Baseball Drill for Pitchers to Learn the Change-up

BEHIND THE DRILL:  This drill is the same as Pitch and Catch; however the throw is completed with a change-up.  How to throw a change-up?  Delivery of the pitch is the same as a fast ball but the grip is different.  Place the pad of your middle and ring fingers across the seams of the ball about an inch apart.  The ball should be held deep in the fingers.  Pinky finger should be underneath the ball.  The thumb and index finger meet on the side of the ball to form a circle forming an “OK Symbol”.

SKILL LEVEL: All Levels

DRILL TYPE:  Throwing/Pitching

PURPOSE: This drill works all phases of the pitching delivery at about 75% power.  This will help develop a good solid delivery while limiting injury risk.  Change-up is used on this drill.

EQUIPMENT:  Nothing specifically required

PLAYERS:  Minimum 2 players

TIME: 10 minutes

SETUP PROCEDURE:

  1. Set up a pitcher and catcher at a distance that your league would normally throw from.  This will usually be 46 feet but could change based on age.
  2. Set up on the mound or if you have more than 2 players set up along the outfield foul line.
  3. Pitcher should work from the stretch and not the wind-up.
  4. Throw with 75% effort.
  5. Have the catcher show a good target for the pitcher to aim at.
  6. Have the catcher present the target in the middle of his chest with the pitcher throwing 5 balls to it.
  7. Have the catcher present the target on the left side of his body with the pitcher throwing 5 balls to it.
  8. Have the catcher present the target on the right side of his body with the pitcher throwing 5 balls to it.
  9. The pitcher needs to work on his command by throwing to a target in 3 locations simulating the middle of the plate and the outside edges of the plate.
  10. Complete 15 repetitions and switch.  The pitcher becomes the catcher and vice versa.

KEY COACHING POINTS:

  • Make sure the pitcher is only throwing at 75%.  This is about developing good accurate throws and not about power.
  • Once the pitcher has good control you can modify this drill by increasing the power of the throws up to 100%.
  • Review fundamentals of the delivery and ensure the player is working the drill with correct fundamentals.
  • Player must remain balanced throughout the delivery so make sure you watch for that.
  • Ensure the player is keeping his eyes on target throughout the delivery.

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