Mastering a changeup?

I throw a changeup but I think I slow my arm speed or something cuz when ever I throw it, it comes out slower but it gets smashed everytime I throw it for a strike. and when I use a circle change grip or any kind of grip and try to keep the same arm speed it comes out maybe 2-4 mph slower than my fastball how do I get one thats 10-15mph slower and has a little sinking action? also how does one throw a sinker?

To keep my armspeed the same - my pitching coach told me to go out and regularly do long-toss 75-90 feet & throw a fastball followed by a changeup. It is only natural to try to use the body to take something off or put something on the ball (a curve ball) - but all pitches come from the same motion and arm speed.

For change in velocity (circle change) - the coach tells me to pronate my hand this takes my middle and index fingers from directly behind the ball - this seems to take some velocity off the ball. Also my coach tells me not to pronate too much - he wants the ball to drop down and not move sideways in the strike zone. The more pronation (is that a word) the more sideway movement. I don’t know how old you are but I couldn’t have thrown the circle change much before I was 12 because my hands I had trouble gripping the ball. If you can’t throw the circle maybe a vulcan change will work better for you.

It also helps if you can get clocked while trying to alter you pitches. If you can get your coach out there with a radar gun and clock your differnet pitches you can be able to take your change-up and say this doesn’t matter and throw the change-up with the GRIP as hard as you can and see what it is compared to your fastball. If it isn’t slower you can do something as to shorten your stride a bit and alter your grip, maby not grip it so hard and try to keep it loose, but I’m not a change-up pro so I can’t give you many details but what I can say is feedback is good especially from a radar gun and you can really see that if you keep everything the same and let the grip do the work there will be results.

The most important thing for a change-up (besides keeping the fastball arm speed) is finding a good grip that suits you, and will increase friction. You may be like me, where you can’t find a grip that works for you, so you, like me, may have to invent your own grip. My grip works perfectly, and, since it involves a knuckle it was dubbed the knucklechangeup.

If you keep your wrist too tight then you won’t get the slower action you want. I have found that the circle change can tighten the wrist and not have the slower speed that you want…like the writer before find a grip that works well for you, another way is just to star your fingers around the ball and keep it a bit farther back in your palm. Like they say, “It’s all in the wrist”.

Lizard King is right in the sense that you need to find the grip that is right for you. My change-up is my best pitch and I tinkered with different grips before finding one that suited me. This is good to do when just throwing lightly between starts or long tossing. Remember, the change is a touch-pitch so it is important to practice it a lot find what works for you. Good luck.

My pitching coach told me something very interesting once—he said that just about any pitch can be turned into a changeup. It all has to do with the grip—you can experiment with different ones and find the one that feels right. IMPORTANT: You have to throw everything with the same arm motion and the same arm speed, otherwise you’ll get clobbered.
I remember when I was playing, and we were facing a team that had a pitcher who threw the most beautiful slow curve I had ever seen. Trouble was, he was telegraphing it—he would wiggle his elbow in a funny way when he was going to throw it, and he slowed down his arm speed, both of which are no-nos in any pitcher’s book, and when we spotted that we lost no time in lambasting this guy from here to Timbuktu and back, doubles, triples, our runners stole his shoes—and the funniest thing of all was that neither his manager or the coaches ever told him that he was telegraphing that slow curve! :slight_smile:

the more skin on the ball the more velocity you will lose. I throw a palm ball for my change.

Just like adamsmith said the more skin on the ball the better then when your holding it hold it like your holding a baby bird nice and soft then throw it like a fastball. The entire time you throw it just think fastball

kidmullen’s answer is closest to what I’ve been taught. The only slight disagreement I would have with his coach is that the classic change-up grips should be highly pronated, not slightly. That includes c-change, circle change, palm ball.

It’s easiest to see this from quality frontal pictures taken of elite pitchers throwing a circle change–when the ball is still in their grip and a foot or more away from the release point you can clearly see that the circle is pointed right toward the plate. You can’t do that without considerable preset pronation.

Guys that think a circle change or palm ball grip used with a fastball release (palm forward) is a change-up are mistaken. Pitches thrown palm forward are fastballs and pitches thrown palm forward with a change-up type of grip are very mediocre fastballs that get hit if they are strikes.

That sure sounds like the OP’s trouble.

Guys who can’t comfortably preset enough pronation to throw a good change-up may wish to consider using the split-finger FB as a substitute for change-up.

many people including myself believe that baseball is about 90% mental. whenever you throw a change no matter what kind.THINK FASTBALL. if you throw the change the same as your fastball the hitter will have a very tough time being able to tell the difference.

Pitchers, like poets, are born not made

The changeup is a harder pitch to threw than what you might think. I have been practicing mine for about 10 months now and it is finally getting to the point where I can throw it with consistency. I said before I don’t pronate my hand completely so the ball doesn’t move like a slider?? - but when I throw it properly it just drops as it crosses the plate. The biggest problem I used to have with throwing the pitch was that there wasn’t much difference in the velocity between my changeup and fastball - I solved this by using a pretty light grip. Also I very seldom get a strike if the batter doesn’t swing at my changeup since most of the time it ends up outside of the strike zone.

My coach tells me this is a contact pitch - he wants the batter to hit it. Steven has also posted that you don’t throw it a whole bunch - only to the 3, 4, or 5 hitters. This makes sense since these guys are probably agressive hitters and will swing at it if it looks like a strike and they probably have higher bat speeds than the bottom of the batting order so they will probably have trouble slowing down their bats.

If everything goes the way you want it to. Between the change in velocity and ball movement - you are supposed to get a weak ground ball. Sometimes I do - sometimes I don’t - but throw it in a game and keep throwing it in a game that is the only way you will improve the pitch. You’ll probably get rocked when you first start out - but eventually, if you don’t quit in frustration, you’ll start seeing some improvement. It is a challenge to throw, I think it is harder to throw a good changeup than a good curveball.