Hey, all last year, when ever in warmup or doing a bullpin, my catcher always told me to take some off my changeup because I’m throwing it too hard. Thats something I don’t really want to do because I want to keep my armspeed the same. I have smaller or average sized hands. What I’m looking for is alternate grips or if anyone has change up advise. Right now I throw a Circle change. Recently I been digging my knuckle into the ball with the circle change grip, my concern with the grip is control issues.
I know you said you have smaller hands so I don’t know if this will be an issue or not, but when I throw a circle change I usually use my middle and ring finger more so to throw a 2-seam fastball instead of choking the ball. I found if I choke it I actually throw it harder than if I keep it in those two fingers and loose in my hands.
Just put 3 fingers on the ball, hold it loosely and throw it hard. See how that goes. “Circle” changes are very overrated.
When ever I teach a pitcher their first offspeed pitch, I have them try 3 or 4 grips:
- 3 finger
- raised fingertips
- split finger
I make them try each repeatedly over a number of sessions before picking the one that works best for them. Keep in mind that what works best for you at one point in your life may not work best at another point. Growing in size and strength can change things.
Long ago my pitching coach told me that just about any pitch can be tuirned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated some for me. You say you have small-to-average sized hands, right? So it’s quite possible that the circle change might not be working for you. Here are a couple of suggestions, especially since you have a propensity for throwing hard and yet want to change speeds.
The split-finger pitch is a possibility. It is, as you know, a first cousin to the forkball but easier to throw because you don’t use the extreme grip you have to use for a forkball. You can grip the splitter almost the same way as for a two-seam fastball but with the index and middle fingers just off the seams, and you throw it just like a fastball. The palm ball is another good bet—you can use a four-finger grip with the thumb underneath for support, and you hold the ball well back in the palm of your hand—but don’t grip it too tightly because, after all, you do NOT want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! This too you throw just like a fast ball, and if you want to change speeds on it you can hold the ball more loosely or further forward in your hand. And you can investigate the slow curve—that’s a nice pitch as well.
But one thing you have to remember—you have to throw all your pitches, regardless of the speed of the pitch, with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you do for a fast ball. The change is brought about by the grip. 8)
Oh yea, hold it loose, as loose as you can, but throw it with the same arm speed.