By Scott Mackar
If you want to be Missouri baseball material, you'd better be spending your summers getting in peak shape instead of sitting around watching Talladega Nights for the 140th time.
Playing Big 12 baseball is no easy task, but due in large part to their off-the-chart conditioning levels, the Tigers have recorded at least 30 wins in nine of their last 10 seasons and have appeared in the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years.
"I put my athletes through a test when they come back from summer break to tell if they have a good conditioning base," says Keith Caton, Missouri's strength and conditioning coach. "If they don't have a good base when they get here, it's harder for them to get into the program as far as lifting, agility and plyometrics."
The Tigers test with the American League 300-Yard Shuttle. Besides revealing each player's shape, it helps Caton determine how much extra conditioning the players will need before the season.
Do you have what it takes to be a Tiger?
Starting in athletic stance, sprint 60 yards
Touch line; sprint back to start
Repeat 1½ times for a total of 300 yards
Rest 5 minutes; perform second rep
Completion times by position
If any athlete doesn't complete his shuttle in time, Caton makes the entire team perform extra conditioning. The athletes who fail the test must run it on other days until they pass.
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