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Types of Agility Training
7th Nov

2018

Agility is a general term to describe the ability to maintain equilibrium (fancy word for balance) while performing types of sporting movements.

I like to classify agility in two ways:

Change of direction (COD)

This is simply how fast an athlete can change the direction they are moving either by cutting, weaving or stopping. They do not necessarily need to respond to a stimulus as the change of direction is already predetermined. For example, 505 drills, 45 degree cutting drills or any other drill that involves some sort of change in running. Training for this is good in early phases of training such as pre-season or with beginners as the athlete is establishing movement patterns that can help them in more advanced, reactive and game specific activities.

Train this the same as with speed. Low volume (<500m per session) and max intensity with full recovery. Game patterns that require <30m per sprint are good as it replicates game data across most team sports. Again, this depends on your training goal, but in general, these are good rules to follow.

Example session:

Group A- 505 drill. This group starts their reps every 30 seconds x 6 (90m)

Group B- 45 degree cut drill. Group starts on 45 seconds x 4 (120m)

Group C- Figure 8 (hourglass) drill. Group starts every 60s x 3 (120m)

Give each group 2 minutes rest at the end of each set, then rotate for a total of 15 minutes. This covers all facets of COD that can be used before any regular training session.

 

Reactive Agility

This is essentially like COD but becomes more sport specific because the athlete responds to a stimulus. This could be the sound of a whistle, a wave of a hand or reacting to another player. This is more specific to your sport and should be used once the athletes have a good base of speed or condition.

Example session:

Group A

2 in a box- 2 players enter a box (15m x 5m) from the middle of the 15m edges. The attacker initiates a sprint to one end and the defender has to react and then try to catch them. Encourage max effort. 2 x attacking efforts, 2 x defending efforts each.

Group B

45 degree cut- As above but there is a coach standing at the 10m mark. The athlete sprints to the coach and at the last second, the coach points left or right, and the athlete responds and finishes the drill. 4 efforts each.

Group C

Burner box- For 15 seconds, a player sprints forwards and backwards in a box (5m x 5m, athlete starts on a corner, and the other three corners are different colours) to a coloured cone that has been called out. They sprint backwards to their home cone each time. The aim is to sprint for the full 15s, stay low, and respond quickly. Start every minute, 3 efforts.

Each group gets to rest for 2 minutes and then rotates. 15 minutes total.

 

By incorporating both types of agility training across your training plan, you or your athletes will be in better shape to adjust to the demands of the sport!

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