To be competitive when playing, the ability to quickly change direction is important. During a game, players need the skill to be able to accelerate and decelerate, create short, sharp movements by working through tight spaces and accelerate towards the ball – all while using speed and quick footwork to create space to set up play. Achieving this gives players an advantage over less agile opponents. Try the following exercises to help improve your agility:
• Double feet jumps over mini hurdles
• Ladder drills (using an agility ladder, available at Sportsmart):
– Running with high knees (one foot in each square)
– Single/double jumps and side-to-side jumps along the ladder
– Run-throughs (one foot in each square, then try variation of two feet in each square)
• Short sprints (20–50m) and running on the spot as fast as possible, then sprinting to a point and back at maximum pace.
• Cone sprints: Set up cones diagonally over a distance of 20–30m. Sprint to one cone then change direction and sprint to another cone etc as fast as possible. Repeat this process.
• Cross sprinting (sprinting with change of direction): Start at the middle point of an area then sprint to the top point, then straight back to the middle. Repeat this process by running to either side as well as up and down.
Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler
(0433 826 944)