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NFCA Drill Of The Week: The Gauntlet

Name of Drill: The Gauntlet.

Equipment Needed: Sliding mat (if indoors), tires or hoops, traffic or athletic cones, wood 2x3's, softball.

Explanation of Drill: The team lines up at home plate. On the coach's signal, the first player runs to first base over 10 hurdles. Player rounds first and follows through a series of "chutes." (Each chute is made of an eight-foot 2x3 balanced on a pair of cones.) A second ocach throws a ball to the player, which she tosses back repeatedly while navigating the chutes.

The player touches second base, then high steps through tires between second and third. (Small bicycle tires work best.) The player touches third base, then sprints toward home, where she finishes with a head first slide on the mat.

Players enter the gauntlet every 20 seconds and each player makes three trips through the gauntlet. This drill provides a good workout over about a 10-15 mintue period. It works on agility, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, stamina, sliding technique and conditioning all at once.