Throwing a changeup is hard, and learning one takes consistent time and effort; it can be a finicky pitch.
But, with a good plan and coaching, you can easily learn an excellent changeup in a few weeks. Then, you learn to perfect and pitch with it, sharpening your new tool.
In this article, I’m going to give you four steps and a great drill to develop a better changeup.
Step 1: The “Modern” Changeup Grip
The grip I teach is unique in that the thumb is on the bottom of the baseball, and the middle two fingers are held closely together. Here’s why this grip will work for you:
- Bottom thumb placement allows the ball to held deep in the hand while staying relaxed. This helps reduce the speed and increase movement.
- The middle two fingers, when held close together, act as a unit, helping to apply inward pressure on the ball. This converts arm-speed into spin. This spin gives the pitch heavy sinking and arm-side running action.
Check out the very short video below to see the grip. Or, dive right into my mini-course, and stop wasting time! How to Throw a Filthy Changeup is my free workshop that will teach you everything you need to know about the changeup in 4 video lessons.[thrive_link color=’green’ link=” target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=”]Sign Up For The Changeup Course[/thrive_link]
Step 2: The Hand Action
The changeup is slower, and has sinking and running movement because of the grip AND the hand action. We get 50% of the speed reduction from the grip, and 50% from the hand action.
And, if we do this right, we impart a diagonal spin on the ball that will look like a thick, red stripe running across the ball like the below illustration, taken from my changeup course PDF.
Step 3: Start with A Simple Drill – The Knee Changeup
Knee changeups should be the first drill you use to learn this pitch – they’re simple and help to reinforce only the hand action, without us worrying about our overall mechanics. Good pitching mechanics can make it very easy to throw a great changeup. Bad mechanics can make it very difficult.
But, because in this tutorial we aren’t going to re-make your mechanics, let’s just start simply by using a drill to help us feel good vs bad feel for the hand and arm action.
Watch the video below to learn this great, simple drill.
Step 4 and Beyond: Fine-Tuning, Troubleshooting, Learning to Pitch
How do you continue to troubleshoot and fine-tune your shiny new pitch? It takes time, focus and LOTS of practice.
I could outline these for you, but first you should ask yourself these questions:
- Are you okay with having a mediocre changeup?
- Do you have a step-by-step method to improve it?
- Has your current grip and method given you a strikeout-quality changeup?
If you want to go further than this article, great! I’ve created a free online changeup course that will get from start to finish. You’ll learn exactly what you have to do to show up next season with the nastiest changeup on the team.
I teach hundreds of pitchers a changeup every year in my baseball academy, and this course is my exact method. If you want to improve yours, my four-lesson free course is for you.
Need More Help Learning How To Throw New Pitches?
Check out two of my best resources, both of which are completely free:
- A Four-Lesson, Step-By-Step Guide to learning a heavy-sinking changeup.
How to Throw a Hammer Curveball Guide
- A 15-page PDF guide that takes you step-by-step through the process of learning, understanding, and fine-tuning a curveball.
Good luck and happy changeup-ing. -Dan Blewett