Concentration, quick reactions, and confidence.
To play successfully up the middle, you have to want the ball to come to you, you have to know you can handle it - whether it's a high hopper, a slow roller, a deflection off the lip of the grass or a quick scooter through the dirt at your feet.
That confidence doesn't come from wishing, it comes from practice - whenever and wherever you can. And remember: concentration doesn't just mean tracking the baseball, it means all the thinking you do before the pitch... watch the catcher for signs, size up the baserunners, and check coverage responsibility with your middle infield teamate.
These pages cover some of the key skills needed at 2nd and Short. Of everything covered under 'Your Role' perhaps the most important is the communication between both middle infielders.
All drills help, and many give you special opportunities to practice techniques for 'up the middle'. Put extra effort into those when the coach runs them during practice, but here is a quick list of all team drills because you may be called on at any time to fill another position.
Links listed here include special articles and features that will add to your knowlege of middle infield play and what's expected of you.
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