How to Build Your Base for Agility

Every time I look around, it seems like the athletic world is descending into chaos around me. Coaches on social media platforms are sharing exercises and drills that could end in injury for many athletes. That’s not to say these exercises are bad. But most athletes don’t have the base to perform these drills.

This is especially true in the case of agility.

Agility drills are probably one of the most shared categories of drills on social media platforms. And they’re probably the kind of training that most athletes get hurt doing.

That’s why I take at least a month before I perform real agility training with my athletes (if you don’t know, real agility training is change of direction training with a reaction component).

And I want to share a couple of drills that will help you build a strong base to ensure safety (and faster athletic gains) when performing real agility drills:

Single Leg Lateral Line Hops

You’re probably rolling your eyes right now, and that’s okay. Because while you skip the simple stuff, the guys who actually do the simple stuff will have a huge competitive edge over you.

This drill builds inversion/eversion of the ankle and abduction/adduction of the hip.

To do this drill, find a line and hop over it. Spend as little time on the ground as possible while staying under control. This means you jump the same distance over the line each time, and you’re not moving forward or back when you jump.

You’ll also want to keep your center of gravity over the line.

Perform 2 sets of 10 seconds as quick as you can each change-of-direction session.

Three Cone Jumps

The lateral line hop progresses to three cone jumps.

To perform this drill, you’ll set up three cones in a line, each one your foot’s length apart from each other. Start at the one to the far left on one leg, toe in line with the cone. Then, jump laterally to land with your toe in line with the next cone. Spend as little time as possible on the ground, and react of the ground to jump to the last cone.

One you reach the last cone, quickly change directions and come back.

This drill can be tough, and it can be dangerous, so make sure you’re ready to perform it.

When you’re ready, you can increase the space between the cones, or add an extra cone.

Lateral Shuffle Shuttle

This last drill is another simple one, but if you do it right, it will instill sound change of direction mechanics.

The lateral shuffle shuttle is just like the pro shuttle, except you’ll set up three cones, equidistant from each other, in a five yard span. Start at the center cone, then shuffle out to the left, change directions and shuffle five yards to the right, change directions again and end at the middle cone.

Do this going both directions.

It’s really important that you focus on shuffling with proper mechanics here, or else this drill is a waste of time. For one, your feet should never come within hip width, and they definitely shouldn’t touch. Also, make sure you’re not hopping to reach the cone.

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