What do Derek Jeter, David Wright and Albert Pujols have in common? They all let the ball get ‘deep’. What does that mean you ask? Letting a ball get deep in the strike zone means simply hitting the ball later. Too many young hitters are told to ‘go get the ball.’ In our training facility we teach all our hitters how to hit to the opposite field. Players think if they don’t get the ball early they’ll get jammed. That is simply not true. If you lunge or chop down on the ball you are taking your hands away from your body and creating a swing that is simply too long. If you learn to rotate your body instead of going forward you will keep your hands ‘inside’ the ball and you won’t get jammed. No matter what pitch you swing at, you must keep your hands inside the ball to be successful. How does Derek Jeter hit so many inside pitches to right field? He pulls his hands inside the ball.
Look at your son or daughters swing. Do they get jammed a lot? As a right-handed hitter do you hit a lot of groundballs to the shortstop? Can you hit the ball to right field at will, and with power?
Learning how to go to right field will increase your bat speed. By allowing the ball to ‘get deep’ in the strike zone, you are learning to hit the ball later, getting better rotation with your body and increasing your bat speed and power. This type of training will allow you to better turn on an inside pitch as well. We conduct over a thousand batting lessons a year for players of all ages from little leaguers to advanced college players. We teach each player how to hit the ball the other way.
Advantages of hitting the ball to the opposite field…
You get fooled less often since you are seeing the ball longer and committing to it later, you have more time to react.
You hit more balls fair.
You get jammed less often.
You keep your hands inside the ball.
You get increased bat speed.
You strike out less often.
You can now hit behind the runner in certain situations thus helping your team.
Derek Jeter is a right field hitter. Albert Pujols spends all of spring training ‘not pulling the ball.’ David Wright is trying to drive the ball the other way each time up. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t pull the ball. We’re simply trying to teach you skills that will allow you to play at a higher level. We don’t mind our hitters looking for a pitch that they can pull when they’re ahead in the count or in other situations. We want our hitters to be well rounded and no player’s swing is complete unless they are proficient at hitting the ball the other way.
You simply cannot reach your potential as a hitter unless you learn to hit the ball to the opposite field. Next time you take batting practice, take the first 5 pitches the other way. Do that every time you take batting practice. If you want to be a great hitter, do what great hitters do, learn to hit the ball to the opposite field. Some parents or coaches will argue that a player will lose power if they hit the other way. If you’re a little league parent, ask yourself how many kids in your league hit the ball over the fence last year. Was it one or two or maybe even five times? The truth is, some kids will never have homerun power. But we still teach all our players whether they are power hitters or not to be able to go with the pitch. It will increase your batting average, make you a tougher out for the pitcher and will improve your bat speed which gives you more power!