Whatever sport takes you to the field, there are always ways to better yourself and advance your athletic skills.
The best coaches in the game have a sage piece of advice to their players. This same piece of advice can also be attributed to the training process. That advice is to persevere. But I’m sure we don’t have to tell you that.
Each of us knows that in reality, nothing comes easy. At least, nothing worth anything.
When you got your spot on the team, you still had to continue fighting to earn your place there. Why should it be any different off the field? Self-help and wellness don’t have to be confined to the therapist’s couch – it can be used to improve your speed and agility on the field.
If you’re looking for ways to improve, you’re in the right place.
1. Pro-Agility Shuffle
Although quite a common agility drill, the Pro Agility Shuttle is also a complex and explosive training method. As well as being primarily designed for football players looking to speed train, it’s also a great method of increasing in-game coordination.
Also known as the 5-10-5, it involves a five-yard sprint to the right, a 10-yard sprint to the left, and then another 5-yard sprint to the right. Think of the shape of an A-frame house and you’ve got it.
- Start narrow and stay low during turns: Your beginning stance should be compact. Keep your knees slightly broken and your head down.
- Plant foot on the inside of the turn lines: Keeping your center of gravity is incredibly important in training and on the field.
- Run past the finish line: Lunging for that extra millisecond might cause damage. It’s not worth it.
2. Plyometric Agility Hurdles
Despite the use of hurdles, plyometric training routines can be incredibly beneficial for players of contact sports. Although the name makes it sound fancy, it’s actually a tried-and-true workout that athletes have been using for more than fifty years.
Plyometric movements improve your explosive pushing power all throughout the body. Furthermore, some of the movements will also prepare your lower body for the absorption of sudden impact collisions.
- Do them start of your training session: Being fatigued will rob you of their benefits.
- Start small: Start your plyometric training with a small box/hurdle and build. Similarly, leave the complex jumps until later.
3. The 40-Yard Dash
The 40-yard dash is what separates the men from the boys and the athletes from the hobbyists. This run is essential in qualifying for other combines. It’s also the gold standard that NFL scouts are looking for in their players.
The 40-yard dash can make or break you and in order to do any of it right, it’s crucial that you train, train, and train some more.
- Start aggressively: Beginning in an aggressive, compact stance is key to getting the best start.
- Keep your best foot forward: Which foot is put back should be determined by your dominant hand. For example, if you’re right-handed, put your left foot back and vice versa.
- Focus on your breathing method: It’s essential to create abdominal pressure by stiffening your core. Hold your breath to maximize force generation.
- A good ending: Focus on your arms. Think of them as hammers, hammering back as your body thrusts forth.
4. The L-Drill
The L-Drill (or the 3-Cone) is closer to a dance than it is a game. However, it’s also where the most mistakes are made. While the L-Drill isn’t as common as other means of agility training like ladder or balloon training, you also don’t want to be caught short if the combine asks it of you.
- Start left-handed: Keep your left hand down and stay loose in your stance.
- Stay low: Again, staying low to the ground and level is crucial for balance, particularly during the first ten yards.
- Stay tight to the cone: Staying close to the cone can help you to avoid taking extra steps. A good tip in doing this is to drop your hips as you round the cone.
These speed and agility training drills are designed to work on your core and leg muscles, and they’re designed to mimic game intensity.
With the right speed and agility training, you can increase your performance, decrease the risk of injury, and truly stand out.