Was catching my 13 year old (turned 13 in April) a few weeks ago and he throws a pitch that breaks sharply. His two-seam and split finger change up both move a lot, but this had real tight spin and really broke, so much that I nearly missed the ball (and nearly got hit).
I asked him what it was and he said a curve. We have never worked on a curve but he told me he took his two seam grip, slid his two fingers together and supinated his wrist in the throwing motion (thumb up) rather than pronate. I have read supination puts real stress on the elbow and told him not to throw it. Of course, a game later and with two strikes on a batter, I see the batter flail at a really moving pitch. The other team coach says nasty curve. He's thrown it a few times since then.
How can I convince him that this is not a good idea to throw or am I off base? He is a very big lefty, 6 feet tall, very big hands (and feet - size 14-15) and long limbs and lanky. Very smooth easy mechanics - throws hard but doesn't look like he's trying to. Occassionally had tricep pain but hasn't had that for awhile, was checked out by orthopedist and pediatrician in the past with no concerns of damage.
Post by thepainguy on Jun 17, 2016 16:53:45 GMT -6
It's probably what I call a "turn the doorknob slider." I believe the higher the velo, the greater the risk, and this is based on experience with a kid with a growth plate injury after throwing just a few in a game.
Most 7th graders I know have tried it.
As a result, I teach pitchers how to throw Adam Wainwright's curveball, meaning a softer, loopy curveball, not a hard breaker with a sharp drop.
I told his pitching coach on Saturday and he really gave it to him and told him not to throw it. I have repeatedly told him not to throw it, but I can't run out on the mound when he does it. I think the outside influence of the coach had a real impact on him. Doorknob slider is probably a good description - I'll tell him about the growth plate injury too. Thanks.
We keep a very strict watch on his pitch count always staying within ASMI guidelines. He pitched a lot of games but rarely more than 40-50 pitches and always with recommended rest in between. More than once I have had to tell a coach he can't pitch today. He played organized baseball for two teams this Spring - just school and Rec. We passed on travel because I thought it was too many games. We are taking the summer off from baseball teams although we had two travel teams interested that wanted him to play. He will continue with weekly lessons and will go to a two week camp. He throws hard (about 65-70 mph), has good control until he fatigues and throws a circle change and a "split" change. He frequently wants to throw or have a catch when I get home from work and we do have a catch probably 4 times a week with some limited mound pitching every few days (10-15 pitches or so).
He does get fatigued when pitching, although his mechanics are pretty good and he does use his legs. We videotape frequently to check. The fatigue is a tough one because he does have a separate condition that one of the symptoms is hypotonia and muscle fatigue, so I am at every game and keep a very close watch on him. When he tires, we take him out. His condition should actually prevent him from being good or really playing sports, but through hard work and determination, he has overcome it for the most part to be one of the better players. He also is not aware of this issue/condition - I did not want any "learned helplessness" although we'll probably talk about it soon. He does recover quickly from any discomfort in his tricep and it is always gone after a few minutes with no lingering or residual pain.
He plays first and some limited outfield. He is almost always the best hitter on his teams but is generally one of the worst runners (ok to first but slowing down by third especially on 90 foot bases). He is the only kid that can hit the ball over the fence and fall down going to first! He also plays basketball and volleyball, and although he is getting good at both, is a better baseball player.
He played Fall travel last year and will play again this year. During the Winter, he did a 6 week winter baseball workout program.
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Jun 30, 2016 14:17:19 GMT -6
Based upon your story, throwing curveballs is not a major issue. If a pitcher is 13 with good mechanics of a fastball and change-up, doesn't pitch too excessively, and doesn't have arm pain, he may be ready to add a curveball. However I'm not sure that is your son. Most important are your son's (1) annual pitching volume (number of games, innings, weeks that he pitches), (2) his separate condition with hypotonia and muscle fatigue, and (3) occasional triceps pain.
Thanks for the response. I still want him to refrain from throwing a curve or doorknob slider where he supinates - it does move really well but he just doesn't need it yet.
Do you have any ortho's you recommend near the North Shore of Long Island? I don't have much faith in the local sports ortho's and may just have him checked again.
He is also in PT now for the summer to do some general overall core strengthening. The PT recommended the DVS (delivery value system) system of pitching mechanics analysis - are you familiar with this at all? Thanks again.