i have gotten tons of differing opinions, and I figured this would be a great place to ask. When is the appropriate age to start throwing breaking balls?
I don’t think age is accurate to describe it, most people say 13-15. I thought I threw one when I was 13 but I never supinated my arm to throw it or really spun the ball. I was in my freshman season last year when the ace of our staff showed me how to properly throw one while warming me up to relief.It was nice and I threw 2 in the game which got 2 chases and resulted in a k. Since then I have developed it into a sharp 12-6 and a solid pitch. I’d overall say to answer your question after my sidetrack that age 13-15 is good once he has solid control of his fastball and a good changeup developed. Can only throw a curveball so much without doing damage, but once I learned to throw it properly it feels better than my fastball on my arm.
ok cool thx
My son’s pitching coach (former MLB) didn’t let him throw breaking balls until 14u. Most places on the web (even the MLB pitch smart) kind of say the same thing. I have also seen studies stating that overuse is worse than pithcing breaking balls. Younger kids have a hard time hitting curves and sliders so a lot coaches like kids who can throw the junk. IMO,the jury is still out on breaking balls vs overuse for young pitchers… but why risk it.
Need some movement? Go with a 2 seamer or learn to put some movement on a change up, lots of options there. You can’t get a scholarship at 12yrs but you can injure yourself out of one.
Imagine my surprise and anger when I found my son’s AAU program teaching 10 yo. (This coming 11u) how to throw curve balls. And Most of the ones slated to be the teams pitchers by the director, have shown no command of the strike zone yet.
To me it’s more about 1. Physical maturity over specific age. And 2. When they can command their fastball and change-up. Able to work the hitter in-out-up-down first.
Learning the curve is too often a shortcut to actual pitching at a young age, and they can get away with curves older kids call hangers, giving them a false sense of accomplishment.
A good 4 seam, 2 seam and changeup will be effective at all levels. There doesn’t have to a rush to throw breaking balls. The key is to develop a good change up…stiff wrist, pronation and a comfortable grip.