Agility for Infielders

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Complete this sentence: Bat is to ball as _____ is to agility. The answer: speed. For a hitter to be successful, he has to connect the bat to the ball. For an infielder to be successful, he has to connect speed with agility.

According to Noel Durfey, strength and conditioning coach for the Ole Miss baseball team, the combination of speed and agility in the infield equals victory. "If we can't get to the ball and the hole, we're allowing extra hitters on base, which in turn is going to prolong the innings. Not making the play is the difference between wins and losses."

To keep the Rebels winning 40-plus games a season, Durfey's infielders perform the following Four Corner Drill twice a week during the off-season.

Four-Corner Drill

•    Make a square with four cones set 5 yards apart
•    Sprint to first cone
•    Shuffle left around next cone
•    Backpedal around third cone
•    Sprint at an angle to fourth cone
•    Repeat

Coaching Points
Perform drill at full speed // Stay low during shuffle and don't cross feet // Don't look down at feet; keep head up throughout drill // When sprinting, keep body in straight line with slight forward lean; make sure driving leg is fully extended

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