How to Increase Agility in Sports


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Author: Michael Greeves

Speed and power make it possible for athletes to move rapidly across the field of play, but it is agility that is most effective in maneuvering through most sports situations. Athletes must constantly change directions, speed up or slow down, and combine movements to gain the advantage. On top of it all, they must rely on their sports-specific skills to make the plays. There are several ways to increase agility in sports.

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Strength, Power and Speed

In order to have great agility, the athlete should begin strength training and work on power training first. Weight training, ballistics and plyometrics can all be used to increase these attributes. Then, build straight-line speed with different kinds of sprinting exercises. With this solid foundation, the player will be ready to meet the challenges of agility training.

Ladder Drills

In many sports, footwork plays an important role. The player must move nimbly from point to point without stumbling or tripping. Setting up a ladder drill will help the athlete practice stepping quickly over a range of positions. It is easy to tell when you step into a safe area correctly, so fast positive reinforcement comes naturally. Because of this, your body – both nerve and muscle – learns how to achieve the required agility.

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Partner Chase Drills

In partner chase drills, you work with another player, taking turns as the head runner. The head runner runs at changing speeds, speeding up and slowing down randomly. He may be jogging one minute, walking the next, and running at maximum speed after that. The other runner must follow the head runner and match his speed as closely as possible. To make the exercise even more interesting, the head runner can change his run constantly between curved, zigzag and straight lines.

Weaving Drills

Weaving drills are popular for agility because they are so easy to set up and so effective. You simply set up cones in a line. Then, you sprint from one end of the cone line to the other, weaving in between the cones as you go. Unlike straight line running, this type of drill helps prepare your body for making sudden, sideways movements.

Sports-Specific Drills

The drills that are most sports-specific in appearance are those that use the equipment and playing field of the sport. There are specific exercises that can be done carrying or using a ball used in the sport.Basketball drills often involve running in different lines and acceleration speeds across a basketball court, and possibly reaching up to touch the rim.

However, just because an exercise uses the physical trappings of a sport does not mean it is necessarily the most advantageous for training in that sport. The right exercises and drills for training in agility for a sport will train the athlete in using the muscles and the nerves in the way she will be using them during competition.


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