If your throwers are struggling to get their momentum moving in a single direction during their tosses, look no further than these drills from University of Akron throws coach Brian Forrester. The “Walking Pivot” and “Float/Float Sting” drills are designed to help athletes get their release straightened up.
Drill Summary: In the Walking Pivot, athletes set up in position 2, load their left knee, step in with a pre-cocked right foot and do a wheel drill over the top. Continue to do this going forward in a straight line. For the Float/Float Sting, set up in position 2 once again, shuffle step with the left foot twice, then execute a Sting. After doing one rep, return to the starting position and repeat.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Load the left knee.
2) Pre-cock the right foot.
3) Good posture.
4) Get things moving in the same direction.
Dolphin kicking is an essential skill that all swimmers should be able to execute with good balance in the water. Coley Stickels, 14-time NCAA All-American with the University of Arizona, uses the “Quad 4 Drill” to get swimmers comfortable dolphin kicking and help determine their dominant side.
Drill Summary: This drill can be executed with or without fins. The swimmer pushes off from the wall and executes four dolphin kicks on their stomach, then transitions into four dolphin kicks on their right side, does four more dolphin kicks on their stomach and finishes with four dolphin kicks on their left side. The kicks in this drill are meant to be rapid, and swimmers should try to be nearly all the way on their sides when they shift away from the stomach. For most swimmers, all 16 kicks should get them far enough for the entire length of the pool.
Shadow wrestling should be an integral part of the developing wrestler’s training regimen. Doug Schwab, University of Northern Iowa head coach, has his entire team work on down blocking and firing in this exclusive look into his program’s all-access DVD.
Drill Summary: Wrestlers find an open spot on the mat and work on down blocking and firing during their shadow wrestling routine. Coach Schwab instructs his wrestlers to be quick, bend the knees to generate power, stop the opponent and sting them. Next, transition into working on low-level attacks. Remember to stay loose and be limber in the low stance while remaining totally in control of all your movements.
Dr. Tommie White, University of Southern California assistant coach, uses the “Desensitization Hurdler’s Drill” to help hurdlers get better at jumping over different hurdle heights. By alternating the height of every other hurdle in this drill, athletes are forced to be consistent with their jumps and maintain speed over the varying hurdles.
Drill Summary: In this drill, alternate the height of every other hurdle for your athlete. As they become more comfortable running and jumping over those hurdle heights, gradually increase the heights until the hurdles are as high as desired.
Keys to the Drill:
4) Overcoming fear.
If you want your middles to become better blockers, cleaning up their footwork is the first thing you should target. Dennis Hohenshelt, University of Virginia head coach, teaches his players the “First Step Movement” drill to improve their first step and initial reaction to the direction of the ball.
Drill Summary: In the first progression, have the middle blocker stand at the net in the ready stance and have a coach stand on the other side of the net. The coach points either left or right, and the player works on stepping with the correct foot toward the direction the coach points. In the second progression, add a setter and have the blocker read the angles of the setter’s hands to determine which way to step.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Read the coach.
2) Quick first step.
3) Don’t pick up your foot too much on the step.
4) Hips and toes pointed toward the pin after stepping.