Knuckleball


#1

I have a 10 year-old LHP son. He has developed a knuckleball. I did not teach it to him–he just figured it out while playing “wall-ball” in the driveway.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this when he first showed it to me, but it doesn’t seem to be causing him any problems and he gets a kick out of throwing it–he even put one over the plate for strike three in a game last fall.

Is there any potential harm here?


#2

CoachAlex:

Time spent throwing the knuckle ball is time that he is not developing his fastballs and change up. Kids will always want to fool around with it and I would treat it like that, fun but not part of his pitching plans. The knuckleball does not make a good change up because it is so slow and is easy to detect. In order to be effective it must rely on movement. It is a very difficult pitch to throw with consistent movement and control and if the pitcher can do that, the catcher and umpire are likely to have a difficult time with it.
:slight_smile:


#3

“Time spent throwing the knuckle ball is time that he is not developing his fastballs and change up.”

I disagree.

As long as he throws it well (e.g. with significant movement) and effectively, then who cares?

Plus, throwing a knuckleball can put less strain on the arm, assuming that it doesn’t take him too much effort to reach the required velocity for the ball to knuckle well (which is a high-ish and very narrow speed range).

It’s certainly less stressful than a curveball.

There’s a reason why knuckleballers can have very long careers (assuming they can put up with all the stupid macho b.s.).


#4

probably no harm. gives him something different to fool with BUT make sure the emphasis on hitting spots with fastball and developing change.
not too many knuckleballs have ever gotten us out.