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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2006 > Coach's Box - Feb 2006 > Michele Smith - February 2006

Michele Smith - February 2006


Volume I, No. 2

   February 2006

Fastball and Change-Up
Grips for Softball Pitchers

By Michele Smith
Olympic Gold Medal Pitcher


Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

  • Make sure your grip on the ball is firm, yet not so hard your knuckles are turning white.
  • Use a two-seam grip to get a tight, true spin and movement on the ball. See Picture # 1.
  • Use a four-seam grip if you have smaller hands and fingers. This might help you hold the ball firmer. See Picture # 2.
  • The thumb is ALWAYS opposite of the middle finger placement on the ball, this will insure a good grip in the fingers.
  • Grip the ball in the fingers, and not in the palm of the hand. When the ball is deep in the palm it slows wrist snap. Remember; ball in the fingers and out of the palm for speed.

Circle Change-Up

  • Make sure your grip is firm and you hide the grip from the batter so you don’t tip your pitch.
  • Hold the ball deep in the palm for the change-up. This will help take speed off the pitch and fool the batter.
  • Your index finger and thumb should make a circle on the ball. This will also help keep the ball deep in the palm. Doing both of these will take speed away from the pitch. See Picture # 3.
  • Keep the ball low in the strike zone; it is harder to hit a low change-up. A change-up high in the zone is easier for the batter to see and hit.

For more information, visit Michele Smith's website at http://www.michelesmith.com .

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