn’t have time to spin on one axis (this is what causes knucklers).
You also need to learn how to properly grip a curveball and how it behaves when thrown. Roughly speaking, if a curveball has too much spin on it and you release it too hard, the ball will break to one side, whereas if you don’t have enough spin on the ball and you try to throw it harder, the curve will break down [to] a straight pitch.
What age should a player start throwing a curveball?
There is really no correct age at which a pitcher should start throwing curveballs, especially if you’re only an occasional player.
If you’re a pitcher and you want to be able to properly throw a curveball, then it doesn’t hurt to start now. It might take you a bit longer to learn than it would someone whose never thrown any pitches before, but once you get the hang of things you’ll be able to take advantage of the curveball when the time comes.
Getting used to throwing a curveball will be beneficial to you as a pitcher even if you don’t play much softball. Knowing how to throw it effectively will save your arm from being worked too hard and keep your pitch count down so that you can play for longer periods of time.
How will a pitcher know which pitch produces the best curveball?
I can’t say exactly how you’ll know which pitch will be best for you, but I tend not to throw the same type of curveball with all my pitches. Instead, I have a variety of different pitches that I use.
I find that most pitchers should be able to perform well using a fastball, but it’s important that they don’t rely on the fastball too much and throw it as much as possible without adding in other pitches. This will give them the best chance of performing well with the curveball (especially a good breaking ball).
I’ve found that most pitchers who rely almost exclusively on their fastball tend to have too much movement on it. This makes it very difficult to execute multiple pitches without having significant movement.
If you want to throw a great breaking ball, but you can’t seem to find one, it’s probably because you either don’t have enough rotation on your curveball or you’re actually throwing the ball too hard.
How do you grip a curveball?
All you have to do is grip your curveball and make sure it’s “catching” the shape of your hand.
The way a pitcher grips a curveball has a lot to do with its effectiveness. The more you can control how the ball spins, and the more you can rotate your hand on release, the more effective it will be.
I have very firm fingers when I’m gripping my curveball, so I like to fit my index and ring finger around the ball. I then try to hold onto the ball tightly so that it’s almost as if I’m trying to crush the ball, creating a kind of concave shape with my index and ring fingers before my thumb comes over.
It’s not really possible to illustrate this in a way that will make sense to you, but it’s something you should be able to discover on your own given enough practice.
Now that you know the basics of how to throw a curveball in softball, you can practice more at home until you feel comfortable throwing any type of pitch. Practice hard and don’t give up! You’re never going to be perfect. No matter how many tips and videos you see, practice the things you’ve been taught and you’ll start to see results in no time. Good Luck!