To throw different pitches, determine the appropriate grip, adjust arm speed as necessary and maintain consistent pitching mechanics. The combination of these three steps can help improve a pitcher's arsenal, or pitch offerings.
- Determine the appropriate grip
Grip the ball appropriately. A change-up calls for the ring, middle and index fingers to be placed across the seams of the baseball, and the palm should also touch the ball. Fastballs require the index and middle finger to be placed either across or along the seams. Off-speed pitches, such as curve balls and sliders, need the index and middle fingers to be applied along one of the baseball's seams.
- Adjust arm speed as necessary
The fastball requires maximum arm speed, and this arm speed is considered the basis from which each pitch should be gauged. Sliders and curve balls, though slower pitches in terms of ball velocity, require the same arm speed as the fastball. Change-ups call for the same arm speed as the fastball until the moment just before the ball is released, while knuckleballs require considerably slower arm speeds than fastballs.
- Maintain consistent pitching mechanics
No matter what grip or arm speed is chosen, the body mechanics of a pitcher should always remain consistent. These mechanics encompass a range of body movements, such as the initial rock step backward, the leg lift and the stride.