Get Quick With an Agility Progression Sequence, Part 2 | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Get Quick With an Agility Progression Sequence, Part 2

June 4, 2011

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.

In Part 1 of this agility series, we addressed simple change-of-direction drills—closed [or set pattern] drills that use anticipation and pattern recognition. Here, in Part 2, we provide more advanced change-of-direction drills to help you further develop your agility.

Level 2 – Intermediate Agility

These change-of-direction drills focus on mechanics, body position and first-step explosiveness. Cones or other markers are used to form set patterns for you to run.

Cone Zigzag [On-Field Cutting Drill]

Set up cones in a zigzag pattern with cone A at the start and cone B five to seven yards away and two to three yards to the right. Set up cone C five to seven yards away from cone B and two to three yards to the left [lined up with cone A]. Place a total of eight to 10 cones in this pattern.

• Sprint from cone A to cone B, taking one step past cone B
• Drop hips, stop, plant and turn hips to backpedal toward cone C
• Repeat pattern for all cones

Front and Backpedal Break Drill

• Mark a starting line
• Sprint five to seven yards off the line
• Stop and Backpedal three to four yards; then plant and sprint forward five to seven yards
• Repeat pattern continuously for set distance
• Explode in and out of breaks
• 2x40 yards, with 45 second rest between sets

Arrow Drill

Perform enough sets and reps of this drill, with sufficient rest, so that it works quickness and is not just a conditioning drill.

• Mark a starting line
• Sprint forward; have a coach or teammate give verbal or visual cue to break to the left or right
• When cue is given, plant, open hips, turn and sprint back at a 45-degree angle either left or right

Pro Agility Run

• Set up three cones five yards apart
• Start at middle cone in three-point stance, feet shoulder-width apart, head up, and one hand on the ground
• Have a coach or teammate cue you to go either left or right; run in that direction
• Plant, touch the ground and sprint 10 yards in opposite direction to far cone
• Plant, touch the ground and sprint five yards back to middle cone

Coaching Point: To add variation for an advanced drill, have a coach/teammate give a verbal or visual cue to change direction before you get to a cone. This causes you to react to the cue instead of the cone.

Hula Hoop Drill

Mark a circle on the ground 10 feet in diameter [you can use PVC pipes hooked together]

• Set up cones in different spots five to 10 yards away from circle
• On command, run around the circle, staying on the edge of your feet
• On a command and direction cue, break out of run and sprint to indicated cone

Figure 8 Drill

Make two small rings, using hula hoops or other material.

• Set up cones in different spots five to 10 yards away from the hoops
• Run around the first hoop, then sprint around the second hoop in the opposite direction, making a Figure 8 pattern around the two hoops
• On cue, break out to indicated cone
• Make sure to run in both directions
• Keep runs short and intense

Basic Forward/Backward/Lateral Hurdle Runs

Set up two to 10 mini hurdles ranging from six to 12 inches, depending on height and ability. For long drills, begin at set point. For shorter drills, with three or  four cones, start in the middle and straddle a hurdle for lateral movement work. Feel free to perform pattern variations.

• Run forward or backward, stepping over the hurdles
• Run forward or backward, shuffling around the hurdles
• Run laterally over the hurdles, going in one direction, or have a coach/teammate give multiple direction cues
• Add Lateral Crossover Steps
• Perform Two-Leg Jumps and Single-Leg Hops going forward, backward and laterally

Perform for a certain number of reps or time—e.g., 2x20 seconds with 30-40 second rest.

Check back next week for the third and final part of this series, where we'll tackle even tougher agility drills.


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
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 4,327,938
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,295
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 4,093,103

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
Load More


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


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,504
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Stay on top of your speed game by utilizing these exercises in a sprint workout. Helpful for beginner and youth athlete teams to reinforce their...

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

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

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

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

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time