How To Teach “Pull Happy” Hitters An Opposite Field Approach
I Need Your Help…
But before I get to the “BIG ask”,
I want you to watch the video above, where Mark DeRosa and Jim Thome help teach Lauren Shehadi how to hit the ball to the opposite field (she claims to be a chronic pull hitter).
It's a fun video with some cool sticky coaching stuff in it.
In the video, please pay particular attention to the following:
- What are some of the things either Thome or DeRo offered Lauren that didn't work?
- What were some of the things either Thome or DeRo offered that did work?
- What did Lauren do when she didn't understand a concept “Don't bail out”, and then what did DeRo/Thome do or say to clarify?
- Notice the use of positive reinforcement when she did something right…more on this at a later date, I'm currently reading a GAME CHANGING book for coaches called Don't Shoot The Dog that goes more into this. Sorry, only paperback version available on Amazon.
Now, here are a couple “BIG asks” (you don't have to answer all)…
- What are the top two mistakes you see coaches make teaching pull happy hitters to hit to the opposite field?
- What are your top two drills, sticky coaching cues, and/or hitting aids that consistently help pull happy hitters hit “oppo”?
- If you had only 4 weeks – and a million dollars on the line – to train a pull happy hitter to hit with power to the opposite field, what would the training look like?
Pull happy hitting is going to be a MAJOR challenge as hitters climb the playing career ladder. Extreme shifts are becoming a reality nowadays.
Great baseball minds like Homer Bush said in his book Hitting Low In The Zone, that in order to hit .300, hitters MUST be able to lift the low pitch AND hit the ball to the opposite field.
Consider this quote from Justin Turner, who at the time of this writing is hitting .364 with 11 HR's and 19 2B's (a little over halfway through the season):
“Today, with the way defenses shift, you're out. Especially if you don't run that well. You don't beat the shift by hitting around it or through it, you beat the shift by hitting over it.”
Someday your hitters will face a shift, and if they aren't prepared, they'll fail way more than they have to. Be proactive coaches.
THANK YOU in advance for YOUR comments 😀