new pitch

My mom was talking to a collage pitcher. he said that a curveball at age 13 was bad for my arm, so is was wondering is this true and what are some new pitches that are like a curveball.

curve ball can be very bad for the arm. Even if trained properly, I believe it is still somewhat bad. But if you pitch 3-4 innings a game, and face the rotation twice it can be used for 3-5 pitches on the top four batters. The main pitch for you are the 2sfastball, 4sfastball, and work hard on you change up. The CU is the most devastating pitch.

The slider is somewhat similar , but still very different then a curve ball, but is also hard on the arm.

Let me start by telling you that I am only a dad who played some high school ball and not much else with an 11yo son who pitches. In my opinion, a curve ball is a bad pitch for you to learn how to throw at your age. Learn proper mechanics, changing speeds and hitting spots and you can accomplish what you need to without having to learn a curveball. My son pitched in his league and has pitched a little in his 12u all star team. He has been very effective by using all of the plate and changing speeds and not having any curve ball at all. If you can work the corners, work up and down and change speeds once in a while, that should be good.

Again, I am just a dad with a little experience, but I always have an opinion. LOL. Good luck.

IMO there is nothing wrong with developing a curveball at 13. Notice Isaid developing. You need to learn the proper way to throw the pitch,

That being said, before worrying about the curve, I would make sure that I had a fastball and change up first.

There’s nothing wrong with throwing a curve ball if you learn how to throw it properly—and bear in mind, there are several ways to do just that. I discovered at age 11 that I had a nice little curve ball that came attached to my natural sidearm delivery, and I worked around with it and found that the best way for me to throw one was with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap! That pitch had a very nasty break to it—good thing, too, because I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of. And I had no arm or shoulder problems. So I would advise finding a very good pitching coach—maybe even a professional pitcher—who has a good one and can teach you how to throw it. {Incidentally, I also came up with a knuckle curve—I think Mike Mussina got his the same way, just experimenting with a couple of knuckleball grips. And that is another very nasty pitch.} 8)

I believe that every claim that it is ok to throw the curve at a young age needs to be qualified with “…and limit the number of curves thrown to no more that 20-25% of total pitch count totals”. I also agree the change-up should not be sacrificed for the curve.

Frank Cruz, head coach for USC, was asked what he looked for in pitchers. His reply, “The first thing I look for is a good change.”

That coach must have talked to Babe Ruth at one time! The Babe, who was no slouch on the mound, once said that a good changeup will cause batters more grief than anything else. How true—I have seen more batters get fooled very badly on a change, whether it be the straight change, or just taking something off one or another pitch. My incredible pitching coach—Eddie Lopat—once told me that just about any pitch could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated several for me and showed me how to throw them. Not having a fast ball to speak of, I ended up with a closetful of changeups—in addition to old Filthy McNasty (my slider), a knucklecurve, a regular curve ball, a palm ball and a few other things, all perfectly legal and all just plain murder on the hitters. Not to mention that crossfire move that I used just about all the time. 8)

Am I reading things wrong? Or does it seem that younger kids, for one reason or another, don’t seem to learn a good change up. It appears that lots of guys are going fastball to curve ball.

Not that I’m a big opponent to the curve ball, but even at the HS level, I’m seeing less and less change ups. A well thrown change at the HSV level is a great pitch.

Could be. I believe it is easier for kids to learn to throw an effective curve than it is a good change. The problem is, an effective curve doesn’t have to be thrown with proper technique which means kids can put their arms at risk.

Well, if it isn’t, it should be.
There’s a saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. That expression comes from gymnastics and refers to, I believe, a particular move on the parallel bars that can be performed in several correct ways. So there is more than one way to throw a good curve ball, and unless you have a natural one—such as I did—it behooves you to learn to throw it correctly. That’s why a really good pitching coach can help.
And here’s another thing to consider. Many pitchers who have trouble with the curve ball might do well to consider the slider, which is actually easier on the arm and shoulder than the curve. As for the changeup—one really has a whole closetful to choose from. Pick one, work around with it, and incorporate it into your repertoire. It could be the palm ball (my first changeup, and a good one it was), the “OK” or circle change, or a variation of something else in your arsenal. I think I mentioned once that Eddie Lopat told me that just about any pitch can be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated several for me and showed me how to throw them. What they all have in common is that you alter your grip—but you have to throw everything with the same arm motion and the same arm speed.
What helped me was that I was a natural, true sidearmer—and you know what exasperating, infuriating creatures we are! :slight_smile:

Great post, as usual, Zita. :smiley:

I have seen many kids struggle to learn a good change. I truly believe that the pitch isn’t glamourous enough for them to take it seriously. To me, it seems its far more fashionable to throw the knee buckling curve ball. Also, IMO, thats somewhat of the same rap the slider gets. It doesn’t look pretty from the stands.

My son threw fastball and change through his freshman year in HS, all thee while trying to develop a curve ball. He never could get the hang of it, no matter what we tried. It just wasn’t consistent enough. But behold the slider. He already had a cutter and a circle change, so it was an easy transition to the slider. I believe it also helps that he throws 3/4, ala Pedro.

In my humble opinion, kids must learn the change. Furthermore, kids need to pitch to get outs, not for daddy to recieve praise in the stands for Johnny’s “nasty curve ball”.