changeup

Do you guys have any suggestions for a changeup grip?
I’ve tried showing everything I can think of to my kid who has small hands for a 15 year old and he just can’t seem to get the feel for it.

Has anyone found a grip that is comfortbable for someone who doesn’t like the circle changeup, etc.

I’ve told him to try pronating various grips as well, but he isn’t comfortable with an initial grip yet. I’ve also tried the grip where the ball is placed where the fingers meet the palm and you raise the fingers up as well. This seems to have the most success for him but again it’s not consistent

Any ideas or thoughts appreciated…I have no more ideas for him other than to pick a grip and throw it in long toss consistently. But it’s a struggle just finding a grip to start with for him.

I even suggested holding it with all the fingers for now and pronating. I don’t know what else to suggest

if he throws a 2 seam fastball off the ends of the index and middle finger, begin with a change up that is a 2 seam fastball off the middle and ring finger. don’t try to turn it over or anything, just let it be a straight change for now. that is the easiest to learn. throw short bp in the cage at 60-70% to get touch and feel.

then try a 2 seam fastball off the ring finger and pinkie. throw it right off the ends of the fingers. do the same routine in the cage and with long toss. throw entire sessions of bp and bullpens using this grip. it is devastating and it doesn’t need to turn over to be effective. this pitch is worth the effort. doesn’t matter how big your hands are.

my 15 yr old uses it and it’s been very effective. we are getting a 15 mph difference without trying to turn it over. that is the secret.

if he throws a 2 seam fastball off the ends of the index and middle finger, begin with a change up that is a 2 seam fastball off the middle and ring finger. don’t try to turn it over or anything, just let it be a straight change for now. that is the easiest to learn. throw short bp in the cage at 60-70% to get touch and feel.

then try a 2 seam fastball off the ring finger and pinkie. throw it right off the ends of the fingers. do the same routine in the cage and with long toss. throw entire sessions of bp and bullpens using this grip. it is devastating and it doesn’t need to turn over to be effective. this pitch is worth the effort. doesn’t matter how big your hands are.

my 15 yr old uses it and it’s been very effective. we are getting a 15 mph difference without trying to turn it over. that is the secret.

Joe,

I feel the change is the hardest pitch to learn and, therefore, takes the most time. I seen kids try grip after grip without ever sticking with one long enough to give it a chance. So this could be part of your son’s problem.

As for grips, I do something similar to Dusty. I have my kids cut the ball in half with thumb and middle finger and then make as much of a circle as their flexibility allows. Many kids can only make a “C”. That’s fine.

Then I have them throw the pitch as if it were a fastball off the middle and ring fingers. To get the middle and ring fingers on top of the ball, it does take a slight amount of pronation. The combination of this pronation and replacing the strong index finger with the weaker ring finger takes velocity off the pitch. Some kids will have problems with the ball squirting out the pinky side - they just need to squeeze the ball a bit tighter with the ring finger.

[quote=“Roger”]Joe,

I feel the change is the hardest pitch to learn and, therefore, takes the most time. I seen kids try grip after grip without ever sticking with one long enough to give it a chance. So this could be part of your son’s problem.

As for grips, I do something similar to Dusty. I have my kids cut the ball in half with thumb and middle finger and then make as much of a circle as their flexibility allows. Many kids can only make a “C”. That’s fine.

Then I have them throw the pitch as if it were a fastball off the middle and ring fingers. To get the middle and ring fingers on top of the ball, it does take a slight amount of pronation. The combination of this pronation and replacing the strong index finger with the weaker ring finger takes velocity off the pitch. Some kids will have problems with the ball squirting out the pinky side - they just need to squeeze the ball a bit tighter with the ring finger.[/quote]

“Screw it, I’m throwing a splitter.” Lol I wouldn’t recommend that approach for your son but it just reinforces the fact that your son needs to practice, practice, practice to get it down.

My coach told me that to make a change work, you need to have your ‘power’ fingers (middle/index) off center on the ball. That seems to help me.

I agree. This is a great basic changeup grip you can teach kids. Many of my HS pitchers use it.

Personally, I was lucky enough to pick up a ball and learn a circle change right off the bat, but I know how frustrating it is to learn a new pitch. Hell, I still can’t throw my curveball all that well! :slight_smile:

Both of my kids that pitch could never really control the circle change but got good control like was said before, using the middle and ring finger on the seams and let the other fingers surround the ball with the thumb near the bottom of the baseball and on the other seam. If you look at the ball from the front all your fingers should completely surround the baseball. The next thing is to make sure you throw with a relaxed wrist…the tighter the wrist the faster the ball goes then it is just another fastball grip.

thanks guys

he’ll try some of these ideas

if it was easy, everyone would have good pitching and most pitchers would have a good change up. that’s what makes this the greatest game of all. and you may be able to do it a little bit, but then it can leave as quick as it happened.

stick with it and understand a little difference that may go overlooked can take a long time to develop.

the first time you’re behind in a count and you throw it to get that nice weak ground ball, you’re hooked. there is no greater high if you’re a pitcher or real baseball fan.

