Well, the day before my son's 10th birthday (today)...it happened. He had a coach want to start teaching him a curve ball...a Little League curve ball he calls it. Right now nobody on our team throws a curve ball (I am the pitching coach and haven't even thought about teaching it to 10-11 year olds), but we do have another coach with some pretty extensive pitching experience who wants to work with 2 of our kids on it. My initial thought is no, but sadly, we are one of the few teams that don't have our pitchers throwing some type of breaking pitch. I have umpired games this year and when that first curve ball comes at me, I almost turn sideways and fall down on the darn thing!
My son is one of the younger kids in the league and the youngest on our team. He is the #2 pitcher for his team and his looked upon as a leader in many respects because of his better-than-average skills in most phases of the game.
My question is not at what age to regularly throw a curve ball (that seems to be in the 13+, high school/shaving age) but how safe it is to learn a basic breaking ball at this age. Winning is not the A#1 priority in my mind...it's about learning the game, improving, socializing, and having fun...but I already know that next year there will be even more kids throwing breaking balls, and is NOT teaching it protecting my son's arm health, or is it limiting/hampering his development as a pitcher?