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When can curveballs start to be thrown?

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  • When can curveballs start to be thrown?

    When you are able to throw a curveball is something that I have looked into, and have had results from 12 years old to 18. I've also been told it depends on the person. Any information you got, throw it at me. Thanks!

  • #2
    Curves can be thrown as soon as they can be taught properly and learned properly. A properly thrown curve is actually less dangerous on a youth’s arm than a fastball. The problem is too many kids are not taught how to properly throw a curve. Or they teach themselves by trial and error.

    The biggest danger in pitching in youth in youth sports is overuse and youth coaches who can’t teach proper pitching mechanics, can’t recognize poor mechanics and can’t recognize when fatigue is unraveling proper mechanics.

    The best easiest off speed pitch to teach a young pitcher is the knuckle curve. It curves and is an off speed pitch due to the placement of fingers on the ball. It has no negative impact on the wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
      A properly thrown curve is actually less dangerous on a youth’s arm than a fastball.

      THIS... You won't believe how many youth parents I hear talking like they know baseball yet don't understand this. My oldest son was at one of my youth games and he overheard a dad and a few parents talking about my youth team that "How can parents let that coach throw curveballs at this age" - "I was a pitcher when I played and he's hurting their arms" - etc etc etc... The funny thing is, the kid that was pitching that game has been learning a curve and does throw it properly most of the time, he literally threw about 4-5 curveballs in the 3 innings he pitched. The rest of his pitches were mainly 4 and 2 seam fastballs but he comes around the ball too much and causes a spin - still trying to work that out of him. It was all my son could do to tell them exactly what you stated above.


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      • #4
        Say Out Loud: "I Love curveballs!" - Did you do it?

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        • #5
          I taught my son a changeup and curveball at 10 years old because he had pretty good throwing mechanics and he asked how to throw one. Of course, his curveball was junk and it was something he goofed around with on the side and never threw it in games.

          At 11 years old he started to work on it a bit and threw it a few times each game. It was still mostly junk. The other thing is that he was under a weekly pitch count limit and mandatory rest. This included both games and side sessions. His limit was 70 pitches per week.

          At 12 he started really working on the pitch and throwing it more in games along with his fastball and changeup. He is free to throw the curve as much or as little as he wants. Some days he throws more curves and somedays it's an occasional "show me" pitch.I say that because I allow him to call his own pitches and so did the other coach he played for. When he was 11 he read a few books on pitching and we talk a lot about trying to read batters and remember batters, changing speeds, working in, out, up, and down, and pitch sequencing.

          Some days he does a good job calling his own pitches and locations and some days not so good. But whether it's rec ball or travel ball it's still kid ball so it doesn't matter all that much. What matters is that he learns what works and what doesn't and gains confidence.

          I'm all for kids with decent mechanics to learn how to throw a curveball. The most important thing is to monitor pitch counts and proper rest not just in games but also in side sessions.

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