What age can kids throw te change

I am coaching 9 yr olds. I am wondering if I can teach changeups to this age. Is it OK on the kids? If they are throwing a 3-finger fastball, is the changeup useless? If I can teach them at this age, what kind of change would you teach?

Thanks in advance.


Change ups are ok at that age. Just teach them a good change ^^

you shopuld be teaching them the change-up right now. that will do two things,

first, it will make them learn how to change speed because remember that your team is a training camp where you play against other kids. you have to look at it that way. you want to make kids feell their first breaking heart lost, their first dominance on the mound, the first time they get crushed, the first time they get bad calls, the first time they win a tight game, the first time someone swing and miss on something else than an overpowering fastball right down the middle, the first time they come in relief and become the hero of the day, the first walk-off hit. so they are prepared for the higher lkevels. one big error coaches in little leagues do is they are going for the W which is totally crazy when you’re coaching 9 year olds.

secondly, having an arsenal of pitches is something funny. noboduy can deny it. throwing fastballs all the time is boring at some point and you want to bring up that trick pitch (change-up) that wuill give you an edge. remember the kids not to worry about speed diference in other words, especially at this age you should try not to tell them what’s the deal about it. they will throw it exactly like the pitch they know but with a different grip and that is the best change-up you can get. dont make them slow theuir arm speed kif it doesn’t work well because remember you’re teaching your kids how to play baseball. a slower arm speed change-up at higher level is the favorite pitch of a good hitter.

some kind of palmball grip where they just put the ball in their palm and wrap their fingers around it.
or, an other good one would be to grip the ball 2-seam fastball, rotate the ball backward so that the fingers are now in the horseshoe not toucvhing anything, now take your ring and you middle finger and put them right in the middle. the pinky and the index fingers should rest just outside the horseshow seams or anywhere where they feel comfortable with. the thumb can rest under the ball. tell them to throw the ball using only the middle and ring fingers exactly like they would if it was the index and middle fingers. thats a good way to learn the circle change which is going to be a devastating pitch when they’ll be older. see which one work the best for them and tell them to stick with it.


Nothing wrong with teaching 9 year olds a change-up although I’d probably be inclined to focus more on their fastball at that age to help them work toward getting command of their first pitch. I do think your challenge will be to find a grip that they can control and which is different enough from their fastball grip to make a difference in speed because small hands cause the fastball grip to already be more of a change-up grip. Still, you could focus on teaching the other aspects of the change-up - maintaining arm speed, when to throw the pitch, when NOT to throw the pitch, where to throw it, etc.

As for grips, you could try having them tuck the ball deeper into their palm. Or you could try having them throw using the middle, ring and pinky fingers instead of the index, middle and ring fingers. You could even try having them throw with the fingers straight such that the fingertips are not touching the ball.

Good luck.

I agree.

At this age given their small hands, pretty much everything is a change-up.

my son is turning 10 this month and started pitching last year. As with all 9 yr olds, he has small hands and uses 3 fingers to throw his fastball. We went with a fork change. It looks like a split finger. He spreads his fingers out pretty wide, but still in control on the seams. He has to throw it just like his fastball which makes it very affective. The pitch is about 10mph different than his fast ball and it seems to fall down while approaching the plate.

he also learned to throw a modified knuckle ball. Basically, he used his 2 middle fingers on the knuckles and his outside fingers to control the ball. This pitch was great for him, it was a glorfied change up at 15 mph less than his fastball. The best part about he pitch was he had alot of fun throwing it which at this age, if you can keep them having fun rather than thinking about pitching so much, they seem to do better.

I think that a kid should throw a changeup when he’s confident he can throw his hardest and make it relatively close to the strike zone. A change only works if the pitcher can show the batter his fastball. If the fastball and changeup is around the same speed then doesn’t that completely miss the point of a changeup. Think About It…

Why not a forkball or splitter instead of the (straight) change? All are offspeed pitches and essentially serve the same purpose. Mess with the hitters timing. I would think a fork or spit would be easier to control since you are using the same fingers as your fastball.


This thread was originally about 9yo kids. Probably hard for such young kids to grip and throw a splitter or forkball


The Minnesota Twins recently put an article in our paper talking about how more and more arms are being injured because pitchers are throwing incorrect splitters and forkballs. I don`t have the article with me but it talked about when your fingers spread wide, it also stretches something inside your forearm and can cause injury.

Face it man, their 9 years old. Teach em to throw smoke and let them worry about offspeed stuff later. Thats what our youth baseball coaches did and we were known as having the fastest fastballs in the conference (and were featured an article in the paer about it) We had 5 of our 7 pitchers throwing over 80mph and 4 that threw 88+. One went to Northern Iowa and the other…Nebraska.

Well I learned how 2 throw my change when I was 8 and didnt get master control until I was 11 , the circle change is the best 2 teach youngsters