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Soft Toss to Develop Opposite Field Hitting

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

Baseball is a game of precision and timing. Particularly for the person “under the microscope” - the hitter. One wasted movement, one split second, and the opportunity is lost. The best hitters are able to hit any pitch, at any location, with the skill and discipline to hit the ball in the direction that it is pitched. It doesn’t do any good if a batter rolls over a curveball on the outer half of the plate for a weak ground ball. A trained ballplayer should be able to take the outside pitch and drive it to the opposite field with authority.

A great way to develop the skill of opposite field hitting is through soft toss training. With a practice partner or MaxBP machine configure to soft toss, set aim on the outer half of the plate - and wear it out. Nothing but away, away, away. The hitter will focus on hitting all the pitches to the opposite field on a line.

For advanced ballplayers, the drill can be modified by only swinging at pitches on the outer half of the plate. If a pitch is a ball outside or a strike down the middle - don’t swing! That may sound a little funny, but the idea here is to develop the discipline to hit the ball the other way. If a pupil in training tries to develop this opposite field skill, while also turning on and pulling pitches, this drill may be counterproductive.

This is a great drill for hitters 10+ years old and serves as great training on a regular basis. It works best with a BetterBat Skinny Barrel Training Bat, but remember to always finish the drill with a game bat. In order to participate in this drill, a player will also need a MaxBP Machine or training partner, wiffle balls, and a flat plate. If practicing this drill with a training partner, a net would be optimal to cut down on shag time.

Precision and timing is essential in hitting. If an athlete can develop that muscle memory and discipline to hit the ball to the opposite field in a practice setting. That will inevitably lead to bigger and better results on the field and in the box score.