By: Cindy Bristow
Provided by: Softball Excellence
If you've been around pitchers for more than 5 seconds you know how obsessed they are with speed. It seems like enough is never enough when it comes to a pitcher and her speed.
Check out some great advice you can give your pitchers that will greatly increase their speed.
Increasing a pitcher's speed is possible with a refinement of her mechanics but only to a certain degree. All pitchers have a ceiling on their speed - a level where, no matter how perfect their fundamentals are, they'll never throw faster. While this ceiling never seems to be high enough to a pitcher, what's really important is that getting faster isn't the key to a pitcher's success.
From a hitter's point of view, hitting a fast pitcher simply requires timing. Hitters eventually time fast pitching, and when they do they hit balls even farther since the pitcher supplies most of the power. However, if a pitcher really wants to get faster AND throw the hitter's timing off - then she needs to master her Change Up! The Change Up is possibly the most important pitch a pitcher can have!
While most pitchers think they have a change up, they seem to be in constant search of a new one. For some reason, they think since the pitch goes slower the learning curve should be less. Maybe that's why pitchers are constantly searching for a new way to throw this pitch instead of simply putting in the time to practice the change up they already have.
If your pitcher is struggling to find the best change up for her, she should Experiment. She should try the Backhand or Palm Forward type (doesn't matter) and see which one she can throw the slowest. Having control doesn't matter during this phase since she is only experimenting to see which type of change up she can throw slowly - not perfectly. What's important when picking a changeup is that your pitcher be able to pitch the ball slower.
Now, if your pitcher already has a change up but it isn't what it needs to be, let's look at 4 issues that are critical to the change up:
Having a dependable change up is the quickest way for a pitcher to get faster and to disrupt the timing, balance and confidence of the opposing hitters. Learn to dominate your Change Up and you'll be on your way to dominating the batters, and to pitching faster!