“Is this the class about how to throw a curveball?”
“Yes, you’re in the right room.”
“But, well, what’s with this secrecy and subversion stuff?”
“You want to throw a curveball, and try to make sure the batter is not aware that’s your plan?”
“Let’s talk about it: There’s a unique grip and throwing manner for the curveball. If you give the hitter a tip-off, even a brief glimpse of your hand, he or she can anticipate what’s coming… You don’t want that now, do you? Part of it is mixing things up, catching the batter off guard, fooling him, fooling her!”
“Interesting. And secrecy and subversion are part of the curricula. All right, I like it. Kind of like being very stealthy.”
Frankly, I think every school should have baseball courses. There’s so much that can be learned from facets of the game, including how to throw a curveball. But, you’d also learn the fundamental benefit of team work. You could thrive on metrics. By the same token learn decision-making in the clutch, under pressure, let alone dealing with your mind when you are brought in from the bull pen, score tied, one out, runner on third.
But I digress… So, to be sure, the object of the curveball is to break below the bat. There is considerable topspin, which in turn creates wind resistance with the laces, the result of which is the pitch will drop. Some will tell you do not let the palm of your hand touch the ball. Also, make sure your fingers are across the seams of the ball at the widest part (where the distance between the seams itself is widest). The middle finger grips the ball most tightly. A snap at the end of the motion, with the back of your pitching hand to the batter. And, make sure you have a good follow through so you don’t hang the pitch. A hanging curve ball can become a mighty fine dinger…
Typically the ball rotates 13 times from the mound to the plate. With the curve ball, see if you can increase that a bit. Remember to pull down with your motion. Your hand is further from you head when you throw a fast ball, and so the curve ball should find your hand slightly up and adjacent to your ear.
Finally, give the impression you are throwing anything but a curve ball, and please… please hide the ball in your glove.
You’ll know what grade you earned in the class when you play, when you pitch. And you can have some fun with it — throwing a curveball is one time when secrecy and subversion are good things!