Lots are said and experimented on the baseball pitching and we can see that coaches often come up with different techniques that are taught to the young baseball players. The skill of a pitcher is decided by the pitching movements he/she has in the arsenal. However, a changeup is always great to have in the list but, only if you are aware of how to throw changeup. This is what very important! It is a very good off-speed pitching mainly for the young pitchers or those who don’t have a big hand.
This is an experimental pitching that are generally used by the pitchers when they come late in the count and the batter is already set on the pitch and is quite familiar with your fastball. Right at this moment, a changeup pitching may put the batter into trouble. If you want to learn to throw a changeup in no time, you need to follow through this.
Here is a step by step guide on how to throw changeup:
1. Correct gripping
This is the most important thing! Unless you grip the ball correctly, you won’t be able to throw a changeup properly. Along with the palm of your hand, the fingers will have the optimal impact for the perfect gripping. Firstly, you need to center the index, middle and ring finger on the ball then you will move the little finger once the three fingers are positioned correctly.
2. Place the little finger on the soft leather
Now that the three fingers are positioned correctly, you need to place the little finger and the thumb directly under the soft part of the ball. This will certainly offer a firm grip on the ball. You can think of this position as if the index finger and the thumb are creating an opposite “C” position. Some pitchers prefer touching the index finger and the thumb slightly to have a better feel and some prefer not to touch them.
3. Hold deeply into the palm
At the beginning we have a hint that throwing changeup needs big hands. A perfect and tight grip of the ball is very important to have the control on the speed and delivery. Holding the ball deep into the palm will add more friction to it. When you are throwing a fastball, you kind of push the ball with the fingers to make a whip motion. This isn’t the case with changeup. In this case, you will be using your palm to do the most work. You need to leave the fingers limp just to avoid the whipping motion. You need to grip the ball deep in the hand and in the base of your fingers and then turn it over and inward at the time of release.
4. Throw it like fastball
After confirming the correct grip of the ball you are now ready to throw the ball to the batter. You need to follow the same technique that you generally follow for other pitches. First you need to lift up the non-throwing arm and elbow over the head and then move them towards the shoulder of the pitching arm. Now move your throwing arm above and behind the body. The knee of the front leg would bent first and the bodyweight will shift on that leg while throw the ball. The opposite leg will now lift up and will cross the throwing arm at the finish of the pitching.
Here are some more effective techniques to improve changeup pitching
- The pitching arm needs to move as fast as you would do probably at the time of fastball. This is the trick of this changeup pitching. It would make the batter think that the ball will come as quick as the fastball while the truth is that the ball will travel around 10-15% slower which will confuse the batter.
- It needs lots of practice to keep altering between fastball and changeup and this will keep the batter guessing what’s coming up. Don’t let the batter have any idea! Keeping the same arm speed and arm slot is important.
In order to create this illusion on the field, you need a very good practice off the field. This is the only key to improve how to throw changeup. If you get it right, you will become a valuable player for your squad.