This Fundamental segment explains to player and coach the proper execution of a cut and relay. Having drilled through this Fundamental as a station, principles and keywords can be used in other drills, scrimmages, and baseball situations involving Cuts & Relays. Cuts are defined as when the defense is trying to cut down a runner advancing. The action of throwing ball from outfielder –> to infielder –> to base is called a Cut & Relay.
EXECUTION – This drill is run with a single line catching and throwing to a target net (or an athlete receiver). If available, use a foul line and two cones to assist with positioning (one cone on either side of the foul line). Athletes rotate through individually, executing a proper cut and relay. Begin with relaxed pace and throws directly to the athletes. Continue to increase pace of drill, speed of throw, and range of athlete required to catch the ball. Proper execution keys to Cut & Relay are as follows:
- Positioning – Relay man positions himself in a straight line between baseball and bag.
- Big X – Make a big X
- Be Vocal – Be loud (outfielder CANNOT miss you)
- Turn Gloveside – ALWAYS turn to glove (no exceptions while learning)
- Feet – When do they turn? Ball in air? Yes, but start by catching first and then shuffling. Athleticism will take over once ball is live.
- Hands – Keyword: “Handcuffs.” Keeps hands moving and working together to expedite transfer from glove to hand.
- Teach as Skill – Use this Fundamental Drill to run Cuts & Relays as a SKILL, and allow the athletes to focus on the act of catching and releasing. NOT the time to involve roles and responsibilities (ex: man on 1st vs. man on 2nd vs. “sure double”, etc.)
- BIG X
- BE VOCAL
- TURN GLOVESIDE
- FEET - CATCH BALL FIRST, THEN MOVE
- HANDS - HANDCUFFS
- TEACH AS SKILL FIRST, APPLY LATER
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