Derrick Rose is one of the most dominant basketball players in the world. Wes Welker is one of the most feared wide receivers in the world. What do they have in common? They're two of the quickest athletes in the world.
But here's some good news: quickness drills can help you develop into one of the most feared players on the field, too! Use these tips and drills to help improve your foot quickness and begin to dominate in your sport.
Let's start off with the equipment you need. Don't have an agility ladder? That's okay! A 45-pound weight plate or a two-inch box or a couple of books will work great. Speed coach Lee Taft has developed world-class speed using two- to four-inch boxes. A low box or a weight plate gives you an elevated target, which your feet must touch during the footwork drills. It's a great way to learn how to move and pick up your feet as fast as possible.
With most quickness drills, the athlete's feet end up sliding or skidding back and forth, never really coming off the ground. But when an athlete sprints or changes direction during a game, his feet must leave the ground and then immediately drive right back; so it's important to train functionally with drills that actually make your feet get on and off the ground.
Low Box Drills
Here are some low box drills to improve your foot speed. As long as you stay low in a good athletic position and move your feet as fast as possible, you are on the right track!
- On, On, Off, Off
- Ali Shuffle
- Forward/Backward Hops (one or two feet)
- Lateral Skaters
- Lateral On, On, Off, Off
- Side/Side Hops (one or two feet)
Make sure you are moving as fast as you possibly can. Most athletes get comfortable moving at one speed, which can make it very hard to get quicker. You must move as fast as possible to develop a new gear of quickness. Keep in control and make sure you are doing the drill correctly, but move FAST!
How to Perform the Drills
Perform a total of six to 10 sets of six to 10 seconds. You can use one drill per day and do six sets of it, or mix and match drills. You can also pair them up linearly (forward and backward) or laterally (side-to-side); mix linear and lateral drills and perform them on the same day; or have a linear drill day and do lateral drills the next time.
Low box drills are a great way to develop the foot speed and quickness you need to dominate on the field. But remember, you must challenge yourself and move as fast as possible to develop that next gear of quickness. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connor Flahive is the owner and head sports performance coach at Flahive's Advanced Strength Training (F.A.S.T.) in Park Ridge, Ill. F.A.S.T. specializes in strength, power and speed training for power sports. Flahive is a certified high school strength and conditioning specialist through the IYCA. He played football at the D-I level while earning his bachelor's degree in exercise science at Northern Illinois University. Visit his website at flahivetraining.com and view his channel at youtube.com/flahive43.
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