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Change up

Jan 6, 2009
Need some feedback on a peculiar issue. Pitching dd, 15 y/o, been pitching at a decent level for some 7 years now. Each pitching "instructor" she runs into, from her high school coach, who is considered to be a great pitching instructor to her pitching instructor that she used over the last 7 years, have both took it upon them selves to want to teach dd a 'new' changeup, specifically, the back flip changup. A pitcher I watch a lot, who is considered by many to be very very very good, throws the thing into the ground probably 7 out of 10 attempts. Yesterday (high school just ended so went back to original pitching instructor), pitching instructor decides after watching dd throw about 5 perfect changeups, that she needs a new one - and starts teaching her the back flip. As I caught, I noted and mentioned that now dd is throwing 7 out of 10 changeup attempts into the ground, just like the other very good pitcher.

My question, is if a kid has a good changeup, throws it many times on full count, throws it for a strike, uses it for her goto pitch at pitching camps, wtf do these people want to change the thing? Do you in other parts of the softball world see the same thing?
Jul 21, 2008
If its working ....WHY CHANGE keep throwing the old one.

IF the pitching coach does not try to teach her a new pitch then they are not needed and the money stops. Just my 2 cents.
Jun 6, 2009
My question, is if a kid has a good changeup, throws it many times on full count, throws it for a strike, uses it for her goto pitch at pitching camps, wtf do these people want to change the thing? Do you in other parts of the softball world see the same thing?

I have often wondered the same thing. Although my dd is from your area, she played college in the NE. When she was little, her PC had a heck of a time finding a CU that she could use. We tried plam,handshake, circle, out the back, knuckle-change all without success. The last one we tried was the flip-change, which is regarded by some to be the most difficult, and she got it right away. It became one of her best pitches. She could throw it for a strike in any count and batters either swung and missed or froze and got rung up. Drew plenty of oos and ahhs all over the country.

She goes off to college. First practice and coach says we need to find you a different change-up :confused:
May 12, 2008
Hey Calvin. Long time. Check your pm's. Yeah, if a change is working/fooling the hitters and being thrown with control and confidence what's the point in changing? On the flip change, with a sample size not all that large, my experience is, they either get it quickly or it's a bear. Mine couldn't do it. Rise spin? No problem. Flip change? Can't do it to this day. Change ended up being a knuckle grip (finger tips) drop. Controlled it from the first try after struggling for years to find a serviceable change.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
DonnieS, your post raises a lot of questions. You say your DD pitches at a good level. What level is that? Rec ball, B-ball, A-ball, gold?? What does your DD want to be? Perhaps most important, shouldn't you ask the coach, "why?"

Every time you move up a level in competition, pitching becomes more difficult. Just because your DD is having success with her changeup at 14U or 16U does not mean that she'll have success with it at 18U or college.

Rather than getting defensive about a coach telling you something you don't like, perhaps you should first try to understand "why". Once you understand the "why", then you can figure out whether you agree.

As for her throwing it for strikes, so what? The real question is whether the pitch looks like a fastball. It could be that she is "giving away" the pitch, either through her arm speed or some other way. It could very well be that it is no problem at the level she is playing (which we don't know), but it will be a problem which moves up another level.


Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
I am familiar with Donnie's DD and she is pitching mid 60s as a freshman in HS. Her sister is leaving for a top D1, when school starts. So, Donnie is not a novice.

My guess is the PC, wants to show you that he knows something.

If a pitch is working for an athlete, I never try to change it. As a matter of fact, I consider the CU in question, very hard on the forearm, and I can always see it coming from the batter's box.

I teach my very young students the back hand release. They have success with it on day one.

Then, after a time I will tell them about the other releases. Whether they want to try them or not, is up to them.

I always listen to the parent and child about why they are at lessons and it has never been for me to show off what pitches I know.
May 18, 2009
The backflip change up imparts a lot of spin on the ball. One of the high school pitchers where I live throws one where you can't see the seams. It looks the same coming out as her fastball. Both pitches turn so quickly that the seams are a blur. I've watched her throw 5 or six fastballs in batting practice and then switch to the back flip change up and even her team mates, who are very good with a bat, whiff when it's done.

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