It's always exciting to see an athlete weave through traffic. How about a running back breaking through two ranks of defenders for a touchdown. What can top that? How about a point guard using foot speed too split a double-team and speed to the hoop for a slam dunk.
These sensational examples illustrate why foot-speed drills are beneficial training for any sport. Done regularly, they can translate to significant performance improvements on the field or court.
Tired of your usual drills? Looking for new training tools to enliven your speed program? (Or just plain tired? Improve foot speed when fatigued.) Give a dot mat or the Nike Sparq speed box a try. They are both great for training quick feet. Here's why, with a few drills to get you started.
A dot map looks like the five face on a dice. Dot drills can be done for timed sets to train quick feet. They can also be used to build endurance.
2 in 2 out
- Start at bottom of mat with left foot on bottom left dot and right foot on bottom right dot
- Hop quickly placing both feet on middle dot
- Hop to top two dots, left foot on left dot, right foot on right dot, landing with both feet
- Repeat in reverse (2 in 2 out)
This drill is hard to get right away, so walk yourself through it slowly at first, then gradually pick up the pace.
- Start with both feet at bottom right dot
- Step with left foot to middle dot
- Touch right foot to top right dot and left foot to top left dot
- Touch right foot to middle dot, left foot to bottom left dot, and right foot to bottom right dot
- Repeat for time
Nike Sparq Speed Box
When using the Sparq speed box, an athlete can do sets and reps for time. The ideal time is between 15 and 20 seconds per set.
- Start with one foot on box and other foot on ground
- Quickly switch feet back and forth, never letting heels drop
- Count number of switches, and progressively try for more switches within the 15- to 20-second duration
- Start with right foot on box and left foot on ground to left of box
- Quickly switch feet, bringing left foot onto box and right foot off box to right
- Repeat as quickly as possible
- You will look like you are skiing
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