Baseball Pitching Tips: How You Hide Your Grip Is Critical!
- Updated: October 26, 2011
For something that’s very important, I’m quite surprised hiding your grip isn’t talked about or taught more. How many things can be more detrimental for a pitcher than tipping off his pitches to opposing players and their coaches? Trust me. Players, coaches and managers will look for opposing pitchers that tip off their pitches!
For decades, I have heard several times of a pitcher who has been very successful and all of a sudden he is hit very hard for four or five straight outings. Then he gets back on the right track and you hear he was tipping off his pitches and that’s why he was getting hit hard. And some of these pitchers were outstanding professional pitchers so that shows that it is a very common pitching problem. This gives the better hitters a huge advantage. Imagine if they can see ahead of time that you have your circle changeup grip on the baseball.
He can be tipping the pitches off in several ways and quite often it’s because he is not hiding his grip on the ball for his different pitches. If you are using the full windup, make sure that even when you are raising your hands and pivoting on the rubber, you keep the inside of your glove facing your chest! If you are pitching from the stretch position, make sure that when you come set, you keep the inside of your glove facing your chest. As you advance to higher levels of play the opposing team will be looking to see if you are advertising your grip. It may be the third base coach, a manager, some of the players on the bench, etc.
It’s when raising the hands and pivoting on the rubber that a lot of pitchers have a tendency to open up the glove and that is advertising your grip.
Some pitchers start with a fancy grip before every pitch and then sometimes switch to another grip at the last moment. An example would be starting with a circle changeup grip every single pitch and then changing the grip at the last second to the one you really want to use.
You can play some “mind games” with the batter also. If the batter knows that you have a very good changeup, you can move your hand around on the ball for a second or two, and lead him to believe that you might be going to your circle change grip. Then you can surprise him with a good four-seamer that is in on his hands.
One pitch later, you can move your hand on the ball again and this time you do throw the changeup. I’m not saying to do this on every pitch, but on occasion, it will work well for you and annoy the batter.
Why not give the batter a little more to think about? He may start over thinking, out think himself and become annoyed.
As a pitcher, I most certainly want to annoy a batter in any way I can. Always remember that baseball pitching tips require clever use of the mind and not just the body!