How to throw a circle change up stands as a cornerstone in any pitcher's repertoire, masterfully engineered to mimic the appearance of a fastball to the hitter. The beauty of the circle change up lies in its deceptive speed—significantly slower than a fastball—and its unique, unpredictable movement. This pitch isn't just about throwing off a batter's timing; it's a sophisticated chess move that requires meticulous planning and execution.
Understanding the mechanics behind the circle changeup is paramount for its effective deployment. A deep grasp of grip, arm angle, and release point can make or break the pitch. Setting it up correctly isn't just about throwing it at random; it's an art of context, situation, and batter psychology. When used in the right moment, the circle changeup can be a lethal weapon that confounds even the most seasoned hitters, giving the pitcher a significant edge on the mound.
How to Hold and Throw a Circle Change Up
The Grip: Throw a Circle Change Up
The circle changeup grip starts with making a circle using your index finger and thumb. The circle should be small and tight, like you're making an "OK" sign. This circle should be on the side of the ball, not underneath it.
Place your middle and ring fingers on top of the ball, ideally across the seams for better control. Your pinky finger can either rest on the side of the ball or lightly grip the other seam, depending on what's comfortable for you. The ball should rest deep in your palm, but not so deep that you're "choking" it. You want to maintain a loose, relaxed grip. The key is to create backspin without applying too much pressure.
The Delivery: Throw a Circle Change Up
Your windup for the circle changeup should be identical to that of your fastball; the whole point is to deceive the batter into thinking a fastball is coming. Start with your normal windup and get into your regular throwing position.
As you begin your throwing motion, focus on leading with your elbow and maintain a high arm slot, similar to your fastball. This will help sell the pitch as a fastball to the batter. Keep your wrist stiff and your circle intact throughout the motion.
The Release: Throw a Circle Change Up
As you approach the release point, make sure to keep the circle you've formed with your thumb and index finger facing toward your target. Your middle and ring fingers will do most of the work in pushing the ball out of your hand, generating the necessary backspin. The goal is to replicate the arm speed and release point of your fastball to keep the batter off-balance.
As you release the ball, let it roll off your middle and ring fingers, maintaining the backspin. The rotation will cause the ball to move slower and drop as it approaches the batter, differentiating it from your fastball.
Key Points to Remember: Throw a Circle Change Up
- Maintain a loose grip but controlled circle
- Your windup and arm action should mimic that of your fastball
- Focus on backspin and let the ball roll off your middle and ring fingers
- Follow through naturally to reduce stress on your arm and maintain deception
Mastering the circle changeup can add a devastating weapon to your pitching arsenal. For more information on pitch grips and mechanics, consider signing up for TopVelocity's Patreon Pro Membership, where you can get in-depth training modules designed to elevate your game. Visit www.topvelocity.net/patreon to learn more.
The Basics to Throw a Circle Change Up
Your grip is the foundation of any good circle changeup. Here’s a step-by-step process:
- Find Your Fastball Grip: Start with the grip you use for your most comfortable fastball, whether it's a four-seam or a two-seam fastball.
- Create the Circle: Move your index finger and thumb to create a circle on the side of the ball.
- Position Other Fingers: Place the remaining fingers on the side of the ball, ensuring you're not directly behind or on top of it.
The key here is to take velocity off the ball by relying less on your index finger, which is generally the strongest.
How to Generate The Right Action to Throw a Circle Change Up
Different arm angles and pronation levels can generate different actions on the ball:
- Straight Over Top: You'll get a "down" action with backspin.
- Pronation: Adding a slight pronation will give you a "down and away" action.
Complimenting Your Fastball
The circle changeup complements a good fastball or a two-seamer beautifully. When thrown with the same arm action and release point as your fastball, it becomes incredibly deceptive.
Ideal Situations to Throw a Circle Change Up
- When Ahead in the Count: The circle changeup is great when you're ahead because it looks just like your fastball.
- Ground Ball Situations: This pitch induces a lot of ground balls, which is useful when you have runners on base.
Avoid throwing it as the first pitch, as the batter has nothing to compare it to.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
- Too Much Sideways Fade: This usually means you're too much on the side of the ball. Aim for a more over-the-top grip.
- Lack of Speed Differential: If your changeup is too hard, loosen your grip.
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So, you've mastered the basics of the circle changeup and you're hungry for more? If you're serious about elevating your game to the next level, then you can't afford to miss out on the exclusive content available through TopVelocity's Patreon Pro Membership. This isn't your run-of-the-mill pitching advice; this is science-backed, evidence-based training methods designed to unlock your natural abilities while reducing your risk of injury.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the Circle Changeup? The circle changeup is a pitch designed to deceive the batter by appearing similar to a fastball but arriving at the plate slower and with different movement. Mastering this pitch can give you a significant edge over your competition.
- Who is TopVelocity? TopVelocity is a trusted name in baseball training programs, founded by Brent Pourciau, a retired professional pitcher with extensive experience in the science of sports and kinesiology. Our programs are backed by years of research and consulting with MLB organizations.
- What will I get with the TopVelocity Patreon Pro Membership? With the Pro Membership, you'll get exclusive access to in-depth tutorials, videos, and articles focusing on advanced pitching mechanics, including but not limited to pitch grips. These are not just tips; these are comprehensive training modules designed to improve your game fundamentally.
- Is the Patreon Pro Membership suitable for all skill levels? Yes, the Pro Membership is designed to cater to players of all skill levels, from amateurs to professionals. Our program modules are structured in a way that allows you to build upon your existing skills while learning new ones.
- How can I trust that these methods are effective? TopVelocity's training methods are rooted in evidence-based practices and have been developed in consultation with several MLB organizations. Our programs are designed to help you achieve your fullest potential while minimizing the risk of injury.
- How do I sign up for the Patreon Pro Membership? You can sign up for the TopVelocity Patreon Pro Membership by visiting our website at www.topvelocity.net/patreon. Choose the membership tier that best fits your needs and follow the prompts to complete your registration.
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