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20 Drills to Increase Speed, Agility and Quickness
Speed, agility and quickness are three necessary ingredients for success in any sport, but most particularly in the fast-paced game of lacrosse. Whether it’s a making an effective split dodge or coming away with possession at the face-off X, having superior speed, agility and quickness will ultimately play a huge role in determining your success on the field.
By following these drills designed by Alan Stein, professional strength coach and owner of Stronger Team Strength and Conditioning Services, athletes will be able to make major strides with their overall speed and agility development while maximizing their athletic potential. Athletes will see improvements with their communication skills, mental focus and hand-eye coordination as well. Plus, the drills use minimal equipment, so they can be done anywhere by anyone and on any kind of budget.
This week’s workout is a standard warm-up intended to raise the body’s core temperature and make the muscles more relaxed. The workout — which should last between 5-15 minutes — features movement preparation, where the goal is to get athletes to go through all of the fundamental athletic movements they will need on the field.
In these speed and agility drills, eight key movements and motions are used: Forward Sprints, Back Pedals (focus on leaning forward with your chest out over knees), Side Shuffles (do not cross feet while ankles, knees, hips and shoulders stay square), Side Runs (waist and above stays square, but ankles, knees and hips facing the side), Jumps (stay stationary and vertical and land easy), Pivots (one leg moves in quarter pivots in one direction while other leg remains flat on the floor), Twists (running in one direction but looking another way) and Athletic Stance (keeping a wide base and a low center of gravity).
The following is a standard warm-up session aimed at improving overall speed and agility. Drills should be conducted for about 45 feet (half of a basketball court) before repeating over.
Speed, Agility and Quickness Workout #1
Drill 1: 3 Steps Forward and 1 Step Backward on Left (Go right, left, right and then step back with the left foot)
Drill 2: 3 Steps Forward and 1 Step Backward on Right (Go left, right, left and back on the right foot)
Drill 3: 3 Steps Backward and 1 Step Forward on Left (Go right, left, right and then forward with the left foot)
Drill 4: 2 Steps Forward and 2 Side Shuffles (Jog two steps and then laterally shuffle two steps. Stay nice and low with your hips square)
Drill 5: 2 Steps Back Pedal and 2 Side Shuffles (Same as before, just with back pedals)
Drill 6: 2 Steps Forward and 2 Cariocas (Focus on quick hip turns with your feet)
Drill 7: 2 Steps Back Pedal and 2 Cariocas
Drill 8: 2 Side Shuffles and Reverse Pivot (After pivot, you will be facing the opposition direction)
Drill 9: 2 Side Shuffles and Front Pivot (Same as before, just with a front pivot instead of back)
Drill 10: High Knee and Butt Kick Combo (Give two high knee kicks followed by two butt kicks and repeat. Always be moving forward)
Drill 11: Cross-Country Skier (Switching places with your feet and always moving forward. Legs will stay fairly straight but not stick-straight. Feet are always flat on the floor)
Drill 12: Basic Forward Skip with Arm Swing (Repeat with a backward skip and arm swing)
Drill 13: Lateral Skip with Arm Swing (Always be facing forward)
Drill 14: Basic Skip with Lateral Hip Movement (Skip and then rotate your hip out on the second hop. Repeat with high knee Out to In. Just opposite direction with knee from before)
Drill 15: Frankenstein Skip (Leg is extended straight out as shoe meets fingertips)
Drill 16: Carioca with High Knee Punch
Drill 17: Carioca with Quick Feet (Fast touches with feet out front and behind; rapid fire)
Drill 18: Skip with Dead Leg Left (Right leg is just trailing behind. Repeat with opposite side)
Drill 19: Forward Jog with Lookbacks (Every couple of steps forward, rotate, look back and put out your outside hand)
Drill 20: 45 Degree Angle Cuts – (Zig Zags forward. Stay low. Repeat with backward cuts. Give two drop steps and then switch directions. Similar to a basketball defender)
This workout can be seen on the Championship Productions DVD “130 “Pro Power” Speed, Quickness and Reaction Drills.” To view additional warm-up drills and more speed, agility and reaction workouts, visit our Performance Training homepage.