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A World Series Shortstop Drill

world series shortstop drill infield skill infielders throw fielding

A play that is seared in my mind is in the 2008 World Series, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett made an unbelievable play fielding the ball beyond 2nd base, and while moving toward centerfield he threw the Phillies runner out at 1st.

While the skill is pretty tough, the drill to practice that same skill isn’t.

Infielders will often find themselves moving in one direction and having to throw in a completely different one. That was the case in Game 4 with Bartlett as he fielded the ball behind 2nd base, then had to throw across his body to 1st. His feet were taking him toward centerfield while his upper body was twisting to throw the ball to 1st base.

To help your infielders, or all of your players, learn this skill split your team up into groups of 6. Each player has her glove on and one ball per group. Have the group form a circle about 10-15 feet across and have the players start jogging slowly in a circle. Say GO! And the player with the ball must throw the ball across the circle to a teammate, who then must catch and then throw the ball across the circle. This continues making sure that the pace stays at a jog as players will want to start running. It might also help to have some cones set inside the circle to keep it from squishing down and ending up about 5 feet across instead of 10-15 feet.

Once all players have caught and thrown the ball a number of times then reverse the circle and continue. You can also have your outfielders doing this same drill but just make the circle a little bigger. Remember to start slow and stay slow until their skills improve over time.

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