Developing the Changeup


Working on developing a changeup with my 14 year old brother. I believe it’s what takes good pitchers to great. But it’s a feel pitch, so I wanted to know if you guys have any tips on grips, pressure points, release patterns, cues, drills… really anything on changeups I could find useful. He already has a change piece and when it’s on it dives on the plate; he’s just too inconsistent with it right now (Has a fastball that sits at 80, big break on his curveball).


I use a hockey puc with my son.
It has helped get the feel of releasing the ball how he wants to help create some side spin. He is developing better control by not buring the ball in his hand. Keeps it on the finger tips but really focuses on release and pronating the throw.
Frank Corral has a great video (where I “borrowed” the puc idea) on You Tube.
It’s called Frank Corral Mastering the Changeup or something close to that.
Changed how my kid throws the pitch.


Easiest thing I’ve found is play catch and even some modified long toss with the grip then they can really see the movement on it and get excited about it


This is a great way for players to throw the change up like a fastball. Start at a longer distance and then bring it in to pitching distance while emphasizing throwing it with the arm at full speed. A change up that starts thigh high is almost indistinguishable from a fastball until it disappears.

Play around with the grip some as well until you get something that feels right.

Change up Speed

I’ve seen that video before by Corral, it helped a lot. The changeup is funny, it really is an individualized pitch. Some structure I’m going to try to give him is slice the ball in half (thumb and middle finger), throw the inside of the ball, keep the wrist loose, and throw with the same arm speed as the fastball.

The rest is experimentation. How loose the ball sits in the fingers, and how the index and ring finger lay is all what about what feels comfortable and is effective.


Cutting the ball in half with thumb and middle finger will help with control. Pronation will take more off while also creating movement. But, don’t alter posture in order to pronate more - only pronate to the degree your flexibility allows. Also, don’t let the arm sweep across in front of you while pronating. Instead, make sure you throw through to the target.


Change up is not a feel pitch. Its basically a fastball ( I know, sounds funny) . A curve is a feel pitch.

Change up in modified long toss is great. Or even during warm ups.


I always teach my pitchers to think of a change up as a “fastball with a different grip”. Arm speed is key, so throwing moderate long toss helps this concept because to reach your partner you have to maintain arm speed. I wouldn’t recommend forcing a specific grip…it is a feel pitch in this regard. Ask a mlb hitter which pitch they dislike most and you usually hear a + change up. A hard slider is probably #2! I threw a circle, but the pitchfork change up is easier to teach to kids with small hands imho.


4 finger change, then 3 finger change, then pronated 3 finger, then circle.


I’m not following, CoachPaul. What order is the above in? Order that the grips should be learned? Order of your grip preference?


Sort of a progression based on hand size, but pitchers can throw it many ways. Whatever is the most effective. Each way it’s thrown combined with various arm slots and releases will have an impact on the pitch.


CoachPaul, thanks. I was curious because my 12 y/o son learned the circle change and has stuck with it since. He doesn’t have what I would call a large hand. He sometimes needs to be reminded to throw it no different than a fastball, but he does seem to get a lot of movement from this pitch and now that he’s getting bigger, I see a notable change in velocity versus his fastball.

I’m very appreciative of this thread, as I will be recommending he use his circle change grip during the beginning to intermediate portion of team long toss from now on.