change up

hey, i have a question about my change up. i throw a circle change with the same arm motion and speed as i do when i throw a fastball but i never get any drop in velocity or movement. so i tried slowing down my arm speed, and the pitch is slower but theyre all high. could someone help me out?

ya dude i don’t know whats happening with your movement or velocity, but you definitely do not want to slow your arm down. That is a definate no no.

How are you throwing it? The way my coach teaches it is to throw it like a two seam fastball, using your middle finger and ring finger to get on top of the ball instead of pointer and middle finger. What you do with your thumb and pointer finger is just a matter of preference. I used that grip for a bit but was unsatisfied with the velocity drop, it did drop but they made contact with it, granted it was not great contact, but not bad enough to make me want to use that pitch consistently. I switched to Tim Lincecum’s change up grip which I believe is held like a splitter and then choked further into the palm, giving it a greater reduction in velocity. I have had great success with that grip and it gets great movement and was a great second out pitch to compliment my curveball, as well as a pitch that I was happy to use on fastball counts when my command was on with it for that given day. I recommend you try that grip (I believe it is called a fosh change up, fosh stands for Full of Sh**, cuz that is what you make the batter look like when he swings at it). It took me a week to get the pitch down to where I could use it in a game, partly because it was a new pitch and change ups especially are difficult to pick up (I think a change up is the hardest pitch to learn personally), and partly because my fingers were not used to the splitter type feel. I just gripped it all day for a few days (this was summer so I had lots of free time on my hands outside of practice) and got it down though.

Also, slowing down your arm defeats the purpose of a change up, so I don’t suggest doing this.

Fireball is absolutely right. You have to throw every pitch with the same arm motion and the same arm speed—to do otherwise is an invitation to disaster, because that is one of the ways a pitcher will telegraph his stuff. You might try doing something different with the grip. I remember when I was working on the circle change and I was having my problems with it, and I told my pitching coach about it. He took one look at my grip and told me that my hand wasn’t quite large enough to form the complete circle, and he suggested that I try it with a half-circle, a backwards “c” with the thumb and index finger, and use a more off-center grip with the middle and ring fingers closer together (like what I would do with the index and middle fingers when I threw the slider). He also told me to hold the ball a little further back in the palm of my hand, but not to grip it too tightly; as he said, “You don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball!” I tried that and found it much easier to work with, and I had a nice little circle change. The fact that I threw everything sidearm made it all the easier for me. :slight_smile: 8)

Fiddle with your grip some more. Try different grips. Add some pronation (as much as is comfortable and without altering your posture).

Maybe try a split finger grip but make sure you keep your thumb centered under the “V” formed by your index and middle fingers.

Try tightening your grip to get more friction between the ball and your hand, that should help slow it down. Just a thought.

If you have big hands try putting the ball in ur palm more

As far as downward movement with the circle change - first thing to remember is to practice and keep practicing. Second thing to remember is always finish your pitch. Sometimes - we think by slowing down are delivering or breaking it off earlier we’ll have a better change-up. I would say based on experience that the opposite is true - keep your arm speed the same and finish your delivery just like you were throwing your fastball.

The velocity change comes from where your middle and index fingers are when you release the ball. The goal is to get them from directly behind the ball. There is no one correct grip for throwing a changeup - I throw the circle change - some guys call it a straight change - because I don’t pronate my hand too much - so my change has more depth to it than lateral movement.

One thing you can do to take velocity off is to put the ball deeper in your hand. This is what I do and I’ll bet I get a good 8-12 MPH off my fastball.

Shorten your stride slightly. Pronate your wrist over slightly when throwing the pitch. Hold it deeper in the hand. And throw your changeup when long tossing. Movement is a feel thing as much as a mechanical thing. But the two must work in tandem. Keep practicing it!