Trouble Hitting the change?

Don’t worry we have you covered, here at Lumberjack Sports we have many world class athletes with great insight into some of the best drills out there. Once in a while our athletes will have a breakthrough and create an amazing drill, just like this amazing Change up drill created by Jeff Ellsworth. 

In this short video Jeff explains whats involved in the drill to really engrain staying back and hitting the ever elusive change up, while Nick Shailes shows how being ready to hit the self tossed ball every time opens up a unique window where we can insert another partner tossed ball to simulate the change up. 

Let’s break it down from the Hitters and partners perspectives.


1. The hitter want to get in their nice relaxed stance to start
2. Next the hitter wants to make sure they have left enough room at the bottom of the bat for their hand to slide smoothly back onto the bat for the swing after they have tossed the ball up to themselves.
3. Ensure the self toss is around head height and not excessively high or low as this allows time for the hitter to start their swing with just enough time to react to the falling ball.
4. If nothing is said from the partner the hitter continues their swing through to hit the self tossed ball.
5. If the partner calls change, the hitter allows the ball to drop through the zone and immediately focusses on the ball tossed by the partner and hits this ball. ( notice the slight pause in the swing to adjust for the change)
6. Reload and repeat


1. Focus on the hitters “Load and Step*” and wait for the ball to be tossed
2. When the ball has been tossed they need to focus on the hitters hands and back leg drive
3. Once they have been triggered, now the partner has to decide if they are calling change or nothing at all
4. If change is called then the toss needs to be made as the self tossed ball is falling through the strike zone and around knee height.

Although Nick and Jeff make this drill look easy, this drill will take a lot of practice to perfect. This is an advanced drill and the better you get at it, the easier it will be to stay back and hit the change up harder and further.

*"The Six Steps of Hitting" by Jeff Ellsworth