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Change up (Change?)

amandascarborough

where's the chocolate?
Jan 22, 2014
64
0
Everywhere, USA
Same here. It's not called nearly enough. I've worked with many pitchers who have great changeups, but you'd never know it because the pitch ends up in their back pocket all game. Or the coach will call one, it will be called a ball, and then it gets abandoned. Never mind all the balls getting called on other pitches. For some reason, coaches seem more ball-averse on the change than any other pitch.
It's such a shame! By trying different pitches within a game setting (whenever the PITCHER feels she is ready to try them in a game) it will give her more confidence and experience! I feel like the developmental side of youth softball gets forgotten about. Part of a pitcher developing is trying new things on the stage of a game. Part of being a great pitcher is that experience. You build and build on skills. As much as I love to win (and trust me, I LOVE to win), I think it's important for players to to learn to work through things. There were so many times that maybe a pitch didn't work in the 1st or 2nd inning, but then I kept throwing it and found it because we kept throwing it.

Another helpful suggestion is that if a pitch isn't working during an inning, go down to the "bullpen" at your game and throw to your catcher and try to find that pitch. My coach at Texas A&M told me this my freshman year, and never before had anyone told me to do that. I know it seems obvious, but honestly, NO ONE had ever told me to do it. "Hey Amanda, your change up is a little high, why don't you go down to the bullpen while we are hitting and go work on it." Instantly in a game it gave me more confidence with it if I was able to get it working while our team was hitting. THEN you learn to feel success and understand you can work through things, not just give up on them.
 

amandascarborough

where's the chocolate?
Jan 22, 2014
64
0
Everywhere, USA
Absolutely correct. There is this unwarranted fear by some coaches that the change-up will get hit hard and therefore it shoudn't be used often. I believe the opposite, you want to disrupt the batters timing and throwing the same types of pitches at around the same velocity makes it easier for the batter to adjust to location only. The beauty of the change-up is it can be used to set-up another pitch or be used as a strikeout pitch. Furthermore, I rarely see a change-up hit hard, in fact most coaches tell their batters to lay off the change-up unless they have two strikes on them (which is great advice if you are the pitching coach for the other team :D) I have even had head coaches tell me that change-ups don't really work after 10U! One can only shake their head with such advice...
Love everything you had to say here. It's like coaches are just WAITING for the change up to get hit - almost anticipating it! When I played scared or feared something was going to get hit before I threw it, it was gonna get hit. You can't pitch scared. You can't coach scared. You have to play the game with faith and positive energy!

Would love for someone to keep a statistic during the college softball season about what % of each pitch was hit out of the park and see where the change up falls on that %. I would have to agree with you - that you don't see a change up hit very hard all too often! Know that this is impossible thing to do, but a girl can dream!
 

Greenmonsters

Wannabe Duck Boat Owner
Feb 21, 2009
6,175
0
New England
Same here. It's not called nearly enough. I've worked with many pitchers who have great changeups, but you'd never know it because the pitch ends up in their back pocket all game. Or the coach will call one, it will be called a ball, and then it gets abandoned. Never mind all the balls getting called on other pitches. For some reason, coaches seem more ball-averse on the change than any other pitch.
Unfortunately, too many coaches think that coaching a team implicitly/automatically/magically makes them a good coach capable of calling a good game.

Seriously though, does NFCA (or anyone else) offer training specific to pitch calling?
 
Feb 7, 2013
3,188
48
Another helpful suggestion is that if a pitch isn't working during an inning, go down to the "bullpen" at your game and throw to your catcher and try to find that pitch.
A+...I have never heard anyone suggest that before but that is great advice especially for younger pitchers who might struggle with new pitches during the game. DD's new team has three catchers so it shouldn't be difficult for her to grab one between innings to work on a particular pitch.
 
Feb 17, 2014
7,076
83
Orlando, FL
When my DD's rise is not quite right, she will sit in the dugout and continuously snap the ball feeling the release and visualizing the pitch. The next inning is usually pretty good.
 

amandascarborough

where's the chocolate?
Jan 22, 2014
64
0
Everywhere, USA
DD's new team has three catchers so it shouldn't be difficult for her to grab one between innings to work on a particular pitch.
LUCKY girl! Many times I would have to grab a position player because we were limited on cat hers who were available. And the position player would just have to deal with it (after rolling eyes and dreading it) :)
 

amandascarborough

where's the chocolate?
Jan 22, 2014
64
0
Everywhere, USA
When my DD's rise is not quite right, she will sit in the dugout and continuously snap the ball feeling the release and visualizing the pitch. The next inning is usually pretty good.
Whatever floats your boat! All pitchers are going to be different in what they "need." The main thing is they find something that works for them so that they can go out and take the field feeling like they are going to rock it!
 

amandascarborough

where's the chocolate?
Jan 22, 2014
64
0
Everywhere, USA
Seriously though, does NFCA (or anyone else) offer training specific to pitch calling?
Never heard of this, personally. But gah-lee, there are definitely some general theories people foliow when calling pitches, but by calling a game with my catcher in the circle and by calling pitches for 18U pitchers in the circle, I believe it's such a FEEL thing. There can be helpful suggestions for what to call, but you can feel like you are choosing the best pitch to call in a certain situation, and if a pitcher is not 100% behind the pitch before she throws it, she is more likely to not throw the pitch effectively and give up a hit.

My best advice for pitch calling: listen to what the pitcher wants to throw by the results you are seeing from the hitters - don't overthink. if she is young, I would challenge her to throw some pitches she is working on at lessons or at practice so she can get in-game experience with them BUT if she is older, whatever is working that day is gonna by the go-to pitch.
 

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