The recommendation here is, don?t throw the curve until they?re 14 years old.
Why ?, well when they turn 13 they now jump up to a 60?6" foot distance, and most kids simply don?t have the proper arm strength to even pitch effectively from that distance for their first year. They will have a hard enough time "locating" pitches and throwing the changeup at that distance, why throw something else into the mix.
Make the 13 year old year as a year to get comfortable at that distance and develop arm strength during that year and work on the curve after they complete their 13 year old year.
On the inside of the elbow by the knob toward the forearms where kids get "little leaguers elbow".
Why shouldn?t they throw a curve then at the shorter distance then you ask ? Can you say "terminal arm problems ?" Sure, they might have some short term success throwing a curve on the smaller field, but while their messing around with that curve they?re forgetting how to pitch and "locate" pitches, and develop what even the best pro pitchers use well, and that?s a good changeup.
Not only does the pitcher run the risk of serious arm problems, but most young pitchers that do throw curves can?t throw it consistently over the plate, and most hitters now are learning to not even swing at them because most of the time it?s 2 feet outside in the dirt.
Having coached all stars, help coach a very good travel team, along with studying all the pitchers we play against at every level, and also watching regional games as well as going to Wiliamsport, taping those games and reviewing them, it?s very obvious which pitch the kids can?t hit, and it?s the changeup.
It?s also better for the arm and easier for the catcher to handle with kids on base.
You don?t want to let kids run the bases on wild pitches, and most kids throwing curve balls will find kids getting free bases while the catcher tries to defend the curveball.
There?s a whole host of reasons why the young pitcher not only doens?t need to throw the curve, but shouldn?t.
What do you think?
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