The Player's Guide to Hitting a Curveball

Drills & Training
Course Outline
Drills & Training
Pitch Recognition
Physical Approach
Situational Approach

Physical Approach

Proactive v. Reactive: 

  • Going to the plate trying to react to both a fastball and a curveball is nearly impossible. 
  • It is vital that you understand the idea of “sitting” on a pitch in counts where you don’t have 2 strikes on you. 
  • Committing to a specific pitch in each count, allows you to time the pitcher much more effectively.
  • If you don’t get the pitch you are looking for, don’t swing, there’s a reason you get 3 strikes. (Again, we are talking about having less than 2 strikes on us). 
  • Sit on either “fast” or “slow” but never both. 
  • We should never be swinging at a curveball if we are sitting on a fastball. Learning how to take a pitch that fools you is a staple of all good hitters. 

Set Your Sights:

  • If you are sitting on a curveball, set your sights at the top of the zone.
  • If the curveball comes out of the hand at the top of the zone, you can be pretty confident it will end up right down the middle, in your power zone. 
  • We are not just sitting curveball, we are sitting on a curveball in the right part of the strike zone. 
  • Even if you are expecting a curveball, you need to be disciplined enough, with your eyes, to lay off a pitch in the dirt.

2 Strike Approach:

  • With 2 strikes our approach becomes more reactionary. 
  • Our only goal with two strikes is to not get beat by a fastball, so your lower body needs to be timed up for that pitch. 
  • In the very likely event that you get a curveball with two strikes, understand that you don’t need to do much to get a hit. 
  • Even if your lower body is out in front of the pitch, the ball has back spin and thus it will be easier to drive. 
  • If you get a curveball with two strikes, prioritize making solid contact over swing hard.
  • Shorten the swing, be quick to the ball, and put it in play. 
  • 2 strike hitting is about our hands and eyes making solid contact and less about our legs being on time to drive a pitch over the fence.