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Is throwing curve balls truly bad for little leaguers?

A lot of speculation has been brought up about the use of throwing secondary pitches by little leaguers. Terms such as “little league elbow” and “Tommy John” have been said to be the result for players being taught to throw curve balls and sliders at to early of an age.

It has now become part of the general consensus that a little league player should wait until high school or even after, to learn how to throw the curve ball.

Here is a fantastic article that I came across that does a fantastic job of disputing this common held belief about the relationship that youth baseball has with the curve ball.

2 thoughts on “Is throwing curve balls truly bad for little leaguers?

  1. I would say that BOTH general overuse and prematurely attempting to throw curveballs contribute to the injury of young players. This is primarily because young players have not yet mastered the fundamentals of pitching location and mechanics. Adding the extra torque of curveballs to arms that have not yet completed growing (open growth plates) is a recipe for injury if only because such players will overuse curveballs. I am concerned that people will draw the wrong conclusions from this study.

    1. I completely share the concern that this study has flawed conclussions and is dangerous if used singularly for decisions that can affect the current and future health of a young person’s arm. There is overwhelming research and documentations that dispute this study. I would ask the author to remove the words “fantastic” when referring to it and instead use cautionary terms so people who are looking for reasons to allow young people to throw breaking pitches will not blindly follow this as “approval.” I speak from personal experience and much study on this topic. 

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