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For many years, I have been shouted down, or shouted at, or just treated with complete disdain if I ever spoke my mind on this particular topic. You see I am one of only a few people who never bought the "curveballs destroy arms" fallacy that has been repeated so many times, that it's just assumed to be gospel now.
Being a pitcher, I knew from my personal experience that supinating in an overhead position feels much more natural and puts less pressue on my elbow. On the other hand, pronating, as you do with a fastball or sinker HAS caused me arm problems.
Test it out yourself. Put your arm in a loaded slot position and bring it forward while turning your thumb down. Now do it really hard. You can easily feel the tug on your inner forearm. That's the ulnar collateral. The cause of elbow problems that require Tommy John surgery. Everyone conveniently forgets that Tommy John made a living off his sinker.
Now try the same exercise, but supinate your forearm like a karate chop, and bring it straight down. That's the proper motion of an overhand curve. It hardly puts any pressure on the elbow region, and actually feels good. At least to me it does.
See, I always felt that the problem wasn't the curveball as much as it was the way it was taught. Many coaches teach spinning the ball out, or "snapping the wrists" which is completely wrong and DOES put undue pressure on an elbow. You can easily spot this pitch as it has unearthly side to side movement....a la Kerry Wood, or Jeff Nelson. It also happens to be the way to throw a curve with a wiffle ball, which is where most kids first start experimenting. This then becomes the way many kids throw their curve with a baseball.
I learned my curve from a terrific book by Nolan Ryan (the title escapes me) written many years ago. He specifically instructs the reader to use the exact same motion as the fastball, while only changing the angle of the forearm. No twisting, no spinning, no snapping. It's a hard karate chop. And for those old enough to remember, Ryan had one of the deadliest 12-6 curves ever thrown. IMHO it was truly what made him great, not his fastball. AND, he threw it well into his 40s with no elbow problems.
Only recently, however, did I come across a couple of articles ( a link for one is posted above) that I think supports what I've been saying all along. In a nutshell, the only truly scientific studies on the subject have shown that curveballs don't put any more pressure on a young elbow than a fastball does. In fact, the only true, and scientifically proven cause for arm problems in young players is overuse. Throwing too many pitches in one day and/or not resting enough between throwing sessions.
There are many coaches out there who stand on a soapbox because they forbid the curve until a player is 15 or 16, but will happily allow a young player to throw 100 pitches or more in a single outing. They will gladly let a kid practice throwing in between starts and without the proper rest period observed. We see the incidence of ulnar collateral damage increase 4 or 5 fold despite kids not being allowed to throw a curve. This is the REAL problem with a "strawman" villain like the curveball. It blinds us to the actual problem and makes matters worse.
Now, I know I'll get flamed heavily for this. But, check out the link and read the article. Google other articles on studies that rely on actual empirical evidence and not hearsay or opinion. No one has EVER shown the curveball to be the cause of arm problems in any statistical, empirical, or scientific way. There is PLENTY of evidence however that shows overuse to be a major problem. The Little League has even set forth pitch count rules for every age group based on these studies. They are enforced at games, but NOT at practices, or any OTHER time. I think it's also very telling that the Little League has NEVER imposed or enforced a "no curveballs" rule. It's my belief that they can not come out and actually say that curveballs don't hurt arms, because it would open them up to all sorts of litigation, and under the current climate of ignorance regarding the topic would likely pass muster with a jury. It just wouldn't be prudent.
So, I stand by my assertion that the "curveball" problem is a fallacy, and believing it and following it actually makes matter worse as it takes the spotlight off the real issue; OVERUSE!