How do you spice up a training session?
If you’re La Liga soccer team CD Leganés, you hurl giant exercise balls at your players:
The goal for the athlete appears to be to grab a pinny off each of the four cones before getting hit by a ball.
While it might look a little whacky, this is not the first time we’ve seen exercise balls being used to add a chaotic element to the training of professional athletes (though this is probably the most difficult iteration we’ve seen).
For example, these drills used by New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray:
“Anything you have to react to pertains to the field more than anything (else). I don’t know where he’s going to throw the ball, I don’t know how he’s going to toss it, I don’t know how the ball’s going to bounce. All those things are unknowns, just as if you’re going against a defender,” Murray told STACK of the drill.
“I think those are the things that pertain to the field more than anything.”
These sort of drills add several unknowns into the equation, training the athlete to quickly analyze their surroundings and make split-second decisions.
As we cover in this article, that’s what agility in sport is all about.
If you know every move you’re going to make before you start the drill, you’re really just training change of direction. While such drills have their place, most team sport athletes could benefit from more open-ended agility drills.
And as you can see, they can also be a whole lot of fun.