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Word Count: 504
A curveball is a pitch that appears to be heading straight but then suddenly drops to either the left or right depending on the throwing hand of the pitcher For many summers I practiced throwing the curveball to perfect my technique The curveball has been a major key to victories Ive had as a pitcher I have used the curveball to keep batters guessing since I was old enough to throw the pitch The proper throwing motion is the first aspect of throwing a good curveball I start by placing my feet parallel with my shoulders Next I turn the foot thats on my throwing hand side so my toes point out I bend at the knee and push forward with that foot while stepping with the opposite foot Simultaneously I throw my arm bent 45 degrees at the elbow directly over my shoulder I release the ball when my hand is right above my shoulder I use only about half of my arm strength to throw the ball I let my legs do the rest I repeat this several times until I am comfortable with the motion and until the muscles in my arm are warm It is very important to warm up because the curveball can hurt my arm muscles that arent prepared for it The next step in throwing a curveball is griping the ball the correct way I rotate the ball in my hand until the long red laces are vertically in front of me I make sure that I can only see two lines of laces on the side of the ball that faces me On the top and bottom of the ball the laces curve to fit the shape of the ball Now I place my index and middle fingers together and stick my thumb out I never separate the index and middle finger when throwing a curveball I take the other two fingers and bend them down
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