Throwing a Curve Ball for Beginners
After you have full control of your fast ball, you can start on your curve. The fast ball, in the beginning, can be your only weapon, and until you get into sharper competition it will probably be all you need. But you can work on your curve in between times. It can be your "waste" pitch--the one you use to upset the batter's timing, without it getting into the strike zone.
A curve is easy to throw and it will not damage your arm if you do not stick to it exclusively and of you take care always to be warmed up when you throw it. You hold the fast ball with your first two fingers on top of the ball and your thumb underneath the ball. Do not wrap your fingers around it (even if they are long enough).
Pitch off the first joints of your fingers and hold the ball tight. That will give you your spin. The Fast ball is released off your fingertips. Most of the pressure on the ball should be applied by your middle finger and your thumb. The index finger does not press down quite so hard.
You can throw the curve ball with exactly the same grip. Some pitchers prefer to change the position of the hand with relation to the seams, but you do not need to do this unless you are not getting the break you need and want to try getting the seams so they all rotate against the air. The pitchers who try to do this will hold the ball with the fingers across the seams for the fast ball, and with the fingers parallel to the seams for the curve.
One drawback to this method is that the ball looks different in the hand and sometimes a coach can see when the curve is coming. But if you always keep the ball well hidden this will not trouble you.
A curve is held somewhat more deeply in the hand than the fast ball, so that the first joints of the two fingers hook over it a little more. It is released, not off the tips of the fingers but off the edge of the index finger. It rolls out of the pocket between the thumb and index finger. To accomplish this you will find that you have to turn your hand over as you let the ball go so that you complete your motion with the palm up.
In throwing the fast ball and the curve you should use the same motion. Over the years it has been shown that it is the best motion because it is relatively easy on the arm and still provides an effective curve, it is the three-quarters overhand throw. The straight overhand--the way-up-on-top delivery of the strong-arm country boy--can be very effective indeed. But it is really hard on the arm and shoulder because it does not seem that the human shoulder was built to revolve in just that way. Still, everybody is built a bit differently from other people, so perhaps a straight overhand pitch will work for you as it has for many good pitchers.
The sidearm delievery is not reccomended ordinarliy becaue t produces a "flat" curve--one that does not drop down as it breaks but simoply curves on the same plane. Still, some great pitchers (Wlther Johnson and Ewell Blackwell, for instance) have thrown sidearm. Just be sure you do not use overhand or three-quarters for the fast ball and sideaarm for the curve. A tip-off like that will make you easy meat for the batters.