3 Drills for Training Speed and Agility in the Sand

July 29, 2012

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Sand is a great training tool for improving speed and agility. It provides resistance that challenges your muscles, helping to make you faster and more explosive. The constant shifting under your feet engages small stabilizer muscles that improve balance and reduce the risk of injury. Plus, sand training gives you an excuse to work out in the great outdoors.

Below you will find three sand training drills that will improve your speed and agility. You can perform them on the beach, a sand volleyball court or a long-jump pit. A sandbox might be too small. Perform these drills once or twice a week during your speed workouts.

Sand Training

Sand Agility Training

 

Start, Stop and Start

In sports, you rarely run long distances in a straight line. As its name suggests, this drill teaches you to start, stop and start again as quickly and efficiently as possible to simulate actual gameplay.

  • Place three cones five to 10 yards apart in a straight line
  • Assume starting stance at cone one
  • Sprint to and stop at cone two; slow down with small chopping steps and push hips back
  • Sprint to cone three

Sets/Reps: 3-5xdrill

When you are comfortable with this drill, remove the middle cone. Have a partner call out when to start and stop to simulate the unpredictability of live competition.

Shuffle, Turn and Sprint

Shuffling is a transitional movement. It's not something that you perform for an extended period of time on the field. This drill improves this aspect of your game by teaching you to transition from a shuffle to a sprint.

  • Place three cones five to 10 yards apart in a straight line
  • Assume athletic stance facing side of cone one
  • Shuffle right to cone two
  • Pivot on left foot to turn body toward cone three
  • Sprint to cone three
  • Perform drill in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 3-5xdrill

Once you are comfortable with this drill, get a partner to throw a ball ahead of you as you turn out of your shuffle, and strive to catch it. This will help to focus your sprinting efforts and make you faster.

Backpedal, Turn and Sprint

This drill teaches you how to backpedal and change direction into a sprint. Similar to the shuffle, backpedaling is a transitional movement, but it's still an essential part of your game.

  • Place three cones five to 10 yards apart in a straight line
  • Assume athletic stance facing away from cone one
  • Backpedal to cone two
  • Pivot 180 degrees on left foot to face cone three
  • Sprint to cone three
  • Perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 3-5xdrill

Again, once you are comfortable with this drill, get a partner to throw a ball ahead of you as you turn at cone two, and strive to catch it. This will help to focus your sprinting efforts and make you faster.

John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
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