Using Opposite Hitting Drills to Teach the Right Way
Doing opposite hitting drills work, just do not rush to judgement.
The minute people see a coach teach something that they do not agree with or something not completely fundamentally correct, people panic and label the coach as teaching this or that. For instance, there are times when I have hitters let go of the bat on the follow through to help them get better extension on the ball. These hitters for a number of reasons cut their swing off short and do not extend through the ball. Letting go for a spell helps them extend and understand hitting fundamentals more clearly. However, once people see you having hitters do this, they believe you are a Charley Lau adherent and label you old fashioned.
It is very important to understand that teaching hitting and hitting fundamentals are different for different hitters, at times. There are times when I do what I call opposite drills with young hitters. These drills force hitters to do something they are not doing, and although the drills may not be the correct, desired fundamentals, the goal is to have hitters meet in the middle with the correct way. This allows muscle memory to change, and often much quicker than without the drills.
Opposite Hitting Drills – Give Coaches a Break
There are times when I will teach opposite things to different hitters to get them to get to the correct mechanics. For example, there are many hitters that I do not allow them to let go of the bat on the finish because they are not getting a full hip rotation and letting go is often a sign of that, and as mentioned the opposite of having hitters let go as in the above scenario.
Good coaches adjust and do what they have to do. Remember, just telling most players the correct way rarely changes their muscle memory, so opposite hitting drills are necessary and remember, do not label someone just on what you see. Ask why or read the whole thing.