Utilizing the Changeup


#1

I always shied away from throwing a changeup due to the inability to control it. I use a simple three finger grip but whenever I throw it, it goes straight into the ground. I’ll get a good one every 5 attempts or so but obviously, that isn’t enough. Any tips?


#2

I’m going to assume that your personal endowments are capable of handling the ball properly - hand size, shoulder and arm strength, and so forth.

From my experience, one of the most common mistakes of sending a change-up that dies in the dirt, is the improper release point that the hand actually lets go of the ball.

Before I go any further, I’m not a advocate of the “release point” as a point, per say, with respect to the pitching cycle. However, there is a time when the hand lets go of the ball and the pitching cycle’s influence on that ball.

So, remembering that the ball is going to have less “oomph” on it than would otherwise be the case, the pitch has to be released slightly higher and a bit earlier than the pitch it’s trying to represent. Also, since the grip takes away a lot of the velocity on the ball, you’d better be ready to use a lot more body motion into the pitch to send it way. If not, your change-up will end up a fluff served on a platter.

Therefore, a slight elevation with the pitching hand, sending the pitch away, should correct your problem. By the way, yours is a common problem with pitchers who are learning the change-up for the first time, even in their mature years. In addition, don’t forget to concentrate on targeting your pitch. Don’t just send it down range with no specific place to go. If you do that, you’re throwing - not pitching, on top of that your throw will be to an abstract “place”, without purpose of location.


#3

For me, control of the change starts with the grip - make sure your thumb and middle finger cut the ball in half. Turn the ball around so you can see your fingertips to verify this.

A next step might be to simply pronate your hand until the middle and ring fingers are behind the ball instead of the index and middle fingers. Then just throw a fastball using the middle and ring fingers - that’s a simple mindset.

As you get comfortable with this, consider increasing the amount of pronation to your tolerance without letting your hand sweep across in front of you or shifting your posture.


#4

Good move.
I remember the time when I was having trouble with my circle change, and I mentioned this to my wise and wonderful pitching coach. The first thing he did was take a look at my grip, and he noticed immediately that my hand wasn’t quite large enough to form the complete circle with my thumb and forefinger. He suggested that I try the “C” change—a half-circle—with my middle and ring finger very close together, the way I used my index and middle finger for the slider. It worked, and I had my own version of the circle change.
He also told me that just about any pitch could be turned into a nice change-up, and he demonstrated a few for me and showed me how to throw them. My favorite, by the way, was one I had picked up on my own when I was about twelve—the so-called “Bugs Bunny” changeup, and a very good one it was. 8)


#5

http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/3finger-2_zps63321c5d.jpg.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/3finger-2_zps63321c5d.jpg[/img

If you’re having trouble with a grip that seems to work against you rather than for you, this grip - the three finger, can help.

It’s a different version than the circle or ring finger grip. However, some pitchers launch the ball by pushing too hard with the fingers. On the flip side of the ease of gripping, is the tendency to bury the ball too deep into the palm of the hand, thus making the pitch a lot harder to deliver than what it should be.

Practice with various grips and release techniques is the only way to get comfortable with your change-up.

By the way, you can find a wealth of information about this and other pitches under , along the top of this web page. You’ll find grips, pitches and other input that’ll really help you with just about any question you may have.


#6

[quote=“Zita Carno”]
My favorite, by the way, was one I had picked up on my own when I was about twelve—the so-called “Bugs Bunny” changeup, and a very good one it was. 8)[/quote]
Well, don’t leave us hanging - what was the Bugs Bunny change up? :smiley:


#7

In a nutshell: it’s a palmball. You grip it with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath for support, not too tightly because you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball. And you throw it with the same arm motion and the same arm slot as a fastball—just more relaxed, that’s all. You can change speeds on it. And if you’re a sidearmer you can crossfire it, as I used to do (a variation on the theme). I picked it up when I was about twelve, and a very good one it was. :baseballpitcher:


#8

[quote=“south paw”][quote=“Zita Carno”]
My favorite, by the way, was one I had picked up on my own when I was about twelve—the so-called “Bugs Bunny” changeup, and a very good one it was. 8)[/quote]
Well, don’t leave us hanging - what was the Bugs Bunny change up? :D[/quote]

Bugs threw it with his ear :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

[size=24]LADIES AND GENTS, BOYS AND GIRLS, INTRODUCTING THE MAESTRO HIMSELF… [/size]

http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/BUGS_zps2638fd1f.jpg.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/BUGS_zps2638fd1f.jpg[/img


#10

Coach B., I had no idea you were also a highly accomplished cartoonist! I love that drawing. Do you have any more? :smiley:


#11

Nope… that picture came from a group already on the web. Besides, I’m no artist. But thanks anyway.


#12

[quote=“Coach Baker”]
http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/3finger-2_zps63321c5d.jpg.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/3finger-2_zps63321c5d.jpg[/img

If you’re having trouble with a grip that seems to work against you rather than for you, this grip - the three finger, can help.

It’s a different version than the circle or ring finger grip. However, some pitchers launch the ball by pushing too hard with the fingers. On the flip side of the ease of gripping, is the tendency to bury the ball too deep into the palm of the hand, thus making the pitch a lot harder to deliver than what it should be.

Practice with various grips and release techniques is the only way to get comfortable with your change-up.

By the way, you can find a wealth of information about this and other pitches under , along the top of this web page. You’ll find grips, pitches and other input that’ll really help you with just about any question you may have.[/quote]

That is the grip I am using. I think I’m gripping the ball too deep into my palm causing it to go into the ground. Should there be space between your hand and the ball?


#13

Try experimenting with different grips.
I find I have much more movement and slower speed if I throw the ball so my middle and ring fingers are on top of the ball. Its really a C or circle change, but I focus on keeping my pointer finger off to the side of the ball so the ring finger is more dominant. Keep experimenting, a lot depends on arm angle and other intangibles of your arm slot and delivery that are unique to you.