Is That Really a “Knuckle Curve”?

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So I’ve been loving all the feedback on the Curveball Video series. If you haven’t checked that out yet, click here. But there’s one misconception I’ve been seeing more and more, and it’s about something I didn’t get to address in that series. So I just put together this short video to help clear things up.

Have you ever heard a pitcher refer to their curveball as a “Knuckle Curve”?

Usually what they’re talking about is the index finger, where they spike it with the tip of the finger and the knuckle is raised off the ball. Now whatever you want to call any of your pitches is really up to you. But in a lot of cases, when a pitcher says he throws a knuckle curve, what he’s really throwing is just a traditional curveball with the knuckle up.

And the reason this is an issue and important to understand is that there IS such a thing as a true knuckle curve.

And while it acts like a traditional curveball, the two pitches are thrown very differently. Check out the video to see what I’m talking about.

So hopefully that helped clear this up for some people. And as I point out in the video, while I’m familiar with this pitch, I’m not the best guy to teach it. The curveball I threw (and the one you see most pitchers throw at the college and professional levels) was the traditional curveball. If you want to know how to throw that pitch, I’ve got you covered (here’s that Free Video Series again).

But if you want to know how to throw a knuckle curve (a true knuckle curve), I’ve yet to see a better explanation than you’ll find in this video by Georgia pitching coach Fred Corral (worth a follow if you’re on twitter: @FCorral34).

Hope you found this post helpful. And if you did, do me a favor and share it by clicking one of those buttons down there… Thanks for stopping by, be back with more soon.

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  1. Joey Pletka  April 16, 2014

    Please don’t teach pitchers the “spike” curveball. It is the worst way to throw a breaking ball. It puts undo pressure on the ulnar nerve and elbow in general. I threw it for years as a youth and had major arm injury in college. MLB trainer informs me years later why.

    Enjoy your stuff.


  2. Phil Rosengren  April 16, 2014

    Thanks for joining the discussion Joey, appreciate your comments. And no worries, as I mentioned, the “spike” curveball was never a pitch I threw or mastered, so it’s not one I feel qualified to teach beyond explaining the basic concept. Personally had success with the traditional curveball and that’s the one I like to go with. Haven’t seen any research on the “spike” putting more stress on the elbow, but that’s interesting. Always important to keep in mind there are lots of factors at play when it comes to arm injuries.

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