How to Throw a Change-Up

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No pitcher's arsenal is complete without a change-up. A change-up may resemble a fastball but slows down as it approaches the hitter, making a true fastball look faster than it really is.

Things You'll Need

  • Baseballs

Three-Fingered Change-Up

  • Hold the ball against your palm with your index, middle and ring fingers spread across the seams at the widest point. These fingers are on top of the ball while the pinkie and thumb are placed underneath.

  • Rest the ball on the palm of your hand and link the tips of the thumb and pinkie together.

  • Keep your wrist stiff and exert equal pressure on the ball with all 5 fingers.

  • Keep the grip hidden in your glove. Try not to show any indication to the hitter which pitch he or she is about to see.

  • Go into your windup. Remember to pivot and shift your body weight from the back foot forward toward home plate.

  • As you release the pitch, bring the ball straight down, as if you were scratching a blackboard. The ball should start out fast and hit the brakes as it drops down on the hitter.

  • Follow through. Your feet should parallel each other at the end of the pitch, and the throwing arm should come across the front of your body.

Circle Change-Up

  • Grip the ball the same way as explained for the three-fingered change-up, but join the index finger and thumb together in a circle on the side of the ball. The index finger's nail should be tucked within the lower joint of the thumb.

  • Make sure the pinkie is not touching the thumb and that the circle formation between the index finger and thumb is comfortable.

  • Wind up, pivot, release and follow through.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some pitchers push the ball out of the hand as if they're throwing a knuckleball. This creates little additional velocity on the change-up, however.
  • Throw the change-up down the middle of the plate and the ball should veer off when in flight. An effective change-up tails away from left-handed hitters.

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