Integrating Agility Exercises Into Your Drills

Coordination/Agility

Coordination and Agility Exercises

At the highest levels of the game, there is one physical quality in which the top players in the game are consistently better than their peers when tested.  That quality is agility. 

Agility can be thought of as a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength and endurance. A player’s ability to control the ball and make game specific movements repeatedly without losing speed and efficiency due to fatigue are functions of agility and/or coordination.  A player's ability to contro their body correctly when changing direction is also critical to avoiding injury.

Agility and coordination can be improved through training, and we are most able to improve these qualities when player are young.  Agility training must be a constant part of the training environment to help players maximize their development potential.

Basics:

Agility and coordination activities train the central nervous system (CNS) to move the body more efficiently.  An increase in the efficiency of movement will increase speed, increase sport specific strength, increase stamina, and should decrease the frequency of injury.

  • These activities are most effective when the CNS is not fatigued and the players can perform the required movements or patterns very precisely.
  • Players should be in groupls and able to rest briefly between repetitions.
  • The benefit of this type of training is seen over time.  It can take 4-6 weeks of correct repetition to see significant improvement.
  • At first, exercises should be performed with attention to the technical perfection of the movement.  At the beginning, speed is not important.  "Form" is the most important thing to concentrate on.  When movements are learned correctly, players can begin to perform the movements as quickly as possible.
  • Whenever possible, integrate this type of training into training activities to get repetition without losing time for players to be on the ball.

Check out the videos we've posted for ideas on using ladders or "cone ladders" with your team.