Curve Ball

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Curve Ball
« on: June 13, 2010, 12:32:17 PM »
My son is 12 years old. His coach is telling him that it is OK to throw a curve ball. Is 12 to young, whats the best age to start throwing a curve ball. I have heard they shouldn't start throwing a curve ball until they are at least 16?

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 06:17:29 PM »
Couldn't agree more!!  Have him work to perfect the fastball and change-up.  Those two pitches when thrown correctly, will make him one of the most feared pitchers in the league.


Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 10:44:31 AM »
Prior to my son pitching, I would normally side with not throwing a curve ball at such a young age.  My son started throwing a curve (the right way) when he was 14.  He was taught the same technique that a local HS senior is using (by the same teacher) - and very successfully I might add.  This technique does not put (if any) the abnormal stress and strain on the shoulder and elbow like other techniques do.  If a middle schooler is being taught the right way, I wouldn't see it as an issue. 

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 05:29:03 PM »
Most of the recent research done by Dr. Andrews at AMI suggests that a properly thrown curve ball does no more damage than a fastball on young pitchers.

The major problem with young arms is overuse.  Regardless of pitch selection, overuse and insufficient rest are the main issues.

Also, a young player that develops a dependence on a curveball or any other off speed pitch is hurting his chance of developing into a great pitchers.  90% of all great pitchers work of a good fastball that they can locate.

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 12:53:29 PM »
Leo Mazzoni's great book on pitching technique shows how to properly throw a breaking ball by "cushioning" the elbow. He also states that with this technique, it doesn't matter if a pitcher is 8 or 25 - it shouldn't put undue strain on his elbow. This seems to be borne out by the recent research mentioned in earlier posts. Still, I won't let my players fully "turn over" their curveballs until they are 16 or so just to err on the safe side.

The point is well taken that youth pitchers (and their coaches) may tend to fall in love with curveballs and never develop their fastballs. There aren't too many guys drafted who throw 80mph but have great curveballs.

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 11:31:19 AM »
A correctly thrown curve ball is no more stress on the forarm and elbow than a fast ball. However, I never started players on throwing curve balls until they were 13/14 in the range. Depending on technique and physical attributes. The fast ball is meat and patatoes as well as change up. They should master the command on those pitches and sprinkle in some curve balls. The issue with the curve ball is MOST kids do not learn the correct way and they replace the curve with a good change up. Therefore they use the curve on almost every batter and end up throwning a lot of them during the game. I always taught my pitchers how to throw it, but spot the fast ball, get ahead of the hitter and play the ground ball with solid defense. It is okay for them to hit it, we just want to help them hit it where we want. Besides is it better to strike them out with 4 or 5 pitches or get them to hit is in 2 or 3.

The arm surgery thing is players not taking care of their arms. Long toss, bullpen sessions, icing, stretching are all very important aspects of taking care of their arm out and during the season. No matter the age. Some kids that are younger only pitch during the game with some work during practices and that does not build up strength or correct technique. Some people on here may disagree, but I have been coaching a wide variety of age groups and I have never had an arm problem.

My younger son is a sophomore now and we do a bullpen session a week, with long toss and weights the other weeks. Now as a pitcher it is also important to build you legs and core body but that would depend on the age groups.

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 06:04:15 AM »
Little League baseball commissioned the University of North Carolina to do a study on this topic.  UNC concluded that the curve ball was not anymore stressful than any other pitch......I recommend the knuckle curve first......for the bigger kids, more physically mature......a curve ball at 12 should not be a problem.  Hard as it is to hear, some kids arms will never be able to stand up to the rigors of pitching......curve ball or not.  If you watch a young man pitch and the motion is not are probably looking at a sore arm about to happen.

Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 10:29:11 PM »
indeed redleg, i had posted this study here:


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Re: Curve Ball
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 09:51:33 AM »