In response to some questions I got about my last post, Curveball Release & Pronation, I thought it would be helpful to clarify something. The purpose of that video was simply to show what a pitcher’s hand actually does when throwing a traditional curveball.
To be clear, I am NOT suggesting that pitchers actively attempt to pronate or turn the hand palm-out when throwing this pitch. That kind of pronation into pitch release is what you see on screwballs, changeups and sinkers.
BUT… pronation IS something that happens naturally after ball release on every pitch… even the curveball. Too often, young pitchers think they need to twist their wrist or “turn the doorknob” to get good curveball spin.
See, hand and wrist position is the real key on this pitch (in addition to a good grip and finger pressure). You want the hand turned palm-in (a supinated wrist position) as it passes by your head. That, together with getting over the ball with a strong middle finger, leads to tight forward spin and sharp downward break.
And when thrown properly this way, the hand will naturally pronate just after release. Again, this shouldn’t be the focus or objective here… but if it’s not happening, you’re probably not throwing it correctly, and could risk damaging your elbow.
To further demonstrate what I’m talking about, I put together these videos with Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee, a couple big league pitchers with pretty decent curveballs…
Note hand turned palm-in, followed by pronation just after release.
So I hope this helps clarify things. Thanks, and keep those questions coming!
PS – For more Free Curveball Training, head over to CurveballMastery.com