Football Change.. that’s what. Football what? Football Change. It has also been referred to as Football Curve. It is a devastating pitch that hitter’s should learn to immediately recognize. It not, you will likely have a very difficult time laying off of this pitch. If thrown by a Right Handed Pitcher, the ball falls away from a Right Handed Hitter. It looks like a fastball, has a fastball arm speed… comes at you like a fastball. The only problem is, It’s not a fastball. It’s a Football Change and it completely disappears right at the front of the plate.
I scoured the internet to find any photos of this grip. Unfortunately, I could not come up with any. So… I made a few myself. I have to ask you to please excuse the pictures from inside the house.. my socks, etc. 🙂
As for you Pitchers out there. These photos should show you how to grip and throw the pitch. I personally like to have my thumb on a bottom seam and the top seam resting between my index and middle fingers. You may want to experiment with a few different positions. One important fact about the pitch: Do NOT slow down your arm. Throw it just like a fastball. Full fastball arm speed. You will have to experiment to find out your release point. But, when you do it is a devastating weapon. Especially to your 3, 4 & 5 hitters in the lineup. You know, the guys that like to gear up and drive your best fastball. Surprise! It only looks like a fastball. The Football Change does NOT act like one.
The best part about it is .. no stress.. none.. nada.. zip.. zero.. zilch. When you throw it right. There is no difference between the fastball arm action. Just do not rotate the wrist trying to provide spin (slider). Simply let the ball slip out of your hand with fastball motion. The fact that there are more fingers on the one side of the ball creates more friction at the release. This automatically causes spin. You don’t have to try to create it. It’s automatic. Just throw it. Pretend you are Matt Leinert throwing to Reggie Bush. Just throw it as hard as you can. Let the ball come out on it’s own.
For you hitters. You had better learn to recognize the grip early. Stay Back .. Wait.. Wait.. Wait.. if it gets in your zone and is UP.. give it a rip if the count is in your favor. If it isn’t up.. you better lay off. It will disappear on you. AND with it your average will too! Hope this helps you to be a Better Hitter (And Pitcher!)
Thanks for posting this article – one of my son’s trainers taught him this pitch, but he called it a slurve. It’s the same pitch, though – thrown like a football, no rotating the wrist, and it falls away from right-handed batters. Thanks again – I’ve been looking for information on this pitch to share with the other coaches on our team.
Great info, really helped me better understand how to teach my 12yr old son this pitch.