I am not a doctor so I won’t attempt to answer the age-old question of what is the right age for a pitcher to begin throwing a curve ball. No doubt, a curve ball can be a devastating pitch at young ages if it can be controlled. I’ll leave that up to an individual’s decision as to when is the right age to begin teaching and throwing a curve ball.
The Curve Ball Grip
The simplest way to find a curve ball grip is to grip the ball as you would with your 2-seam fastball, then rotate the fingers up towards the top of the horseshoe on the ball. Be sure to find as much seam as possible on the ball and place the middle finger with added pressure on the inside of the top of the horseshoe. The fingers should be closer together than on the fastball grip.
Curve Ball Coaching Techniques
The same techniques in all of pitching need to be emphasized while throwing the curve ball. For some reason, a young pitcher starts to concentrate so much on throwing the curve that he often loses some of his normally quality mechanics.
We remind the pitchers to stay back, stay closed, and follow through on the curve ball.
Arm speed needs to be the same as on the fastball, but the wrist is turned slightly close to the release of the ball. The pitcher proceeds with a karate chop motion through his delivery. It is good to emphasize that the pitcher should end with his right arm over his left leg.
The arm is not as extended when throwing a curve ball in comparison to a fastball. This is a good thing to demonstrate to the pitcher by measuring his reach while throwing a fastball and then measuring it with a curve ball. With the curve ball grip, he will not be able to reach as far out on his release.