THE CHANGE GRIPS

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Other articles I have written on the change up.

With the change, the most important thing is to have the same aggressive motion, with a slower velocity pitch. You have to sell the pitch, because a deviation in the motion will tip off the batter to a change in what normally happens. A good reference is around 10 mph slower. There are many ways to throw the change with many more grips than are worth showing.

Remember two things:

  1. The more fingers you have on the ball, the better control you will have.
  2. The more fingers you have on the ball, the less snap you will have.

I like to teach the change that has all of the fingers on the seam of the ball, with the thumb in opposition, on a seam, for control. The are only two things left to do:

  1. Turn the hand (only) so the fingers are off to the side, or in front of the ball.
  2. Open the fingers at the release so the hand is accelerated away from the ball.

Problems arise from the pitcher:

  1. Not turning the hand, leaving the fingers behind the ball, pushing it out.
  2. And not letting go, with the whipping action pulling the ball through, instead of accelerating the hand away from the ball.

I like to teach the change that has all of the fingers on the seam of the ball, with the thumb in opposition, on a seam, for control. This seams to be the easiest way to teach the majority in a clinic situations. After they mature in their pitching I will show them other grips to


keep them entertained. And it gives them something to play with.

Of corse if they cannot reach the seams, as they would with a 4 seam drop, have them hold the ball  how a smaller hand holds the drop.

Another way to grip the ball is called the circle change. The advantage of this grip is it gets the most coordinated finger (the index finger) out of the action. Pitchers adopt this grip usually because they can't get the ball to slow down. You end up driving the ball on the little finger side diminishing the force behind the ball. (Refer to problems 1 & 2).

Held like the circle rise.

A disadvantage is that the less fingers you use, the less control you will have.

Another very popular grip (shown to me by one of my students, Kim (Smith) Anthony UNLV, and now teaching pitchers in Las Vegas) is the knuckle change. Not to be confused with the knuckle ball, this grip will deliver a slower ball because the driving fingers are tucked so the fingernails are flat against a flat surface of the ball. When thrown, the knuckles slide over the top of the ball without applying leverage.   The beauty of this pitch is that with a combination of slowness, and the down in the front rotation .the ball has, it will drop right off

of the table. (A little pitching lingo there). A variation of this pitch happens when the pitcher holds on too tight with the thumb and other grip fingers, which will force a curve rotation. Not a bad pitch itself, however control (away from the bat) is a premium.

Another way to hold the change is deep in the palm of the hand. You release the ball with the fingers remaining behind the ball, however the heel of the hand is what drives the ball away from the circle.

At the release, you get your fingers off of the ball, then force your wrist back toward the rear of the circle, pushing the ball out with the heel of the hand.

Home   The grips on the ball    The rise grip    The drop
Other articles I have written on the change up.