Positioning and Activity
Next, an infielder must work on his positioning and activity. He must know how to position himself appropriately but, almost more importantly, an infielder must always be moving. An infielder can never be a spectator - he should always be getting involved on defense, moving and lining himself up, backing up bases, or whatever the situation requires. An infielder also needs to know where to be in double play situations, cut situations, and tandem cut situations.
In terms of activity, an infielder will always be in a ready position in the pre-pitch and ready to read balls immediately off the bat. He is able to execute his reads based on the location of the pitch as well as the batter’s stance and swing. In addition, the infielder will base his positioning on the count and situation. He should play straight up when the count is even, play to pull when the pitcher is behind, and defend the opposite field when the pitcher is ahead.
To address positioning and activity, coaches should utilize active classroom time to teach players through situations as well as live scrimmage opportunities.
Also essential for infielders is movement. Movement is often times related to the eyes and focus of the infielder. The eyes allow the infielder to get good jumps on the ball by looking in the hitting area and thus move smoothly to the ball. Also, a good infielder can chase down a flyball by taking his eye off of the ball briefly to chase down the ball.
Other infield movements are move advanced and require practice. Infielders should run with their glove in and not exposed to allow for optimum speed. Infielders should also run and not drift. Proper running form is essential in movement. Great form will allow for the special plays such as diving or executing a spin to catch and get rid of the ball. Like everything, movement can be practiced but must be enforced through drills.