To make the change work, trust it

Have you ever watched a pitcher who generally has a good changeup suddenly start struggling to throw it well? The pitch comes in too fast, or it goes high, or it rolls in — or sometimes all of the above. The pitcher will work diligently to correct it, but it just seems to get worse.

Often there is a simple cure, but one that doesn’t make sense on the surface. What I’ve found works is to tell the pitcher to just throw the heck out of her changeup.

Here’s why it works. The changeup depends on a certain timing. It’s built to look like a fast pitch but come in slower. If the pitcher throws it incorrectly once for whatever reason, often her correction will be to try to slow her arm down a little in order to take off speed. But in doing so, she throws off the timing of her arm with the rest of her body. That leads to another bad changeup and more “corrections” until she’s not throwing the pitch she’s been trained to throw.

Instead of going slower, the pitcher needs to go faster. She needs to trust in the pitch and just let the mechanics work for her. If she has a good change, driving into it and throwing it hard will get her where she needs to be when she releases the ball. Again assuming she has the pitch to begin with.

This idea seems to work no matter what type of change the pitcher is throwing. Have her be confident, and just throw the dang thing. It’s amazing what our bodies can do when we get our brains out of the way.

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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 November 18, 2008, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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