New coach

New coach wants my 14 yr old lefty to get a curveball. He had 2 outings this year. 5 IP, No hits, no runs, 8 so using FB,CU & KB. 2nd outing 3 IP,all fastballs (coach forgot to tell him he had to call his own this game) no hits no runs until the 4th. Pitch count is at 60 all FBs starts to get hit,gets pulled.The coach tells us later he need more pitches ,change and knuckle wont do. Do I listen? He does’nt seem to think he’s having sucess.
He’s the First coach to tell me he needs movementon his fastball.
I dont mind negative feedback on him it helps to get better but here I’m just confused.Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks

I personally think that coaches does not know what he is talking about. You dont NEED curveballs but the problem is thats what coaches and kids are taught. “if you want to be successful you need a curveball” Nope. Maybe he needs to work on mixing his pitches or maybe they were just hitting due to luck. Just make him fine tune all his current weapons and if he still gets rocked hard maybe then think about a new pitch but one outing that didnt seem bad at all should not have to make your son learn a new -potentially dangerous pitch


I’d be skeptical that your kid needs a curveball. I’d want to know a bunch of other information:

(1) How fast is your kid’s fastball?

(2) Does he have good mechanics and conditioning to allow him to safely reach his maximum potential velocity? Or is he not realizing his potential?

(3) Is his change-up sufficiently slower than his fastball?

(4) How is his control with his fastball and change-up?

(5) How effective has the pitch sequencing been? If the coach lets the kids call their own pitches, that’s a good thing. But have they been taught to effectively assess the batter’s tendencies? Have they been taught how to properly assess the situation?

I feel all of these things are more important than adding a curveball.

He throws 73,74 mph and his change is good with location and speed low
60s high 50s at times. He throws a great knuckleball not alot just to give them somthing else to think about. As far as conditioning he works on core strength, along with arm conditioning, ran on tread mill until he could get outside and run. He has great control hits his spots well and is smart on the mound with batters knowing when to climb the ladder on the batter.

This last outing the coach never told him who was calling the pitches.Usually the coach called the pitches at this point.My son is not the type to question the situation, if the coach is calling all fast balls he does what he’s told. Plus he was getting alot of ground balls having 4 & 6 pitch innings. To me outs are outs they do not have to be all Ks. Thanks for the feed back.

johan santana and tom glavine are 2 of the best pitchers in major league baseball and they basically throw only fastball and changee-ups. you can make him learn how to throw a curveball but this pitch is too easy to fall in love with and he might forget his change-up. something you could look for is a knuckle-curve the old fashion way. make him grip his knuckleball and instead of trying to reduce spin make him flick it forward. he should get some downward action and use it sometimes to keep hitters honest. it takes a long time to get comfortable with but fastball change up when located properly are devastating.


Sounds like your son knows how to pitch.

Like a super-fast fastball, the CB can be a gimmick pitch that keeps a guy from actually learning how to pitch.

I would hold on on the CB for at least 2 or 3 years.

My son’s Orothopedic surgeon said not to start until your are 14 1/2.

My son had a viscious overhand curve, but when he came up with tendonitis; he had to quit pitching for 6 weeks, and had to shelve the curve for the enitre season. You cant miss what you did not have.

Coping was a real problem because the curve was his out pitch. He said it was like going into a fight with only one hand. His solution was to work on his various fastballs and his circle change. Consequently these pitches got better.

At 14, your not even playing to get on the school JV team.

I disagree with some of the posters at some point you will need a breaking ball, but its not at 14 playing for a rec/select team.


I say you need to realize that your “philosophy” and coaches’ are already at odds.I am having a similar problem right now.It may all work out fine,or you may need to make a change next year or this fall.If your kid is a pitcher,and you’re here like me,I’m sure you feel like his coach too.It sounds like he misinterpreted his FB performance into thinking that he’s not comfortable mixing pitches,when actually he was apparently waiting for a call.You,the kid,and coach need to talk about this together to make sure he doesn’t “over-compensate” and throw too many off-speed grouped together.If this isn’t a conversation you can have with your coach,move on.If it’s coach at school…hopefully it’s not a four year problem…I wonder how many great players are ruined this way?Good Luck.

The above situations are too numerous to attach a number. Remember when sports built character. It still happens in cases like this if the three parties love baseball/ kids and are able to communicate and recognize what works best for the individual player. Players who love the game but not their coach sometimes become teammates in adult leagues and what a thrill that is. The posts which downplay the curve idea are legit. How about other ways of creating ball movement. …Coaches have an enormous influence for good or not so good on any kid who has big league aspirations. Wins and outstanding performances permit happy time for some but not for all. It’s worth working out the differences guys.

My belief is different velocities is a main key to pitching. Using a FB and a CU is suficient at 14 yrs old. It also works in Men’s leagues. Gearing up for a 75mph fastball and seeing that pitch coming out of the pitcher’s hand while actually only reaching 60 mph is devastating to a hitter. Johan Santana is a great example.

A curveball is nice to have but if not properly thrown, can cause damage to and arm and elbow. Your son is still maturing and if he wants to throw a CB make sure he is taught the correct way.