Is this a safe pitch for 10U kids to throw?
The pitch is safe, my 11yo throws it without changing his mechanics. The only problem we encountered is that the pitch moves slow at that age level and drops sharply into the strike zone. Most of the time umps failed to call it a strike.
Make sure the kids do not supinate their hand/forearm as they throw the pitch.
Now, whether a 10u should be investing time practicing that pitch versus practicing other pitches such as fastball and change-up is a philosophical topic that often receives a lot of comments/opinons.
Two important questions, can they locate their fastball consistently on both sides of the plate? And have they developed a good changeup?
agree with nathen, work on the CU first. The CU can be thrown with much more accuracy cuz you can actually “aim” it. The curve ball is a feeling pitch and much harder to control for a strike.
Is it safe? ?? it does put stress on the arms for sure. 3-5 pitches a game for the top 4 batters seems reasonable.
Also, it is an easy read for any coach that even half pays attention. As already posted it comes in slow…my wife says it looks like old men’s softball. My team has faced this pitch numerous times this season from different pitchers. It usually takes about 4 batters before the coaches can relay the mechanics and expectations to their players. We played tonight and I saw a knuckle-curve and slider (the slider this 12 year-old was throwing broke beautifully) crushed for homeruns after each pitcher used them on about 4 batters.
Honestly, the hardest ball to hit in baseball is a well-placed fastball. You give a 13 and under kid the confidence to place a pitch, teach him when to place it where and then give him a change-up…why bother with all that other stuff? If a kid is not confident with his fastball placement and change-up then he has no business learning any other pitch.
Interestingly enough, when we are talking fastballs and change-ups the question of safety never enters the converation unless it revolves around pitch count.
At 10 can he throw a curve ball? Sure. Can he throw it effectively? Maybe.
IMO at 10, even 11, developing pitchers should be focused on spotting their fastball and learning a good change up. These pitches will be important as he progresses through his years of pitching.
IMO, at the young (8-9) ages, a “good” true changeup is not possible. This is because the pitcher’s hand is so small that the ball is already choked deeply into the hand, even for the fastball. A change in grip to a “changeup” grip doesn’t take much off of the speed. So throwing a changeup that is substantially slower than the pitcher’s fastball requires a change in arm speed or some other mechanical change. Is this really something that we want our pitchers doing?
If the knuckle curve grip – is thrown with the fastball arm motion (and no supination), a good drop in speed can be created, because the knuckle curve grip is so weak. So it makes for a good changeup. IMO, at the young ages, the pitcher cannot put enough spin on the ball to make the ball break much. So changing speeds and location are the keys to keeping batters off balance.
Note that this is all IMO, and I’m a noob at this.