In softball, the basic curveball acts much like the slider does in baseball. The pitch appears similar to a fastball at first, then it curves according to the pitcher's twist of the wrist. For example, a right-handed pitcher’s curveball will break away from a right-handed batter. The pitch can be particularly effective when it’s thrown toward the outside of the strike zone. The batter will often commit to the swing before the ball breaks outside of the zone, making it difficult to hit.
Hold the ball in front of you so the seams run horizontally. As you’re looking at the ball, place the middle finger of your pitching hand on top of the ball so the fingertip doesn’t touch the seams. Place your second and fourth fingertips against the top seams, and your thumb and pinkie against the lower seams.
Take your standard windup and stride straight toward home plate, keeping your weight balanced on both feet.
Release the ball at hip level with your hand flat and your palm facing up. Your pinkie will be the closest finger to home plate as you begin your release.
Snap your wrist around the ball as you release it. For a right-handed pitcher, your thumb will point to the right before you snap your wrist, but will end up pointing to the left after the wrist snap.
Keep your throwing shoulder back as you release the ball.
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M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.