Have you ever wondered why your off-speed pitches aren’t fooling anyone? Take a look at this NPA 3-D motion analysis of a pitcher. http://bit.ly/caGp4p As you can see the pitchers mechanics are very similar with both pitches. However, you can see very easily by the overlay that the pitcher slows down when throwing his change-up. Hitters may not recognize this early, but they will soon figure it out.
Hitters work off the fastball, just like most pitchers do. They are looking for something to be different to “tip” them on what is coming. When a hitter sees a pitcher like this (one slowing his delivery for an off-speed pitch), they immediately know it’s not a fastball, thus slowing down their timing to hit the pitch. Simply put, as a pitcher we want all our pitches thrown with the same mechanics, same timing, and coming from the same release point or tunnel.
This is a typical problem with pitchers at all levels. We need to consistently stay on top of our pitchers to make sure everything stays the same. Let the arm take the speed of the pitch, rather than slowing down the body. It may help to have the pitcher or coach/parent count audibly for both pitches so that the pitcher can hear and be reminded to throw with the same timing.
Hope this was helpful! More to come shortly…