Thursday Throwing Tips – Working on a Good Changeup
Practice by changing it up
I often, tell hitters that there is no tougher pitch to hit than a good changeup. Of course, getting a real good one takes years of practice for pitchers, but is well worth it. The good news is that it is thrown with the same hand position as a regular fastball, just with a different grip. Therefore, it is safe for young pitchers to work on as long as their hand is big enough to throw the fast ball with back spin on it.. The other good part of having a changeup allows kids time to stay away from wanting to throw curve balls too early in their careers.
As we know, pitchers need rest days between throwing and need pitch counts for games and bullpen sessions. Because of that, it is difficult to get enough practice with off speed pitches, which for youth mean the change up. After a few regular throws to loosen their arms up in pre- practice warm-ups, youth pitchers can work on their change up at this time.
Have pitchers throw their change up to their teammate or when playing catch with dad at home, without telling the catcher it is coming. Pitchers will know it is working when the receiver catching it looks at them kind of weird like, “how did you do that” or if they have a little trouble catching it, which means the pitcher’s arm speed fooled the player, when the ball seem to slow up on its way.
As mentioned, because change ups put no additional stress on a youth players arm like a curve ball may, this is a good way to get extra practice and confidence in using the change up.