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The pitcher’s best friend.  You can’t consider yourself a truly good pitcher until you have mastered this pitch.   It unfortunately gets a bad rap in a world that demands speed, speed, speed.  In actuality, a little less speed mixed with good speed is a killer combination.  The basic changeup offers a pitch that should be 10 to 15 mph slower than your fastball.  This change of speed allows for your fastball to appear faster and helps keep the batter guessing.  In addition, a little movement to the changeup makes it harder to hit and can even be used as a strike out pitch for fooled batters.    

There are a number of different changeups.  Common names are circle change or ok changeup although there are several others.  The main unifying feature of all changeups is that reduced speed is achieved by pushing the ball farther into the pitcher’s hand.  By “smothering the ball”, the pitch does not fire out of your hand as a fastball pitch would and has a reduced speed.    



I will describe the circle changeup or the ok changeup. It is called the ok changeup because you are making an ok sign with your hand and covering the ball. The thumb and index finger make the circle that should go around the horseshoe. I normally have the horseshoe on the side with it opening up towards me. This pitch is also thrown like a fastball, but since you have your entire hand wrapped around the ball, it reduces the velocity by 10 to 15 mph.  

By practicing this changeup daily, you should be well on your way to improving your pitching.  A good changeup will also make your fastball appear faster when used in tandem. 


*To find out how to best throw a knuckleball, take a look at knuckleball.

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