The curve ball


#1

Hi,
I’m sure you’ve all hit on this subject at one time or another but I would still like more input on the age where you should work on the curve ball.My son is 14 lefty and has yet to throw the curve ball. I feel why should he when he threw high 70s low 80s last october and has good circle change.He plays alot of travel ball and has been asked to play on several teams but alot of them back off when I say" NO CURVE BALLS " am I WRONG? I’d like to your thoughts. Thanks. blm


#2

Nope, you’re not wrong at all – but there’s really no set “rule” about the curveball because kids mature differently. I honestly think the reason I was able to throw well into the 90s MPH later in my career (college/pro ball) was because I stayed away from the curveball until about 16 years old. And even then, I threw it maybe just 10 percent of the time. I predominantly pitched with the FB/CH in HS.


#3

thanks ,its good to know we’re on the right track.


#4

[quote=“blm”]Hi,
I’m sure you’ve all hit on this subject at one time or another but I would still like more input on the age where you should work on the curve ball.My son is 14 lefty and has yet to throw the curve ball.[/quote]

I agree with Steven.

Hold off until 16 or 17.


#5

thanks that seems to be the feed back I’m getting most of.


#6

You’ll encounter many who say the curve, when thrown correctly, is no harder on the arm than the fastball. And I agree with that. But there are two concerns with that. First, it takes teaching the curve correctly. Second, it takes verifying the curve is being thrown correctly. The latter is difficult to do because the forward acceleration of the arm happens so quickly it is next to impossible to see with the naked eye. So, it often ends up being a bit of a gamble to let kids not yet physically matured to throw the curve.


#7

We can’t forget what Steven said earlier. The time spent on the curve is time not spent on the locating the fastball. That’s very, very significant.


#8

I agree also with Roger .I have been given the same speech time after time “thrown properly” no harm done. And I have had those same thoughts about what damage is done to a young arm before the pitch perfected. Thanks for the feed back.


#9

your right,it seems that some feel when you leave little league your fastball comes second to develope the curve.


#10

If he was 14 and throwing low 80s three or 4 months ago, unless he’s a big time early maturer, or about to turn 15 any moment, he may have some real upside. At that speed he’s going to dominate most 14yo with fastball and change. Curves are easy to learn for most pitchers. If he continues to rely on the change as he faces better hitters it will force him to develop a very good change and that will pay dividends in the long run.


#11

Also, don’t forget that it can take a pitcher significant time to learn how to throw a curveball, and all of those throws in practice can lead to an overuse injury.

To throw “just” 1 curve in a game, you have to throw hundreds in practice.


#12

Curves aren’t hard to learn how to throw. That’s why there’s no good reason to develop a curve before developing a change. It does take hundreds of curves, literally, before having a passable one but that really isn’t very many pitches in the scheme of things. 10 bullpens with 10 to 15 curves per pen will get almost any pitcher a passable curve.


#13

Thanks for the feedback everyone,He turns 15 in september.I agree with cadad,a good change is great pitch when you get it all together,motion ,location…We have a kid from our area(lefty)
who was drafted by the Indians 3 yrs ago.He told me he never threw a curve until his training began at the big league level.In high school his speeds were high 80s hitting low 90s at times.
Thanks again.


#14

“To throw “just” 1 curve in a game, you have to throw hundreds in practice.”

Bull dookey!

BLM he looks like a fastball pitcher, don’t reinvent, I admire your courage in the face of travelball squads wanting to “remold” him…screw that! As he moves into his path he will find the need for another pitch or as Palo puts it he will be reliever material (Starters command 3 or more and relievers command 2). I’d say let him work on getting some movement on that plus fb (Plus for sure if he’s in the 80’s at 14), allow him to experiment with cutting and sinking a 2 seam or 4 seam. Using that in conjunction with a decent change and he’ll be untouchable.
My son is a jr and one thing we’ve found is that you HAVE to locate the fb to have varsity success.


#15

hey i am a pitcher for DII Queens College and I started throwing curves and sliders when I was like 12-13 and now I have chronic elbow problems and the doctor said something is Calcinated or something along those lines I didnt really understand him, but I have a permanent lump around the inside of my elbow. I wish I would have held off on curves until I were about 16, but I got excited because I always played up (when i was 12, played with 14 yr olds, 13-14 played with 16 year olds ect…) so I felt I needed something to level the playing field. My advice is hold off.


#16

I agree with you both.I mostly get that, he should hold off on the curve ball.His fastball does have great movement and your also right you can’t ever be to good at placing your pitch.We have been
lucky so far with the travel teams respecting our thoughts that we feel the curve can wait.Its funny,they always seem to try you just in case your willing.In my mind the travel ball is a great experience
and I think helps you become more flexable as a team player and as a competitor.But most of all it somthing he really looks forward to as the summer gets here and most of the local ball is done.Thanks…jdfromfla & qcbaseball


#17

The curveball is like baseball crack for kids. Once you learn it and use it in a game you can’t help yourself, you’ll swear off it for a while and then wham…you’re back throwing the dang thing. Especially when you let that change up wander across the heart of the plate and it gets tatooed.

Good luck. maybe joined the CBA - Curveballers Anonymous


#18

I really never looked at it that way but your right on with that.
Looking back to my high school days guilty as charged.Not gonna throw it ,made my arm sore.Then, BAM arm starts to feel good and I was right back at it.I’am glad for this forum to show him what people say besides me.This a pre CBA intervention if you will,we don’t want to end up in CBA OR " ARM REHAB"either. Thanks for the thoughts.


#19

I play varsity ball at my school. This is my junior year, and only last year did i start really throwing a curve. It’s not exactly because i was concerned about my arm, i auctually felt left out a little because i didn’t throw a curve like the other guys, but i had one pitch none of them did. A splitter. My point of this is that a kid doesn’t need a curve to have success. Another pitch, such as that split, could be even better in that it’s easier on your arm and it is much harder to pick up for a hitter.