My son can throw a fastball and changeup pretty good, we want to know what would be a good third pitch for an 11 year old? His 2 seam fastball doesn’t have much movement.
Alot of kids around here pick up a knuckle curve if they have difficulty with a change up, perhaps that would be a good pitch. It’s thrown like a fastball, so the pitcher needs to change nothing in his delivery to throw it and it’s easy to learn.
Yea kids usualy fool around with the curve ball around 12. Its not good for the arm , but kids dont care.
There is nothing wrong with a properly thrown curve ball thrown sparingly. When thrown improperly or thrown too much (2-3 to every batter) it will also rob velocity from the fast ball over time.
Not to mention, if a pitcher—whether Little League or major league—keeps throwing the same pitch, in the same spot, at the same speed, to a batter, you can be sure the batter will get a good read on it and blast it out of the ballpark! I remember how my wise and wonderful pitching coach would emphasize: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, work the corners, change speeds, and stay away from the middle of the plate.” For example: you can throw a curve two or three times to a batter, but move the ball around—maybe hit the inside corner, knee high, the first time and then throw it to the outside corner, stuff like that, to keep the batter off balance—and isn’t that the point, to confuse and discombooberate the batter? I agree that one should not overdo things, especially at ages 10 to 14. 8)
For an 11 year old I would stick with the gastball and change for now. What I would work on is location of those pitches.
Learn to locate the pitches without sacrificing velocity. Learn to hit the corners up and down. Also learn to stay away from the middle of the plate.
I will never forget what Ed Lopat had told me, long ago, about location—what we used to call control. His exact words: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, work the corners, change speeds, and stay away from the middle of the plate.” He also said, when he was telling me about some aspects of strategic pitching: “Figure out what the batter is looking for—and don’t give it to him.” We’ve all seen too much of that these days—a pitcher throws a “cookie”, a particularly easy-to-hit pitch, on a 3-0 count, and the batter has been waiting for it—and it’s usually a fastball. OUCH!
Yes, the kid should concentrate on the fastball and the changeup, whatever it is, but it wouldn’t hurt to think about adding a third pitch, something that is easy to throw and to control but that will give the batters a hard time trying to hit it. 8)
[quote]Yes, the kid should concentrate on the fastball and the changeup, whatever it is, but it wouldn’t hurt to think about adding a third pitch, something that is easy to throw and to control but that will give the batters a hard time trying to hit it. Cool
Nope wouldn’t hurt a bit to start thinking about a third pitch. Especially the Knuckle curve.
I prefer to see kids stick with FB and change without relying on a third pitch for the simple reason of really learning to use those pitches properly. That is IMO throwing with intent to knock the catcher on his butt while still spotting the pitch. :lol:
Thanks for all the replies! We have been working 2, and 4 seam FB, and change. The change has been coming along quite nicely. I tried to hold the knuckle curve and it seemed a bit hard unless you have bigger hands and strong fingers. Using weighted balls to increase velocity is a blast. My son and I had a good laugh at how lite the 5 oz. ball feels after playing catch with a 8 oz. weighted ball.