Fundamental Baseball Skills

All Great Hitters Hit To The Opposite Field

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!

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Jim Romeo

Jim Romeo is the founder and director of the Spartans Sports Camp and Spartans Sports Academy. The camp will celebrate their 20-year anniversary in 2012. At the age of 25, he was the youngest head baseball coach of any 4-year college in the country. As the former head baseball coach at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY, his teams averaged over 20 wins a year. In only 3 full seasons as the Head Coach, he recruited 12 All Conference Players, 3 All Region Players and 3 All Americans and was the youngest coach to win the Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year Award. Major League Baseball has drafted four of his players. He has been featured in Men’s Health Magazine for his piece on ‘how to hit a curveball’ and appeared on the ABC Television Show 20/20 for helping actor Charlie Sheen with his baseball swing. You can contact Jim through his website About the author: Jim Romeo was the former Head Baseball Coach at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY. At 25 he was the youngest Head Baseball Coach of any 4-year varsity college program in the country. He was also the youngest coach to win the CACC Coach of the Year Award as well as Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year award. He recruited and coached 12 All Conference Players, 3 All Region and 3 All American Players in his 3 years at St. Thomas Aquinas College. He also had 4 players sign professional contracts during that time. Before resigning to run the Spartans Baseball Camp on a full time basis, he led the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans to their best year going 25-11 and winning the CACC Championship and finishing 3 games shy of the NAIA College World Series. He is the Director of the Spartans Baseball & Softball Camp which is held in Bergen County, NJ and Rockland County, NY. The Spartans Baseball & Softball camp just celebrated their 11 Year Anniversary this past July. They offer year round camps and clinics as well as private instruction in all aspects of baseball & softball. You can visit their website to learn more at or call (201)568-7802.


  1. My son only hits opposite field. I have a spray chart on him, and he literally hit one ball the entire season to the left side of the field.
    I’d like to see him be able to use the whole field. He is 9. Any suggestions?

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