Three Ways to Increase Reaction Time | STACK

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Three Ways to Increase Reaction Time

September 1, 2010 | Featured in the September, 2010 Issue

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Keep your cuts above the rest by performing these advanced reaction time exercises, which use cues to optimize your ability to change direction efficiently.

Cognitive Reaction Time Exercises

Four-Cone Color Reaction Drill

  • Create box using four colored cones spread five yards apart (or use cones with colored paper)
  • Assume athletic position at center
  • React to partner’s color command and sprint to appropriate cone
  • Plant feet and touch cone
  • Sprint to center of box and react to partner’s next command
  • Continue for specified duration

Sets/Duration: 4x30 seconds

Audible Reaction Time Exercises


  • Create a T using four cones spread five yards apart; partner stands at top of T just beyond middle cone
  • Sprint to middle cone and react to partner’s verbal command (“left,” “right” or “back”), shuffling left, right or backpedaling to start cone
  • Shuffle or sprint to middle cone and react to partner’s next command
  • Repeat for specified duration

Sets/Duration: 4x30 seconds

Visual Reaction Time Exercises

Tennis Ball Explosive Starts

  • Assume sport-specific start position with partner standing five yards in front holding tennis ball in hand with arm raised to side
  • Explode into sprint as soon as ball drops
  • Bend at hips to catch ball off one bounce
  • Continue 10 yards after catch Increase distance from partner for each rep

Sets/Reps: 1x6 with 40 seconds rest

Related Exercises

Tennis Ball Explosive Starts
Four-Cone Color Reaction Drill
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
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