Improve your footwork and ballhandling with these agility drills

No matter what sport you’re coaching, speed and agility are usually quintessential to a successful team. Cone drills can help you get it done.

Why Speed and Agility Drills?

Speed and agility drills are designed to work all your leg and core muscles, as well as the tendons in your body. Incorporating the use of cones can help build leg strength and explosion. Use them for speed training, to increase strength, and maximize performance.

Tips For Getting Started With Cone Drills

You never want to start off a workout with cone drills. Put your team through a proper warm-up and work on some flexibility before starting the drills. Encourage the athletes to relax. They’ll perform with greater precision and balance if their muscles aren’t tense. If they’re having trouble grasping a particular drill, explain to them how they can relate the elements of the drill to movements they make while competing.

Players should go through the drills as fast as they can, not as fast as they can’t. The idea is to develop quickness and control, so plundering through the drills quickly and sloppily won’t do them any good. Have them practice slowly to get it right, then add speed as they go.

X Drill

This drill is excellent for developing change of direction, quick feet, and running at different angles. This is helpful for practicing quick transitions and developing faster reaction times.

Set up 4 cones in a square, 5 yards apart.

  1. Start at Cone #1.
  2. Sprint across the diagonal to Cone #2.
  3. Shuffle laterally across to Cone #3.
  4. Pivot 45 degrees and go backwards across the diagonal to Cone #4.
  5. Turn and sprint back to Cone #1.
  6. Switch the starting cone and repeat the drill in the opposite direction.

Three Cone Agility

This drill is used to test change-of-direction speed and agility and can improve agility performance.

Set three cones in a straight line, 5 yards apart.

  1. The athlete begins at and facing Cone #2 (center cone) with hips, shoulders, and torso parallel to the cones.
  2. He or she turns and sprints left to Cone #1.
  3. Turn 180° and sprint to Cone #3.
  4. Turn 180° and sprint back to middle Cone #2.
  5. Perform drill in both directions.

Inside Curl

This three-cone drill works on quick changes of direction and turning radius.

Set three cones in an L-shaped position, with #3 being the upper apex, and #1 being the left point.

  1. Sprint from Cone #1 to Cone #2.
  2. Turn towards Cone #3 with Cone #2 on the right shoulder.
  3. Sprint towards Cone #3, and turn around it with the cone on the left shoulder.
  4. Sprint back to Cone #2.
  5. Repeat in the opposite direction, starting at the original Cone #3.

Alternating Strides

This speed training cone drill develops foot coordination and speed.

Place a series of cones in a straight line. The first 10 cones should be about 1 yard apart. The next 10 should be 2 yards apart.

  1. From a standing start, sprint the entire length of the cones taking one step between each marker.
  2. Walk slowly back to start.

Flip Hips and Shuffle

This uses hip turns and lateral movement to get players used to changing their hips.

Set up four cones in a square, 7 yards apart.

  1. Players will be traveling along the outside edge of the box.
  2. Have them sprint forward from Cone #1 to Cone #2.
  3. Flip the hips so they are facing the direction from where they came.
  4. Players will shuffle sideways towards Cone #3.
  5. Sprint back to Cone #4.

W Drill

This is a great drill to develop acceleration, change of direction, and forward to backward movements. This drill can also be performed side to side with diagonal sprints and lateral shuffles using the same cone positioning.

Set up 7 cones, 5 yards apart in a zig-zag pattern. Three cones will be along the top, and four along the bottom. Cone 1 will be underneath Cone 2, and so on.

  1. Start at Cone #1 and sprint to Cone #2.
  2. Plant with the outside foot and backpedal to Cone #3.
  3. Sprint to Cone #4.
  4. Repeat until finished with all cones.
  5. Switch the starting cone, and repeat in the opposite direction.

90-Degree Round

This beginning movement pattern can teach body position, body control, and how to adjust to forces during movement. Three cones are set up in an L shape, with legs 10 yards long.

  1. Start at the inside of Cone #1, keeping the hips, shoulders, and torso parallel to the cone.
  2. Turn and sprint toward Cone #2.
  3. As the athlete approaches it, have them slow down slightly, move to the outside and make a 90° turn around Cone #3.
  4. Accelerate out of the turn and sprint past Cone #3.
  5. Repeat going in the opposite direction.

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