Agility for team sport athletes usually starts with quick feet drills and then progresses into pattern work. For the last 4 or 5 weeks we have worked basic quick feet drills both with and without the ball with our younger players. With lacrosse and basketball players we sometimes try to mimic stick & ball based agility patterns with ladder and dot drills so that the player understands the connection between the two. Master the rhythm of the movement, merge in rhythm with the stick/ball and then begin to quicken the feet and reactive qualities that separate the fast from the slow.
With our younger players we are beginning to merge the quick feet drills with some basic change of direction drill (lateral movement). This is important as the player needs more than quick feet and stick skills, but also needs to be able to separate from a defender after executing the move. We start with a ‘Crossover’ movement where the athlete repetitively steps over the line, focusing on keeping the toes pointed straight down the line, controlling knee tracking and posture with quick feet and rhythm. We also want to focus on simple change of direction movements in terms of body position. Foot placement and body position are the foundation for all our agility progressions and we know through motion analysis studies that many of the agility based movements in sport stem from the crossover movement and these 4 basic transitional patterns:
This is the footwork that must be mastered before we get into the advanced drills. Understanding foot placement and body position in these patterns translates into success on the field, both with and with out the ball. Have your players watch these videos to help them understand good movement and then show them the video below where we start to bring it all together.
To learn more about our speed and agility training programs, or to order our speed and agility eBook – Training the 10 Types of Speed: Sports Speed & Agility – you can click on the link below or visit our educational site www.athletefit.com.
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