Youth Pitching

I have a 10 year old son who ihas perfected a curve ball. The problem is he is throwing the curve ball at least 5x a game. He has started experiencing pain in his elbow and shoulder. I have asked the coach to not allow him to throw curve balls, because I have been told that he is to young to be throwing them…I need backup on whether or not this if affecting his arm.

If he’s experiencing pain due to throwing a curve then he should stop throwing it, you don’t want him to damage his arm.

I need backup on whether or not this if affecting his arm.

You need nothing … backup is the least of your concerns.

You son could be tossing pumpkins - who cares. He’s experiencing pain, enough said. Shut the youngster down, tell the coach to COACH. He/she is suppose to instruct proper methods and techniques for youngsters that age, and for the sport that your boy is in. Don’t push this on yourself.

If your concerned that your son won’t be put into another game because of appearances - you taking charge … don’t go there. Your son deserves much better than the sticky politics from petty adults.

On the other hand, you and your son should work closely on controlling the strike using the fastball. Now I don’t mean a ninety mile an hour rocket … he’s not got that in him, but, throw a decent fastball that suits his physique and request from the coach to show your son how to do it. That’s what coaches are for.

Stay away from the fancy stuff, stick to the basics - fastball with control. A reasonable pitch count (your son’s league should have guidelines and limits), proper care before, during and after ever practice and game. A good warm shower after every practice and game to relax muscles and address any sprains or pain. Discomfort is to be expected - pain is not.

This should get you started. On this web site, under YOUTH PITCHING, you’ll find most of the things that your looking for. In any eveny though, coaching youngsters your son age is a tricky and delicate business. Very tricky. You are right to be concerned and ask … us… or anyone else for that matter.

Coach B.

After re-reading this post of mine, it may have come across in the wrong light. My intention was to give you credit where credit is due. Hence, regardless of what the adult poplulation does, you son’s coach(s) included, don’t let the prevailing winds of petty adult politics consider your concern for your son as … taking charge … as watering down your pro active direction for your son.

There is of course some responsibility on your part to be advised by the coaching staff (coach) of how to properly prepare and then take care of one’s self, … then you take it from there.

Coaching youngsters is a partnership by all concerned to get every youngster on the right road - from day one.

I sincerely wish you well with your son and his baseball experience.

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]

If your concerned that your son won’t be put into another game because of appearances - you taking charge … don’t go there.

Stay away from the fancy stuff, stick to the basics - fastball with control. A reasonable pitch count (your son’s league should have guidelines and limits), proper care before, during and after ever practice and game. A good warm shower after every practice and game to relax muscles and address any sprains or pain. Discomfort is to be expected - pain is not.

This should get you started. On this web site, under YOUTH PITCHING, you’ll find most of the things that your looking for. In any eveny though, coaching youngsters your son age is a tricky and delicate business. Very tricky. You are right to be concerned and ask … us… or anyone else for that matter.

Coach B.[/quote]

I’ve found excellent recommendations and advice in the Youth Pitching section on raising a 10 YO pitcher, and I would recommended searching the archive to become familiar with your options.

Coach B stated the basics for a young pitcher:

[quote=“Coach Baker”]

Stay away from the fancy stuff, stick to the basics - fastball with control. A reasonable pitch count (your son’s league should have guidelines and limits), proper care before, during and after ever practice and game. A good warm shower after every practice and game to relax muscles and address any sprains or pain. Discomfort is to be expected - pain is not.

Coach B.[/quote]

Other considerations beyond mechanics would be does he take a season off (i.e. play multiple sports) from baseball for his arm to heal, or does he pitch/throw 12 months of the year? Is he throwing to hard to early in the spring? Does he pitch for multiple teams during the same season? Any of these could hurt the development of a young arm. There’s incredible pressure from Travel Teams and LL coaches to have a young player with a strong arm to be on multiple teams and practice all year, and I’m not convinced this is best for a young arm.

A short story on my son’s development. He has a vary strong arm for his age (10) and will be his team starting pitcher this year. Last year he played in the spring and the fall, but played other sports and did other things during the summer and winter. For LL tryouts, which take place in February, although he had not touched a baseball in over three months, he first put put on a hitting clinic for the coaches, then equaled or bettered the “anointed” 11 YO who pitches all year and who is professionally taught. Surprisingly, my son was the first overall pick in the draft, ahead of all of the 11 and 12 YOs. He has yet to take mound this season, with the exception of 12 pitches he threw in practice the other day so the coaches could evaluate their potential for this year. It took him four pitches to gain his control, after that he spotted the ball where ever I put the glove, and at a velocity better than the 12 yos on his team. Furthermore, having the winter off enabled him to think about his delivery. The last few pitches he threw his throwing arm reached the ground on his delivery, and his back leg propelled him forward towards the plate in perfect balance. He wasn’t doing this last year. He had more freedom and his delivery was smoother than I saw last year. I believe he has benefited from playing less than his peers, and from taking the summer and winter off to do other things. As he gets older, he may want to pitch during the summer or have pitching lessons during the winter, but at this age his improvements come during times of absence. He’s had (growth) pains in his legs, but never in his arms. This has worked for us and I’ve seen the love of the game in his eyes when he plays. Some of the other kids who play 12 months of the year miss out on the enjoyment of just playing ball.

Fastball / changeup is what they need at that age level. I am coaching 13U national level ball, and have two super pitchers that just learned a curve last fall. This subject is an old one here…Too young? What’s the right age to throw a curve?..Some recent studies show the fastball to be the most damaging pitch. “Ol’ Johnny threw out his arm throwing curveballs”…It wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with pitching 3 days in a row, or without adequate recovery. NAW. I have lost tournaments at AAA Major level due to protecting my boys’ arms…Somebody mentioned rules protecting your son. Not normally. Some tourn have a 5 inning rule, or something similar. I have seen a lot of 30 pitch innings. Do the math. No, It’s up to you to make sure Coach doesn’t get caught up in winning. 50-55 pitches is enough for him.minimum 2 days rest. My kid always liked to throw a 15-20 pitch “bullpen” session the day before a big game. No bad effects. Get him away from the bender and work on the changeup. It’s devastating at 10U. Experiment with 3-4 grips. He may favor one grip over the other. Good luck, hope this helps.

Thank ya’ll all for your advice. Please forgive me if I have come across as being a parent who does not wish her son to sit on the bench…just the opposite. I believe that him being part of a team and learning the basics and the enjoyment of the sport is more rewarding, but the truth is he is a starter and he plays most positions well and happens to be a pitcher. I am a mother that enjoys watching her son play and I do not get into the politics of the game and I do not pretend to know how to coach him…I try to leave that up to the coach…but when he is complaining with his arm and no one seems to hear me when I ask what the problem is…I thought that I could maybe get some other opinions to back up my thoughts on he should not be throwing the curve ball. Again, thank you for your help and encouragement…