Another way to explain finishing the change
At our last practice I set up a station to work with pitchers. We only had 15 minutes per pitcher, so I had each pitcher select one pitch to work on in that time.
The first pitcher was Emily, and she chose the changeup. It’s been troubling her for at least a year – to the point where she really doesn’t like to throw it. Yet it’s critical to her success, so that’s what we went after.
After some warm-ups Emily threw a few. And that’s when I spotted something in her finish. I always tell pitchers to drag the ball through the release zone, and she did to an extent. But it was happening too late. So I told her to drag it starting from behind her and then all the way through.
It was a night and day difference. All of a sudden it was coming in low and slow, floating the way we like it. And, she was able to mix it in with other pitches on command.
For me, it’s one of the things that keeps teaching most interesting — finding new ways to explain the same core concepts. I’ve never thought of telling a pitcher to drag the ball that way. But that day it seemed like the right thing to do.
For you coaches out there, never stop learning or finding new ways to teach. If what you’ve always said isn’t working, find a new way to say it. The more options you have, the better you’ll be able to help your players.