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Intermediate Softball Pitching Drills

Deciding What Change-up to Throw

There are multiple change-ups an intermediate pitcher can learn. It is best to pick the pitch that the pitcher is most comfortable with and then practice daily softball pitching drills to get the pitcher used to the grip and mechanics of the pitch. A good change-up will be 7-10 miles or more slower than the pitcher's fastball. There are 3 common types of change-up: the front hand change and the back hand change. When learning the fastball, you were taught to leave a gap between your palm and the ball. With the change-up you need to do the opposite. The ball should be pushed firmly against your palm.

There are 4 common variations of the front hand change-up. The first is to curl your fingertips so that the backside of your fingers is holding the ball. Your entire fingernail will be touching the ball when you throw this pitch. The thumb will be across a seam. The second variation is similar to the first but this time you grip the ball with your fingertips. With the 3rd variation, you push the ball as deep into your palm as you can and palm it as you throw it. If the pitches are too fast, try the 4th variation. Keep the ball tucked into your palm and lift a couple of fingers completely off the ball. Practice daily softball pitching drills where you throw the change-up from about halfway until you get used to making it to the catcher from that distance and then move back.

The back hand change-ups are a little tougher to throw than the front hand change-up. The first variation is the roll-over change-up. Hold the ball deep in your palm. As you reach your hip, roll your hand over so the ball comes off of the side of your hand. This kills the spin and slows down the pitch. The other variation of this pitch requires that you flip your hand all the way over and flip your hand up so that your palm is facing the batter as you release the pitch.

When picking a change-up, a pitcher should try the different pitches and pick the one that feels the most comfortable. Be sure that you practice softball pitching drills that enforce the mechanics of the whatever change-up you decide to throw. Practice the release from up close, then move back as you get more comfortable.

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