The Best Drills for Improving Balance and Agility

STACK Expert John Papp shares the best drills he has found for training balance and agility.

When you think of a great athlete, what attributes come to mind?

Speed, strength, power? But what about balance?

Balance can make or break a game winning play—for example, if a running back has the speed and agility to make lightning fast cuts but can't keep his balance when stopping on a dime and hitting a spin move to make a defender miss, then it means nothing.

Below are the best drills I have found for training balance and agility. We use them regularly with our athletes at Xceleration Fitness.

For each of the drills, set up five cones evenly spaced in a half circle. For correct spacing, stand in the center of the circle, then jump off your left foot as far to the right as you can. Set up the cone far enough away that you don't land on it.

Half Moon Drill

  • Starting in the center of the circle, jump off your right foot to the cone furthest to your left.
  • Land on your left foot, then jump back with your right foot to the center of the circle.
  • Repeat this jumping pattern as you move around the circle, landing at the various cones.
  • Make sure to jump off the opposite foot when going to the right.

Half Moon Drill: Visual Number Call Out

  • Go to the center of the circle and have a partner stand across from you outside the circle.
  • Label the cones 1 to 5 from left to right.
  • Stand in the center and jump back and forth in place.
  • Have your partner hold up a random number of fingers, and jump to the corresponding cone.
  • Return to the center, jumping in place, waiting for your partner to indicate the next choice.

Half Moon Drill: Verbal Number Call Out

  • Again go to center of the circle and have a partner stand across from you outside the circle.
  • Stand in the center and jump back and forth in place.
  • Have your partner call out numbers verbally and jump to the corresponding cones.

Half Moon Drill: Verbal Number Call Out with Ball Toss

  • Set up the same as the previous versions, but this time your partner needs a lacrosse ball or baseball.
  • Have your partner call out the number, and as you jump to the corresponding cone, your partner simultaneously tosses you the ball.
  • Catch the ball as you land and return the ball, then jump back to the center.

There you have it. Check out the above video for a demonstration and give these drills a shot.

Chase it!


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: DRILL | CONES | JUMPING