We focus on four patterns so we can become very accurate with our feet. I tell our players: “You have to have fast feet to be a good football player, but you’ve also got to be able to move your feet correctly to be effective.”
We perform two reps of all four patterns, with 45 seconds of rest between reps. The first drill is straight ahead, two feet in every hole. We finish it with a three-yard burst in a low, hitting position. One of our coaches stands with his arms out at chest level, and we run under his arms.
The next drill is a lateral shuffle, two feet in every hole. When you get to the end of the ladder, rip your elbow around and explosively turn your shoulders so you can sprint three yards to the coach.
Next we do a single Icky Shuffle. Starting on the right side of the ladder, step your left, then your right foot into the first hole. Plant on your left foot outside the ladder, then step your right and then left foot into the second hole; plant on your right foot outside the ladder. Repeat that the whole way, finishing with the burst.
Last, we put two ladders side by side and do the Double Icky Shuffle. It’s the same as the single icky: starting on the right side of the ladders, step your left and then right foot into the first hole. But follow that by placing your left and then right foot into the first hole of the second ladder. Plant on your left foot outside the ladders; then step your right and then left foot into the second hole of the first ladder, and then the second hole of the second ladder. Plant on your right foot outside the ladders, and repeat that all the way through. Because it’s the fourth and longest pattern, fatigue sets in; so we focus more on quality than on how quickly they perform it.
Tom Moffitt is the head strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana State University.