9 year old curve ball

Good points, Dusty. I’ll add that I believe that arm injuries are most likely caused by a combination of factors - not just a single factor. How about overuse combined with not enough throwing combined with poor mechanics combined with insufficient strength and flexibility combined with improper curveball technique?

No arguement from me either Dusty-you are right! Over use is just as big a culprit as breaking pitches, maybe even more so.

I watched a kid in high rec-ball last Sunday throw 155 pitches. Even for freshman-sophomore ball-that waaay too many! We wont even go into schoolball where there is the most “throw another pitcher on the fire and see how long he burns!”


The overuse thing continues to amaze me…just completed my sons first year of HS ball, I really expected the coaches to be more responsible with the way they managed not only pitchcount but days rest as well. If you guys saw this as an issue at your sons school, would you have the discussion with the coach re: setting a max pitch count AND recovery days … how would that be received ?

Me too.

That’s never an easy situation. You have to decide whether you think your son’s health is at risk. If so, then you need to talk to the coach. But you need to handle things appropriately - like arranging a meeting with the coach away from the field and players so as not to put the coach on the spot in front of his players and other parents.

With regards to HS ball, remember that it is still developmental. While head coaches at the HS level do place an emphasis on wins because they are often working to move up to the college level, baseball at the HS level is still developmental. Placing wins ahead of the players’ health is inexcusable.

you must teach your so to take care of himself. when he reaches what you feel is the pitch count for his level of training, arm strength, etc. he has to shut it down. if he tells his coach his arm is hurtig, they will get him out of there. if you don’t take care of yourself, others pobably aren’t going to take care of you either.

we play travel ball and we have set a 7 inning limit per weekend. when we get to 7 innings that’s it.

no offense to you or your son, but i think you are wrong. something that breaks flat and slurvy across the plate will become a hitters pitch in no time. and a ball thrown at the hip that clips the outside corner is not a good curve at all. try one that starts behind the hitter’s head then clips the bottom outside corner.

the longer a curveball looks like a fastball, the harder it is to pick up. if you can throw a breaking pitch harder that doesn’t pop up out of your hand, it is tough to pick up. if the rotation is tight it is tougher to pick up. i would rather have a late breaking curveball (or breaking pitch, slider, etc.) than a slower curveball that breaks big but generally is easier to pick up.

it’s really all relative. just like the change up, the hitters will let you know when you have a good breaking ball and when you don’t. if you don’t have a quality fastball it doesn’t matter anyway. ask barry zito.

I agree with Dusty. Pitches that elevate out of the hand immediately tell the batter to adjust his timing for an offspeed pitch. A batter’s eye can detect whether a pitch is up, down, left or right within the first 5 or so feet of travel (whereas detecting speed requires the ball to travel further) so he gets this message quickly.

Furthermore, a pitcher not only has to make the decision to commit to swinging but he has to commit to a location where he predicts the ball will be. The late break of a hard-thrown curve makes this much more difficult for a batter.

The concept we’re talking about here is call “tunneling”. And that is exactly what Brandon Webb does. All of his pitches come out of the same release point and travel through the same tunnel. Some then tail, some break, and some drop. Webb’s tunneling along with his control and movement make him very effective. BTW, Webb just threw a complete game shut-out tonight against the Nationals. :wink:

Somehow I just knew we’d have that mentioned somewhere…If it wasn’t for that amazing catch in center…things might have been different…I bet steak was on the tab last night after the game and our boy Brandon was paying :lol:
He certainly is making it hard for Zambrano to get his Cy Young this year.

its not the pitch that hurt your arm its bad mechs. A kid on my all-star team just got tendennitus and he couldnt pitch in rec. His team lost 31 to 1 by the way and i asked him if he was throwing a lot of sliders or ccurves but he said he never throw one in his life

Somehow I just knew we’d have that mentioned somewhere…[/quote]
Just makin’ my point, bro’.

Actually, I didn’t see the D-backs game as I took my kids to see ASU play their regional series game against Oklahoma. Who made the catch?

Roger said" With regards to HS ball, remember that it is still developmental. While head coaches at the HS level do place an emphasis on wins because they are often working to move up to the college level, baseball at the HS level is still developmental. Placing wins ahead of the players’ health is inexcusable."

Yep I totally agree, but it happens all the time. Ian

My own experience is this.

My 9 year old learned somewhere to throw a curveball. He surprised me one day at baseball practice by throwing a beautiful 12-6 curve, tight spin, proper arm follow-through, you name it. I asked him how he did that and he showed me – “Dad, you grip it like this” – demonstrates picture-perfect finger placement and straight wrist, not cupped or cocked – “then you snap your fingers” and shows me how.

I have read in certain places that it’s OK for youngsters to throw the curve IF they throw it with proper mechanics and IF they don’t overuse it. So I don’t let him throw more than 10% curveballs. He also doesn’t use it in a game.

Pitchking, I have heard the horror stories also. But without any reference or science to back them up, I think they are just that – horror stories. I also assume that each player is different – what is damaging for one is not for all.

If anyone can point me to a rational, scientific, detailed explanation of why a curveball is so inherently bad for youth pitchers, I would appreciate it.