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Many of our features this summer focus on helpful tips, workouts and drills that players can use during the offseason – no matter if they have access to a lacrosse field or not. When it comes to getting the body prepared for the rigors of the lacrosse season, there are a number of useful drills and workouts players can turn to.
In this week’s player development feature, we highlight 12 easy drills to improve agility. The drills — led by renowned strength & conditioning coach Alan Stein — are easy to implement and only require a few cones. Then, see how your hard work pays off for the upcoming season when you have an added advantage on the competition.
Agility is defined as the ability to start, stop, and change direction at full speed. It’s important in every sport. It’s also key to be able to react at a split second, whether it’s for a ball or reacting to an opponent’s move. When working on changing direction, it’s also important to key in on footwork, body balance, and the ability to accelerate and decelerate effectively.
Key Coaching Points:
1) Change direction from a low, athletic stance
2) Keep your feet wide and your hips low
3) Use shorter, choppier steps when decelerating and keep the hips low
4) When accelerating, have a slight lean in the direction you want to go
5) Plant using a T-step, which is perpendicular to the direction you want to go
6) Practice planting off of both ankles equally
One at a time, start in the center (let’s say at the baseline of a basketball court) and then sprint to the center cone (set out at the foul line). For now, do everything to the right. Going to the right, we will plant off of our left foot heading into the first cone with slow deceleration, and then proceed to get the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing the next cone. Sprint directly at the next cone and run right through it.
This drill is the same as before, except now we are cutting at 90 degrees. Plant with the left and go right.
Again, this is the same as before, except now we are cutting at 45 degrees (diagonal but more backwards this time).
A coach will now call out a number as a player is approaching the center cone. 1 is for the top, 2 is for the middle and 3 is for down low. Do the same as before in terms of your cuts.
Remember go hard to the center cone, decelerate, plant with the right foot, and then sprint straight over at a 135-degree angle.
Remember, plant with the right and go left this time.
You’ll be cutting almost backwards on a diagonal.
Call out the same numbers as before.
Drill 9: Agility Square
Each player starts out in a different corner. Meanwhile, each player will do something different at the same time. The first player will sprint, turn and face the outside, touch the next cone, turn back, sprint again, and then touch the other cone with the left hand, turn back again, and then give a nice easy jog back to the near corner where the other player started out from.
The second player will sprint and then backpedal with the cones. Also, the third player will sprint to the cones but slide back (like a shuffle). The players will go through the same motions even when they get to the next corner. When players get to the next set, they should start things up again immediately.
This is similar to the agility square, but now players will go around a wheel established with the cones. Basically, it’s a circle of cones set 3-4 yards apart. There are about eight cones on the outside and one in the middle where the player starts out.
You can go clockwise or counter clockwise, but you must go around the horn. Start with sprints and touch each cone, then sprint and do side shuffles back, following by sprints and backpedals to each cone.
The follow clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “130 Pro Power Speed, Quickness, and Reaction Drills” with Alan Stein. Check out the entire collection featuring renowned strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein by clicking here.