Curve Balls for Young Pitchers - When to Start?


#1

Curious to opinions here as to when it’s appropriate to allow a youth pitcher to begin throwing curve balls. Thanks .


#2

I think you could get a wide range of responses on this one…if you watch the LL world series most all those pitchers are throwing curves, so apparently people feel that’s an appropriate age

i personally wouldn’t recommend throwing curveballs until your on a high school team…so maybe 16 or 17? I don’t have any concrete facts, and i dont know if their are any as it probably depends on the individual and how the arm has developed, how quickly a person has matured physically, etc…

a safe alternative until that point is the knucklecurve…you can get good 12-6 movement with this pitch and it doesn’t require the snapping of a regular curveball


#3

if they are taught the right way and let the grip do the work they are not going to hurt their arm. id rather teach them the right way than throw the knucklecurve or the finger up football curve - i really dont know what you call it. nothing wrong with those though - we had a kid sign d1 that threw the curve with the middle 2 fingers finger up football curve(i wish i knew the name for it). id like to see younger kids depend more on their fastball and develop their change. learn how to pitch. at younger ages kids get by with stuff and dont have to learn to pitch. just my opinion.


#4

I worked on my circle change/FB combination and when I was 16 was the first time I threw a curve. But I think it all depends on how you teach it. I think that no matter how much you teach a young kid to throw a curve “correctly” he will still mess it up a little and it can hurt them in the long run.

But thats just my opinoin


#5

I think a good age to start throwing a curve varies from kid to kid, usually around 14/15. It depends on when the kid matures. Some kids tend to mature faster than others. Those kids can begin throwing curves at a younger age than the one’s who arn’t yet fully developed. I’m 15 and throw a curve and it has never hurt my arm.


#6

if you throw it right - grip does work - its not going to hurt arm. but the most important thing is to learn how to pitch. young kids are not going to hit a curve - overmatched. high school/college kids are if you dont know how to pitch - learn to pitch by hitting spots with fastball and throwing change. mix curveball in occasionally - but dont use it as a crutch because that crutch will disappear if you havent been using it in right situations.


#7

im 15 right now and i threw a curve since i was 13 and ive never had any arm problems when throwing it. I belive that as long as he is 13 or 14 he can start to throw the curve. Just make sure he has proper mech. when throwing the pitch. Dont let the elbow drop because thats why most kids have arm problem when throwing the curve


#8

that football curve if thrown the right way can work great. during a scrimmage game my catcher told me the ball came from behind the batters back to the bottom right corner


#9

How do you throw a football curve?


#10

the curve im talking about which im not sure is the football curve i found here http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitching_grips.htm
steve calls it the begginers curve


#11

I started throwing a cutter or slider (I have no idea which one it is, I throw it with the Mariano Rivera cutter grip, but I dont snap the wrist or anything, I just throw it with my hand on the side at fastball velocity) when I was 14 1/2 and I dont have any arm problems.


#12

it has the same affect on the arm as a fastball


#13

You might not have had an injury but uve prolly lost 5-6 Mph try to work on a breaking curveball rather then the fastball.

Im 18 and i just recently hyper-extended my elbow throwing a slider. I wont try to through one for 1-2 more years. The slider action is a fast as the fastball with the strain of a curveball, which makes it very strenious on the body. Believe me when i say dont be in a rush to throw a breaking pitch, many good pitchers work on the fastball and the change first.

I would say 15-16 at the earliest. In fact here in australia it is against the rules for a 14 and under to throw any supernating pitch (slider, curve) resulting in fines to that club and points taken from the seniors ladder. The damage to a young persons ability to throw a great fastball is reduced because of the damage to the growth plates in the shoulder of the thrower.

i feel like i said this 6 months ago…


#14

Give this a read.


#15

If a kid can throw the pitch correctly and he limits the number he throws, he can generally start throwing curves at a relatively young age. But, there are two concerns. First, it is next to impossible to see with the naked eye whether the kid is throwing the pitch correctly. So, unless you use video, that’s a gamble.

The second concern is young kids often fall in love with the pitch and can fail to adeuately develop their other pitches (fastball & change-up) and really learn how to pitch.

Most of the medical guys recommend waiting until age 14-15.


#16

I’ve been throwing a curveball since I was 15 and I’ve no had no arm problems. That being said, my coach made very sure that I was throwing the ball properly and not spinning it to the side, putting unneeded pressure on my elbow.


#17

There are indeed all sorts of opinions on when to start throwing a curve ball. I remember when I was eleven years old, and one day during recess a bunch of us were playing catch in the schoolyard, and I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery. And what came attached to that sidearm delivery was a pretty decent curve ball. I figured, well, I have a curve ball, let me work around with it and see what I can do with it. So I did. I got a couple of tips on throwing it from a Yankees relief pitcher who sublet an apartment in the building next to ours (New York City, of course), and I threw it with a sharp wrist snap like a karate chop, and I never had any problems. Not having a fast ball to speak of, I had to go to the breaking stuff right away, and so I picked up a knuckle-curve and a palm ball, and these were the beginning of what would become a nice arsenal of snake-jazz.
So, you are right. There is no one “right” age to start throwing a curve. If you have good mechanics, can get the ball over for strikes and finish your pitches, you’ll be all right. :slight_smile:


#18

if you can draw a black stripe through the equator of the 4 seams on the ball and get it to spin mostly north/south instead of east/west, you’re probably ok. if not, you are in danger.


#19

I first learned my curveball when i was 14 and a half. and i think i learned it too early because now my arm is a little screwed up, so wait till youre about 16


#20

I learned to throw a curveball when i was 11 and started throwing it in games at 12 and never once have had an elbow problem. I taught myself to set the hand up to when i rotate to the plate that my middle finger is on top of the ball and hand to the first base side of the ball (LHP) and I let the rotation of the ball do the work. My teammates tell me that the ball looks like it comes in straight and at the last second the bottom falls out of it.