In addition to those excellent suggestions, an easy grip to teach a youngster with small hands is a pitch called a palmball.


The palmball is a pitch of days-gone-by, but it can introduce a youngster to what a change-up is, why it’s effective … when deliveried after a blazing fastball, etc… Remember, any off-speed pitch has to be compared to something … most of the time … in order to be somewhat effective. So, the basic idea is to teach … upset the batter’s timing.

The pitch has a very simple grip that introduces the basics of the off-speed stuff and the learning curve for a youngster with out the assistance of a pitching coach can be very good. I would suggest starting off with a distance no greater than twenty (20) feet and increase the distance only when the youngster feels confident with what he’s trying to accomplish. But remember, at first he’s not going to see “results”. At first, however, he should be gaining confidence in controling the pitch. Then as control is gained and accomplished … alternate with his fastball (2/3 game speed) and try and take video. If video is not an option, after two fastballs and then two palmballs ask your son if he can notice differences … you should also dad. Again, start off at about twenty (20) feet appart and increase the distance.

Coach B.

ps
Sometimes at the youth level, this pitch does not reinforce confidence in a young pitcher. The reason can be delivering this pitch to the bottom half of the batting order where the bat speeds are slower. Hence, sometimes these slower bats (players) can …with out realizing it… will hit this pitch a lot. And, if the seven guys behind the pitcher are so-so fielders, errors can only add to poor experience.

Never let the bottom half of the order go around bragging that they hit your fastball (Because you chose a weak hitter to throw a change without setting it up).
It’s axiomatic. Must think while pitching…

Never let the bottom half of the order go around bragging that they hit your fastball (Because you chose a weak hitter to throw a change without setting it up). It’s axiomatic. Must think while pitching…

Excellent advice. Thinking through your pitch selection for any place in the batting order is basic stuff. Setting up the Change-up is reasoning the fundamental purpose of the pitch to begin with.

I had four guys last year that mastered this pitch with such skill that it (the pitch) was pulled out of their bag of tricks for different reasons … not just to upset the batter’s tempo at the plate. One pitcher in particular would deliberately toss a change-up as a “ball” count inside … then follow that with a nasty 95MPH blaze right in the same location … then reverse the complextion on the outside… his next pitch was his “put-a-way” stuff.

Basically … as JD alluded to above … the change-up or off-speed is a tool. And like any tool … mastering its control … then mastering it’s many uses … just like the right tool for the right job. Hence, feeling comfrotable with the pitch, then THINKING how… when… and why to use it … are the fundamental foundations of this great pitch. I would, in addition to what has already been said … learn the BATTING ORDER logic and why certain batters are “hitting” in what spots … 1st, 2nd… etc.

Coach B.

Good stuff Coach B

The palm ball is definitely a viable option along with the others. We’ll go to work and see what is comfortable for the kid

It’s funny, he seemed to be comfortable with a grip last year where he had the ball where the fingers meet the palm and lifted his fingers off the ball and had some success. But lately he’s not had the feel for it, don’t know why, other than some games he’'s pitched in have been around the 32 degree wind chill zone. He’ll just have to keep working it because as he found out high school kids just sit on 81 mph fastball …especially ones that are up a little

another option is to hold the fastball off-center to get some run. a 79 that runs is better than 81 straight

Dusty posted…another option is to hold the fastball off-center to get some run. a 79 that runs is better than 81 straight

Dad… that’s advice that’s right on the money. In fact, an off-speed velocity (79) with that grip can make up for a lot, especially a poorly groomed mound surface.

Now I know up to this point… you and your son have a lot on your plate, what with all the adivce that you’ve gotten so far … but think about applying Dusty’s suggestion and your son can have a little fun with the pitch’s movement.

Also, don’t discount the surface quality that your son is pitching off of. Sometimes even the best of plans… and all the coaching in the world can become mute due to poor surface conditions. Hence, if your son finds that his delivery is constantly upright and stiff, then his off-speed or change-up won’t do what it’s suppose to do. More often than not… it’s a pitch that’ll plow right through the middle of the plate … served up on a silver plate … and just too good to pass up.

don’t let your son keep his pivot foot in hole, just in front of the rubber, with his toe pointing downard. This will shift his weight off to his pitching side and cause all kinds of control problems.
don’t let your son land his stride foot in a hole. This will cause him to anticipate a poor landing and thus will force him up … during and after his delivery motion.

So, every pitch needs reinforcement on the foundation of the pitching surface… don’t let your son take this first step for granted.

Bring an iron garden rake to your son’s games … if you can, to groom the mound back to a reasonable condition. If not, have him practice with his spikes on an practice mound in his back yard, or something similar.

Coach B.