4 Footwork Drills for Football Quickness

Perform these High Neural training drills to improve your foot quickness for football.

When you see a running back make a crazy cut and gain yards, or a defensive lineman sack the quarterback, it started with explosive quickness developed by football footwork drills. Foot quickness hinges not on moving your legs fast, but on the ability to apply great ground force in a short period of time and get your foot back off the ground as fast as possible. One of the best ways to develop this skill comes straight out of the Ignition APG Speed Coach Certification, and it's called High Neural Training. Let's explore High Neural Training and learn four football footwork drills for quickness.

RELATED: Quickness Drills with the New England Patriots

What are High Neurals?

Ignition classifies "High Neural" training as drills performed with high intensity for short duration. The drills develop leg stiffness and a hard foot/ankle, which means tighter muscles when they are not being flexed. This stiffness allows for a better transfer of force from the athlete to the ground and vice-versa. The drills also teach athletes how to bounce their foot off the ground, limiting ground contact time (a huge factor in moving quickly). Finally, the drills develop neuro-muscular coordination and fine-tune the ability to use your arms and legs together, enhancing athletic movement.

RELATED: Improve Quickness With Lateral Speed Drills

How to Perform High Neurals

  • Duration: up to 6 seconds per set
  • Rest Duration: 20 to 45 seconds per set
  • Progressions: add additional sets and reps; progress from simple to complex drills

High Neural footwork drills for football

High Neural Training may be performed with anything from a tape line on the floor to a mini-hurdle, but we prefer floor rings. Here are our four favorite High Neural Drills for football quickness.

Ring Switch Foot ( using 18-inch floor rings )

  • Stand in a split stance, right foot in the circle, left foot out.
  • Knees are bent and heels come off the ground.
  • With both elbows bent, take your left hand forward.
  • On go, switch hand and foot placement as fast as possible for 6 seconds.
  • Rest as stated above and repeat for 3 sets.

Ring In Out Step

  • Stand behind the ring in an athletic stance.
  • Hands stay neutral.
  • On Go, step your right foot in followed by your left foot, then step back out in the same sequence as fast as possible for 6 seconds.
  • Perform 2 sets with each foot as leader, allowing for adequate rest between.

RELATED: Improve First-Step Quickness

Ring Icky Shuffle

  • Stand on your left foot with a ring to your right side and your right foot off the ground.
  • On go, step laterally into the ring with your right foot followed by your left foot.
  • Step out to the right side of the ring on your right foot and raise your left foot off the ground.
  • Reverse the pattern back across the circle and repeat as fast as possible for 6 seconds.
  • Perform 3 sets allowing for adequate rest between.

Ring Icky Double Tap

  • With the ring to your right side, stand outside the ring in an athletic position.
  • On go, step laterally into the ring with your right foot followed by your left foot.
  • Step out of the ring to the right on your right foot, and tap your trail foot on the ground outside the ring.
  • Reverse the pattern and repeat as fast as possible for 6 seconds.
  • Perform 3 sets allowing for adequate rest between.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | SPEED DRILLS | STANCE | FOOTWORK DRILLS