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Hitting to the opposite field

I coach a 14u team that is pretty salty from top to bottom. This is the group of girls that we have been waiting to develop for several years and they are finally at the age were they can really be coached up. One of the problems that we are wanting to address is the habit of trying to pull everything. If the pitch is middle in then it gets smoked, if its away it gets dribbled somewhere in the infield. What is a good way to teach them to hit to the opposite field. It just seems like second nature to me knowing how to do it but getting them to understand terms like "staying inside the ball" and such doesn't sink in with them. Any suggestions. Oh and by the way I am new to this forum and have been reading old post for the last few days (not getting any work done) and I can't get enough of it! thanks for your input and advice. :)
May 7, 2008
Have you set the tee outside and deep, for them? The ball has to travel further in. They have to wait on it.

Show them where the ball needs to hit the bat.
Jul 10, 2008
Central PA
Repetition, repetition, repetition . . .

As Amy said, show them how/where the bat is supposed to hit the ball. Set the ball on the tee on the outside of the plate with the scoop of the tee right over top of that second corner. Put your hitters in contact position with the barrel inside the ball (barrel facing opposite field) and have them pull the bat backward into the launch position. Have them do a check swing, making sure they have the barrel in the correct position to hit a ball to the opposite field, then have them pull the barrel back and then "attack" the ball. Keep emphasizing staying inside the ball and keeping the barrel behind their hands (or hands in front of the barrel).

Using terms like "wait on the pitch" really doesn't do much good. There's no way young hitters can "wait" to hit an outside pitch. You just need to keep working drills in practice, have them see outside pitches in practice, praising success when the ball goes to the opposite field in practice, and keep preaching "stay inside the ball." Good luck!
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
ok, couple issues I have:
1) Love to hear where others are telling their batters OUTSIDE contact on the ball should be. I believe it shoud be on the INSIDE front foot, not so deep on the plate, but THINK about it, the distance of waiting on the ball from in front of the plate to approx 7-10 inches at approx 55-60+ MPH and we are telling the girls to WAIT MAYBE 2/100s of a second to make contact???? Not saying that isn't correct, JUST VERY DIFFICULT if you try and comprehend the time, really? WAIT aprox 1/100 sec??..... anyway.... I don't believe the contact should be too deep in the plate, and am interested to get other points of view.

2) PRACTICE Situational hitting! The girls NEED to UNDERSTAND and SEE it on the field WHY hitting behind runners is so advantageous. IF they understand and buy-in, they'll work harder/focus on hitting to 2B side. (Buy-In is KEY!) Then practice with a runner at 2nd or 2nd and 3rd that they INTENTFULLY hit to 2B side, SOME get through cause they didn't ry so hard!

*** I teach to look for 1st pitch outside and hit the TOP of the ball softly to right side. They do NOT want to swing too hard, almost a SLAP to 2B side so their coordination is easier. Practice 10-20 balls INTENTFULLY to the 2B side EVERY practice, SAME as you practice BUNTing every practice and they will get proficient at it.
Aug 4, 2008
To hit a pitch to the opposite field you must let the ball get deeper in the box however you must release the angle of the wrist sooner and rotate as needed thinking your belly button is the direction you want the ball to go. If you are trying to take the ball to the opposite field and your belly button is pointed towards the pitcher you are pulling the bat away from the ball and can not direct the force of the bat through the ball. The ball is glancing off the bat and you get that hook towards right field and foul the ball.
Thanks for the input! Yes my girls tend to rip the inside pitch foul and it keeps me on my toes at third! I have used the "T" and set the ball on the outside edge and back and they continue to use a normal swing against it. The front shoulder needs to stay closed longer and I believe telling them to throw the bat head to the right side (rhb) is a logical theory? any suggestions?
Not really Mark. Bat lag really isnt the issue. The girls maintain their "power V" and then snap the bat head around on contact and then follow thru with a wrist roll. They are all performing a powerful, quick swing with the hips and shoulders clearing. There lucky to even hit the outside edge.
May 12, 2008
Bat lag is a good thing. Means you haven't prematurely lost the hinge angle/the approximately 90 degree angle between the bat and the lead arm forearm. Bat drag is the bad thing. Your second and third sentences set off all kind of alarm bells.

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