Q:

How do you throw a breaking ball?

A:

Quick Answer

To throw a breaking ball, begin with your index and middle fingers against the outside seam (the right seam if you are right-handed). Rotate your thumb upward and your middle and index fingers downward as you release the ball, yielding a straight curve that drops down through the strike zone.

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Full Answer

  1. Grip the ball correctly

    Place your index and middle fingers together, along the outside seam of the baseball. Line up your thumb with the closest seam to it, sliding the thumb just past the seam. Rest the ball against the pad where your fingers meet your hand rather than taking it deeper into the palm.

  2. Move your fingers and thumb as you pitch

    Begin your normal pitching motion, and spin the middle and index fingers downward as you release the ball. Push them down so that they appear perpendicular to you, pulling the ball down. Push your thumb up at the same time to maximize the break on the pitch.

  3. Abbreviate your arm action

    Avoid the long deceleration arc that comes with a fastball; snap the pitch off, and leave your throwing elbow at the opposite hip. Use this shorter arm motion to give the pitch a real snap at the end, maximizing the amount of break on the pitch.

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