How to Grip and Snap a Changeup in Softball

Slow things down on the mound with these softball tips on the fundamentals of a changeup.

A changeup is one of the most deceptive tools in a pitcher’s arsenal. The main characteristic of a changeup is its speed. As an off-speed pitch, it helps to throw off the timing of opposing batters. What makes the changeup sneaky is that it looks like a fastball coming out of the pitcher’s hand. This can confuse batters and lead to strikes.

CHANGEUP GRIP

When it comes to pitching, a good grip is key to controlling the ball. The grip for a changeup is similar to the fastball, so the small details are extra important.

“Our changeup is going to be very similar [to our fastball],” former professional softball player Jessica Vogel says. “We’re going to keep the same grip on the ball.”

Like your fastball, you will look for a “C” within the stitching of the ball. You will then grip three or four fingers on the seams. Some pitchers prefer to tuck a finger on this pitch. If you tuck your index finger, it can help slow the ball down.

CHANGEUP SNAP

One of the key factors in differentiating a changeup from a fastball is the release. The changeup snap is where you will really be able to control the speed.

To get the correct spin and movement on the ball, you will want to release it backward out of your hand. You should pull against the seams to create a nice, tight spiral.

For more information on throwing a changeup, check out these tips. To learn how to grip and snap other pitch types read these guides on the curveball and screwball.