Change-up help


#1

I was practicing pitching my change-up today.
I throw the circle change and have tried throwing the c-change sometimes.
I was having trouble throwing strikes with the circle change.
It was either going in the dirt or going high and away.
Can anybody help with this,
or does anybody have suggestions on throwing change-ups?


#2

Many moons ago my pitching coach told me that just about any pitch could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few such for me. A good deal of the time it’s just a matter of a different grip, or of loosening or tightening up the grip, or holding the ball farther back or farther forward in your hand—the important thing to remember is that you have to throw everything with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as the fast ball, because one thing you don’t want to do is telegraph your pitches.
When I was playing, a lot of the time we would face a team that had a pitcher with the most beautiful slow curve I had ever seen. But that guy was telegraphing it all the time—not only did he slow his arm speed, he also would wiggle his elbow in a peculiar fashion when he was going to throw that pitch. In no time at all we would knock that guy out of the box, third inning or fourth. And the stupid never learned—which made me wonder, didn’t that team have a manager or coach who would alert him to the fact that he was tipping off the batter as to what was coming?
About the splitter—this pitch is a first cousin to the forkball, and that may cause problems for some pitchers who don’t realize that the grips are altogether different. For the forkball, you need to actually grip the ball between your index and middle fingers, and that can put a terrific strain on the hand, the arm and the shoulder, so unless you have a King Kong-sized paw you’d best leave that one alone. The splitter grip is indeed different—you hold the ball as for a two-seamer but with those two fingers just off the seams, maybe a little wider, not much— and you can actually change speeds on it. It can be a true changeup, or it can be closer to a fast ball, and unless the batter happens to be a very good low-ball hitter he will have no end of trouble trying to hit it.
The “C-change” is simply a variant of the circle change, and as such can be very useful for a pitcher whose hand is not quite large enough to form the complete circle or “O.K.” sign. Whichever one you use, one thing you can do is move your middle and ring fingers closer together and more off-center; I remember when I was having trouble with my circle change and my pitching coach told me to go to the backward “c” and use that off-center grip. End of problem; I had my circle change, or “c” change, or whatever you want to call it.
The first changeup I acquired was the palm ball, and very effective it was too. It’s easy to pick up, easy to throw and control; there again the one thing you have to remember is to throw it like a fast ball. I would often start with it, especially when I knew that hitter was looking for a fast ball (which I did not have), and I would get it in there for strike one, and I could set him up for my strikeout pitch—the slider, which I might crossfire—or not. Anyway, you can experiment with it and other pitches and discover what works best for you. 8) :slight_smile:


#3

I would try different grips until you can consistently get the movement you want.


#4

[quote=“CardsWin”]I was practicing pitching my change-up today.
I throw the circle change and have tried throwing the c-change sometimes.
I was having trouble throwing strikes with the circle change.
It was either going in the dirt or going high and away.
Can anybody help with this,
or does anybody have suggestions on throwing change-ups?[/quote]

A couple keys for a good change-up.

  1. There are many different grips for a change-up - find the one that works for you.
  2. Finish your pitch - some say that the last 10% of the motion is the most important for a good change-up. So don’t try to take velocity off the ball by breaking off your motion to early - that is the way to get whip-lash - because your ball will stay up in the zone.
  3. Make believe you are throwing a fastball - that way you won’t try to slow your motion down. One sign of slowing your motion down is missing up in the zone. Practice your change up when you do long-toss - this helps to keep arm speed up.

#5

Zita-
how did you grip the palm ball?
I’ve seen illustrations of different palm ball grips.
The grips I’ve seen- the pitcher pretty much just tries to cover as much of the ball’s surface with his hand as he can.


#6

CardsWin:
There is pretty much a standard grip for the palm ball. You hold the ball with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath for support—as they say, you cut the ball in half with the thumb—and you grip it way back in the hand, against the palm (hence the name). But don’t grip the ball too tightly, because—as I’m fond of saying—you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! You can change up on it by holding the ball farther forward in your hand, or by loosening up the grip or even tightening it somewhat.
And you throw it the same way you do a fast ball. I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, so I threw it like my curve. Same result: the batters were screaming blue murder because they couldn’t hit it! :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=“Zita Carno”]CardsWin:
There is pretty much a standard grip for the palm ball. You hold the ball with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath for support—as they say, you cut the ball in half with the thumb—and you grip it way back in the hand, against the palm (hence the name). But don’t grip the ball too tightly, because—as I’m fond of saying—you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! You can change up on it by holding the ball farther forward in your hand, or by loosening up the grip or even tightening it somewhat.
And you throw it the same way you do a fast ball. I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, so I threw it like my curve. Same result: the batters were screaming blue murder because they couldn’t hit it! :)[/quote]

Thanks.
I may try out the palm ball, especially if I
can’t figure out my c-change or circle-change.