Knuckles to nose

One of the challenges of throwing the backhand change is getting rid of the hump in the pitch — the tendency for the ball to go up slightly before dropping down on its way to the plate. The hump causes two big problems — it hangs it up high, where it’s easier to hit, and it also makes it easier to see. 

The basic cure is to not let the ball go all the way to the bottom of the circle. Instead you want to finish flat, or parallel to the ground. Easier said than done.

Once cue I’ve found that works pretty well is to tell the pitcher to take her knuckles to the catcher’s nose, or knuckles to nose for short. As she comes into the last part of the pitch she should take her knocking knuckles in a straight line as though she’s trying to punch the catcher in the nose. The nose is generally about the height the hand will come through if it raises slightly above the bottom of the circle. You can even bring her up close to the catcher and show the difference between a straight in “punch” and an uppercut to the chin, which would require the hand to go all the way to the bottom of the circle.

It seems to be pretty effective, and is fun for the pitcher too.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on February 23, 2008, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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