Get Quick With an Agility Progression Sequence, Part 1

June 2, 2011

Athletes are always working to improve agility and quickness. Many coaches and trainers believe drills, or a combination of repetitive movements, will help their athletes gain an advantage against the competition.

Gaining agility and quickness for game-time situations involves many components. True agility isn’t just moving at different speeds in different directions; it’s moving in all directions with great speed in response to a stimulus.

Just as strength training follows a progression, agility and quickness training should also progress: from simple change-of-direction drills—closed [or set pattern] drills that use anticipation and pattern recognition, such as the Pro Agility Run—to advanced, open [cue-based or reactive] drills that combine complex movements with reactive elements, forcing you to respond to verbal or visual cues . . . just like in most sports.

Follow the guidelines, progressions and exercises below to take your agility program to new heights.

Level 1 – Basic Agility

This level uses set patterns of cones or lines as markers. Focus on technique, body position, basic cuts and movements.

90-Degree Hard Cut Cone Drill

  • Set three cones five yards apart in an “L” pattern
  • Starting at the top of the "L," run five yards to cone B, plant outside leg and make a sharp left cut to cone C, at a 90-degree angle from cone B
  • Set up cones to create a backwards "L"; perform drill, cutting to the right at cone C
  • 3x5 each way

Up and Back Plant [Variation of Backpedal Progression Drill]

  • Set two cones 10 yards apart
  • Sprint from cone A to Cone B
  • At cone B, sink hips, keeping weight over toes; plant and backpedal back to cone A
  • 3x5

Coaching Point: Work on planting off both right and left legs

180-Degree Run and Turn

  • Set out two cones, 10 to 15 yards apart
  • Sprint from cone A to cone B
  • At cone B, stop, plant and pivot 180 degrees
  • Facing cone A, sprint toward it
  • At cone A, stop, plant and pivot 180 degrees
  • Repeat sequence
  • 3x3; aim for runs under 10 seconds

Coaching Point: Work to pivot off of both left and right legs

360-Degree Run and Turn

  • Set out four to six cones 10 yards apart
  • Sprint from cone A to cone B
  • At cone B, slow down, drop hips, plant and pivot 360 degrees to face cone C
  • Sprint to cone C and repeat, doing a 360-degree turn
  • 3x5

Coaching Point: Do right and left turns

Check back later this week for Part 2 of this Agility Progression Sequence.

Mark Roozen
- Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is the Director of Performance at Day of Champions Sport Camps. He recently was a member of the Cleveland Browns...
Mark Roozen
- Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is the Director of Performance at Day of Champions Sport Camps. He recently was a member of the Cleveland Browns...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,225,585
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,297,638
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,779,213

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,298
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 6,362
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 127,960
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,654
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,612
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,718
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

6 Essential Multi-Directional Speed Drills

Want to have quick feet, blazing speed and the ability to juke people out of their shoes? Good, let's get to work with some speed drills. Before we do I...

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

3 Acceleration Drills for a Faster First Step

The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

3 Simple Steps to Get Quick

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Run Faster and Longer

Sprinting Technique Errors and How to Fix Them

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

Deceleration: The Missing Link for Hockey Speed Training

4 Speed Training Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Todd Durkin's 5 Drills for Faster Sprints

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Supreme Speed: 6 Training Tips from Football's Fastest Man