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Don't swing at a change-up with less than 2 strikes?

Oct 2, 2011
3,533
113
Florida
We don't teach 'wait until two strikes to hit a change up'. But we do have strategy around change ups - including when we will hit 1st pitch change ups.


So here is what we teach

- If you are not sitting on it, don't swing at a first pitch change up (and by inning 2 we are going to have some of our batters sitting on a change up if the pitcher is throwing lots of them and has proven she is willing to throw a 1st pitch change up for a strike)
- If they hang a change up you better hit it hard.
- Some umpires struggle calling a change up a strike, so if this is the case, hit hanging change ups only.
- If the pitcher has some strike outs on the change up you WILL get one.

Yes there is good technique to be learned and some players (especially those with quick hands) are better than others at hitting change ups, but we have great success with our players having a plan when they go up to hit (no matter the pitcher).

Also MOST coaches are total cowards when it comes to change ups. If you hit two or three they stop calling them. They also hesitate to call them down in the count. The brave/smart ones are much tougher to deal with.

That is really it.
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,094
63
We had a coach who is the best one DD ever played for and that was the general rule on the team. However, this was a coach who wasn't afraid to try things so if a team started throwing a lot of changups early in counts he would adjust. I learned more watching this guy coach for a year than I did all the rest of my years as a parent or coach so for me I follow a lot of his rules.
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,200
0
Boston, MA
DD pitching ran into trouble with umpires not calling CU strikes and batters taking CUs.
Pitch floats in right over the plate, catchers glove doesn't move - "Ball"

That being said, it also depends on the age and skill level of the pitcher and batter.
 

ArmyStrong

Going broke on softball
Sep 14, 2014
87
8
Pacific NW
Some umpires struggle calling a change up a strike
Ain't that the truth. I think that's why some coaches instruct to take on the change up.

MOST coaches are total cowards when it comes to change ups. If you hit two or three they stop calling them.
If you get a couple batters in a row hit the changeup hard (hit or no hit), many coaches will pull the pitcher because the pitcher has lost her money pitch (and confidence).

Good stuff Marriard.
 
May 17, 2012
1,995
63
If you get a couple batters in a row hit the changeup hard (hit or no hit), many coaches will pull the pitcher because the pitcher has lost her money pitch (and confidence).
I hear this a lot but as a coach I can tell you that it is never the case. A change-up pitcher *wants* you to swing at (even hit) the change-up. We know that hitters can hit the chane-up or the pitcher didn't hit her spot on that pitch, that's OK. What I want to know is can three of your hitters hit the change-up for a hit (in one inning)?

Even if Sally and Suzy hit the change-up we aren't going to stop calling it. We would throw it until she was no longer effective and then pull her from the game. It has to do more with runs allowed than hits.

You might scare off some coaches from calling the change, but this is only for pitchers where the change-up is her third or fourth best pitch (average change-up). In that case it didn't really matter anyways.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,068
83
Anyone agree with this advice? Like to hear your reasoning either way.
I don't agree with it give certain circumstances. In college, a lot of teams wanted to start BB off with a change. She hit in the 3 or 4th slot and is a big girl. Her coach told the team that they could not swing at the change until they had 2 strikes. BB pointed out that often, it meant that she was behind in the count while watching a pitch that she knew the pitcher was going to throw. She told the coach that she practiced for the change and could eliminate the change from the pitcher during games by sitting on one and driving it back at the pitcher. In fact, she average hitting 4 pitcher per year in her college career and all on the change. It got to the point that she rarely saw a change in conference.

In short, if you know a team throws a pattern and the hitter is disciplined, hit the change.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,533
113
Florida
I hear this a lot but as a coach I can tell you that it is never the case. A change-up pitcher *wants* you to swing at (even hit) the change-up. We know that hitters can hit the chane-up or the pitcher didn't hit her spot on that pitch, that's OK. What I want to know is can three of your hitters hit the change-up for a hit (in one inning)?

Even if Sally and Suzy hit the change-up we aren't going to stop calling it. We would throw it until she was no longer effective and then pull her from the game. It has to do more with runs allowed than hits.

You might scare off some coaches from calling the change, but this is only for pitchers where the change-up is her third or fourth best pitch (average change-up). In that case it didn't really matter anyways.
So that is puts you in the smart/brave group of coaches. Stop making us other smart/brave coaches work :)
 

ArmyStrong

Going broke on softball
Sep 14, 2014
87
8
Pacific NW
I hear this a lot but as a coach I can tell you that it is never the case. A change-up pitcher *wants* you to swing at (even hit) the change-up. We know that hitters can hit the chane-up or the pitcher didn't hit her spot on that pitch, that's OK. What I want to know is can three of your hitters hit the change-up for a hit (in one inning)?

Even if Sally and Suzy hit the change-up we aren't going to stop calling it. We would throw it until she was no longer effective and then pull her from the game. It has to do more with runs allowed than hits.

You might scare off some coaches from calling the change, but this is only for pitchers where the change-up is her third or fourth best pitch (average change-up). In that case it didn't really matter anyways.
Gunner,

As a coach I can tell you I've seen it, and it's a shame in my opinion. Keep in mind, I posted my response from a hitting point of view, assuming the average coach in the opposite dugout. Teams with brave/smart coaches like yours will be a much tougher challenge.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,386
63
There is an entire list of things some coaches teach that need to go away. My daughter came up through little league baseball and virtually every coach taught never to swing until they took a strike. You only get 3, why would you tell a kid to give up 33 percent of their chances to hit the ball? Or, never sing at the first pitch. If it is belt high right down the middle why wouldn't you drive it hard?
 
Jan 28, 2017
899
43
Not as familiar with softball but as a HS baseball coach we would let all fastballs go and sit on off speed pitches against some pitchers. If we knew we were going to see them in the playoffs and had a few days to work on it, we normally got them out of the game pretty quick. Hit backwards.
 
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