[Try This] Partner Agility Drill for Athletes
If you’ve kept up with these performance-enhancing posts, you might know that agility training is a sham. At least the “agility drills” that most coaches are proudly showcasing on Instagram and YouTube. Those drills are bogus. They’re not-very-effective. They’re eye-wash.
And I hold this stance because darting through an agility ladder over and over again is like learning a dance. It doesn’t matter how complex it looks, or how many wrenches you throw in it. A brain-dead bonobo could learn how to do it if you give him enough time.
Real agility training is much more than rushing through ladders, curling cones, and hopping hurdles.
In exercise science terms, agility training is a change of direction drill with a reaction component.
This means, in this drill, you’re quickly analyzing stimulus and taking action to react appropriately.
Doesn’t sound like ladders, cone drills, or hurdle hops fit that bill, does it?
No they don’t. Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t use them to build up to real agility training (because you do have to prepare your body properly for this kind of training or you risk injury).
All this said, I want to share a drill that’s the epitome of agility training.
It’s a great tool for basketball players who want to become lockdown defenders, tennis players who want to move swiftly on the court, baseball players who want to grab more bags…
It can help a variety of athletes.
The Mirror Drill
The mirror drill is a partner drill that enhances your lateral change of direction ability. It achieves by forcing you to mirror your partner and stay in line with their belly button.
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To perform this drill, you’ll need a partner.
Set up cones to be the boundaries for the distance you can move laterally. I like to set them up anywhere between 3-5 yards.
When the cones are set, you’ll face away from your partner. Your partner will say GO and you’ll do a 180 to try and mirror him by shuffling laterally.
This drill is great to improve your proprioception, reactions, and lateral movement…
You should’t perform this drill without hitting on the prerequisites of agility training.
Remember above when I said I might use ladders, cones, and hurdles to build up to real agility training?
That’s because all out agility training can be dangerous if not prepared.
I usually perform the mirror drill in the third phase of the training block.
In the previous phases, I worked on inversion, version of the ankle to prevent injury,
Developed abduction/adduction of the hip for the same reason,
Performed lateral change of direction movements to instill sound mechanics.
And THEN I sprinkle in some reaction training.
You should do the same for the sake of more efficient movement patterns, faster gains, and overall safety.
I share how to do this in this blog post: