I have a 9 yr son this will be his second year as a pitcher is it to early to teach him how to throw a curve ball? I saw the youth curve on your site. Is this pitch for him or do we need to wait?
In the past most have felt that a curve ball shouldn’t be added until 15 or 16, recently the thought has changed to believe that a curve ball is no harder on the arm/shoulder/elbow than a fastball if “THROWN PROPERLY”…the big problem is that younger bodies usually can’t repeat mechanics well enough to make the action proper every time.
So my thoughts are that if you aren’t sure how to throw one properly yourself then don’t teach one. If you are looking it up on the internet how to throw one then don’t teach one. Use a professional that understands the arm action and what a pitcher should do in order to throw a curve ball…“PROPERLY”.
You can always get so much more out of working on throwing fastballs and changeups, learning how to hit spots and learn how to move the ball fast/slow/in/out/up and down so learn how to be a pitcher.
I understand that this is certainly not the most effective way to teach my son some pitching techniques, unfortunately there are not any qualified instructors in our area just a bunch of dads that because they watch baseball and played it 30 yrs ago they feel they are the next Tommy lasorda. So I’m looking for more suggestions on how to improve my son’s techniques while educating me how to continue working on his performance I know he has the heart of a giant and since he is the smallest on the team for his age group he can out perform many of the others, and as any father would want to do for their child is to help him improve to the best of his ability.
I agree that nine years old is a bit too young to start messing around with breaking pitches, even with expert instruction. The kid should stay with the fast ball, such as it is, and a changeup, and concentrate more on the basic mechanics—posture, balance, glove-side control and the like. He could also work on changing speeds on those two pitches. When he reaches age eleven he can start thinking about adding a pitch—perhaps a changeup such as a palm ball (my first changeup, and a very effective one it was), and possibly the two-seam fast ball (sinker). There is time to start thinking about learning a pitch like the curve ball. 8)
And this is from a real “Snake Jazzer”!!! I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading…I thought the first pitch you learned was a curveball. Just kidding!!! Great Post!
Buwhite—my first pitch was indeed a curveball, but I didn’t learn it. It was just there—I was eleven years old when I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery, and the curveball came attached to it—the sort of thing that sometimes just happens! I remember thinking, “Hey, I’ve got a curveball, let me see what I can do with it.” I experimented with it, worked on it some, and found that the easiest way for me to throw it was with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap. I acquired a little later on a knuckle-curve (which I think Mike Mussina picked up the same way I did mine, couldn’t do a thing with a regular knuckleball and experimented with grips and found that one) and my first changeup, a palm ball—and very effective it was too. The first pitch I actually learned was the slider, and I sure picked out the right person to teach me how to throw it—how, I will never know. 8)