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im not an expert or anything but i think the key point in the article would be not if they throw the breaking ball, but if they are taught to throw it properly. I think if the mechanics are taught then a kid will be less likely to have an injury. I also believe if I had a little league kid i would teach him a 2 seamer , 4 seamer and a good straight change.
In our program that is the 1st thing we do with our freshman. We teach them a change -up and tell them if they want to throw for us they will need to throw this pitch for strikes before thwey can throw one pitch on the varsity.
Don't want to start an argument here, but how many parents let their kid throw a football as 10, 11, 12 year olds? Same GENERAL way a CB is thrown.

EDIT: It would be interesting to have a scientific breakdown of both a football player throwing a ball and a pitcher throwing a CB. I always felt that both of these were of the same general 'action'
Last edited by CubanLefty
ctiger, the study is pretty clear that the proliferation of breaking balls at younger ages is the culprit. It makes no distinction as to proper mechanics of the thrown breaking ball. So your assertion tha the point of the article is that if it is thrown properly or not is not even addressed. That is just your belief. It may or may not be true, but it doesn't change the results of Dr. Andrews study.

In our program that is the 1st thing we do with our freshman. We teach them a change -up and tell them if they want to throw for us they will need to throw this pitch for strikes before thwey can throw one pitch on the varsity.

My son would not have been able to pitch for you. He could not throw a quality change until his senior year. Some guys never learn the change-up very well and still pitch quite well.
My opinion has changed about little guys throwing the CB. While I believe that thrown correctly it will not hurt their arms, the problem is that it is difficult for them to maintain the proper mechanics at a young age.

When it is thrown incorrectly it has the potential to be very dangerous. So, my son knows how to throw a CB correctly, but we put it on the shelf. He has plenty of time later for that pitch. He throws FB's and CU's. And he loves throwing a knuckleball.

Bottom line for me is, it's simply not worth the risk. JMO.

Last edited by Callaway
Callaway has the right idea. Don't wait to teach your young ones how to throw it properly. Just don't let them throw it in a game where they may throw it too hard or improperly. Curveballs are to young pitchers what *** is to most young kids. It is exciting and mysterious and if they don't learn about it from you, they will get it from their friends.

The real question is how to teach it because you can't have pre-teen kids yanking down real hard on a curveball. I teach a classic 12-to-6 that begins way over the top instead of release (basically, the wrong way, really way to soon). You end up with a big loopy "curve" that is really a change-up. Why you say! Again, kids are kids and they want in on the secret. This way, you have taught them a "curveball" that doesn't put much stress at all on their elbow or shoulder. NOTE: make sure they have good follow-through to protect the elbow.

Finally, kids have been throwing curves for over a century without arm injuries. The reason I believe for the recent increase in arm injuries is because now kids are throwing curves in games to get outs. Their throwing them hard and often. If you watched the Little League World Series last summer, it was the number 1 pitch for a lot of kids. (remember when pre-teen kids pitched just to get the ball in play....those days are gone.)
As stated, it comes down to proper mechanics [and also if a youngster's anantomy at the time will withstand the stress]. I think the main point is this: Why jeopardize a kid's health and future?? So you can win some mythical state championship that are a dime a dozen? How many HS or collge coaches give a rat's behind what your record or BA was when you were 12?? The problem with the article is that most of the guys out there coaching think they are smarter than the "real experts" and will justify it one way or another in order that they can win. Every kid is different [and that is also one of the justifications guys will use - it doesn't apply to my kid], but Junior learned a breaking ball froma former Atlantic -10 pitcher of the year [guy is still in his 20s] and worked on it more with a current AA pitching coach - he has pitched since he was 9, and the ONLY time he had a sore arm/elbow was after pitching for the first time at 60' [pitched at 50' for 2 yrs prior] on a cold night and going 5 innings [had I been at that game he would have been out before then]- that was 4 years ago. He thanks me now for not caving in to the pressure [and his begging] to throw one sooner - all the "studs" that were striking out mucho batters with their big sloppy curve balls that no 12 YO could hit are no longer playing basebal, since by the time they were 13-14 - their arms were like spaghetti. The short versino is that there are no rewards at 10-13 that justify the risk.
Last edited by windmill

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