Opposite Field Hitting Approach
Mastering the art of hitting to the opposite field, fixing your baseball swing
A player attacking the opposite field gap with power is a fearsome hitter! Hitting to the opposite field fixes common hitting mistakes, critical for youth players.
The opposite field hitting approach organically trains proper baseball swing mechanics:
- Short and quite stride.
- Compact swing path.
- Keeping your frontside closed.
Opposite field hitting organically fixes hitting mistakes, such as:
- Stay back, and reduce lunging out at the baseball.
- Stay closed, preventing flying open with the front shoulder, and pulling your head off the baseball.
- Rushing your stride, landing open, and stepping in the bucket.
- Track the ball longer, increasing bat speed, giving you the confidence to hit an inside fastball; without fear of getting “jammed.”
- Reduce strikeouts, improve pitch recognition, stop swinging at bad pitches.
- Falling off balance, and dipping your backside.
- Reaching, rolling over on the outside pitch, hitting weak grounders.
Definition of Approach:
A way of dealing with a situation or problem.
- Problem: “I’m practicing home run mechanics, swinging for the fence on gameday, however, I generally strike out 3 times a game with a weak pop-up and grounder.”
- Approach: “I’m going to train myself to hit the baseball to the opposite field, helping to get out of my hitting slump.”
The opposite field approach is a strategy, for both the game and batting practice; purposely hitting the baseball to the non-pull side.
Gameday Hitting Approach
Consciously thinking to pull the baseball is a catalyst for improper swing mechanics. The subconscious mind associates a pre-determined and conscious thought of pulling the baseball; with rushing and over-swinging, triggering lunging, jumping out, and flying open too early with your front-side. Alternatively, keeping your head down and hitting the baseball to the opposite field; miracles happen, tracking the ball longer, staying closed, and staying back. Players with experience know when its time to hit to the opposite field, making swing adjustments during pre-game batting practice, and gameday at-bats.
A simple gameday hitting technique to improve your batting average
Facing a two-strike hitting situation, flying open too early with your front shoulder and pulling the baseball into foul territory. In this scenario, step out of the batter’s box, staring at your bat label, relax, breath, using the self-dialogue; “hit the ball to the opposite field,” and “close your mind and open your eyes.”
Follow this simple method when you’re in a hitting slump, and good things happen:
- Step 1: Practice Field. Hit 70% of balls to the opposite field, preparing your subconscious mind for gameday.
- Step 2: Pre-At-Bat. Visualize hitting the baseball to the opposite field during your on-deck circle routine.
- Step 3: The Batter’s Box. “Close your mind and open your eyes”, allowing your subconscious mind to automate your swing.
Opposite Field Batting Practice
During batting practice, aim to hit 7/10 balls to the “non-pull side,” improving swing mechanics. Focusing on the goal, in this case, hitting a line drive to the opposite field; reinforces proper hitting mechanics.
- Right-hander: Visualize hitting a line drive over the second baseman’s head.
- Left-Hander: Visualize hitting a line drive over shortstop.
- Right-hander: Drive the baseball in the left field and center field gap.
- Left-Hander: Drive the baseball in the right field and center field gap.