As summer training kicks into high gear during the month of August, it’s important to ensure that athletes are covering all their bases in preparation for fall sport participation, and that includes improving their agility training. Often I have athletes come to me with the desire to – get faster and more explosive.
This is a common goal among young athletes, as they start to realize the importance of speed and efficient footwork across almost every sport. My answer to them is usually – to be fast you have to be strong. There is no substitute for the work needed in the gym to make strength improvements and ultimately that strength into explosive power.
The other facet that can improve an athlete’s explosive power is agility and plyometric drills. The drills can and should be tailored towards sport-specific movements and footwork, but I am going to take you guys through a few of my favorite general agility and plyo drills. Each drill should be performed at maximum effort for about 10-15 seconds, with enough time to fully recover. It’s okay to feel tired or winded – the idea is to target to ATP PCr energy system (responsible for a maximum of 15 seconds of all out work) for maximum power output. These drills require minimal equipment and are great for all athletes. Enjoy and happy training!
1. 3-Hurdle Step-Over + Stabilize
2. Colored Cone Reaction Drill
3. 5-Cone Acceleration/Deceleration Drill
TRAINER TIP: When putting together an agility program, select about 6-8 exercises to go through in a circuit style, controlling the tempo with a proper work:rest ratio depending on the demands of your sport. Perform that workout 2-3 times/week for about 3-4 weeks in order to master it before changing the exercises.