TD1 Minute: Three-Cone Drill

Learn how to run a perfect three-cone drill in the latest episode of TD1 Minute.

In this TD1 Minute weekly series, Kurt Hester, National Training Director for D1 Sports Training and a driving forces behind The Dominant One Challenge, offers instructional tips on how to master your training and dominate your sport. In week two, Hester provides detailed guidelines on proper technique for the Three-Cone Drill. For more information on the TD1 Challenge, visit their website at

The Three-Cone Drill is used at the NFL Combine to measure acceleration and change of direction. It's an excellent measure of speed for skill players like running backs, receivers and defensive backs, because it closely mirrors the explosive moves they make during games. NFL scouts also use the drill to test an athlete's ability to sustain maximum agility and acceleration.

Set up for the drill by spacing three cones in a right triangle five yards apart. When you run the drill, you'll make a total of three turns, running around two cones, for a total of 30 yards. Here's the best way to run the Three-Cone Drill:

Step 1
Assume 40-Yard Dash start stance—preferably with left hand on the line—and take a deep breath.

Step 2
Drive off left foot and sprints five yards. Decelerate and plant on right foot with chin tucked to knee and right hand touching line.

Step 3
Sprint to first cone. Decelerate and plant on right foot with chin tucked to knee and right hand touching line.

Step 4
Sprint slightly past cone two, plant on left leg, turn and sprint to inside of cone three.

Step 5
Plant left foot at cone three and open up hips to round cone.

Step 6
Sprint as quickly as possible around cone two to finish at cone one. Dip left shoulder at cone two; do not cut or decelerate.

Find more drills to improve your agility and check out the first entry in this series: TD1 Minute: The Bench Press.

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