Agility Training

29 Aug

Linear speed is important, in sports, especially if you’re a sprinter.  Additionally, most athletes also need to be able to stop suddenly (and start again, quickly), change direction, and react to their opponents, all while controlling the ball.  These movements are what constitute Agility.

Agility Training is not necessarily complicated, provided you work with a trainer who understands how to train for this skill and how to incorporate Agility Training into your program.  The ability to change direction and react to situations should be your focus.

Agility technique is fundamental to Agility training.

  • The roles of visual focus (similar to sprinting) and arm action while sprinting – especially during the initial acceleration – are important in Agility training.
  • Safe and effective Plyometric training can be adapted to Agility drills.
  • Assisted and resisted sprinting are effective to increase stride length and frequency; and improve explosive arm and knee “punching” action and leg drive off the ground.
  • Basic fitness, strength, and power training are also integral to Agility training.

Agility Training should include three (3) components:

  • Acceleration and Deceleration – the ability to start and stop, and to speed up and slow down.
  • Change of Direction – the ability to alternate quickly between movements in any direction: forward, backward, lateral, and diagonal.
  • Reaction – the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and/or change direction, based on a coach’s visual or auditory signal or cue, or a teammate’s move.

Like Speed, Agility doesn’t really exist outside the context of lower-extremity strength and power.  The more force you are able to generate against the ground, the more effectively you will be able to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction.  Therefore, Strength training should be an important part of any Agility training program.

Research demonstrates that high-intensity, short-duration activities are useful in the recruitment and development of Type II (fast-twitch) muscle fibers.  When configuring a training session, “Speed and Agility drills should be conducted early in a training session and structured around brief exercise bouts with frequent relief or recovery periods.” (Baechle and Earle; Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning)

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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One Response to “Agility Training”

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  1. You Can’t Do It All in the Weight Room | Athletic Performance Training Center - April 1, 2015

    […] and Agility […]

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