You’ve got the hitter 0-1 after a sharp first-pitch fastball for a strike. You then break off a nasty 1/7 curveball, and he swings and misses. The hitter is on the ropes and took an ugly swing, so the catcher calls again for the curveball. You nod in agreement, rock, kick and deliver….
…a big, fat hanger.
He blasts it into the gap, and you don’t know what went wrong. The last curveball was a hammer – hard and straight until the last second, at which point it dropped off the table and embarrassed the guy with the bat. But in trying to make the next one even better, you tensed up, tried too hard, and hung it.
This is an all-too-common scenario, especially for young pitchers.
How to Fix Your Curveball During a Game
Some days, a pitcher just doesn’t have it. But no matter how good – or bad – a pitcher’s stuff is on a given day, he has to battle to find, and right the ship before it’s too late. Most days, a pitcher will take the mound with his B or C-grade stuff, and he’ll have to battle and adjust to eek out a win.
Pitching is a game of adjustments. Remember – mechanics are half the battle, and pitchers need to keep a clear mind to let the body do what it knows how to do. Too often, pitchers struggle to locate off-speed pitches because they’re too anxious and nervous about falling behind in the count, failing to execute, or giving up hits.
Relax, pick your spot and execute. Check out the video below for quick adjustments that can be used immediately on the mound!
How to Throw a Hammer Curveball
If you liked this video, be sure to check out coach Dan’s curveball resources:
- How to Throw a Curveball: The Complete Guide
- Photos of the Best Curveball Grips with Explanations
- And, check out his detailed article on how to improve pitching mechanics.
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