|The agility ladder is an unmatched tool in the development of agility and footwork in all athletes. The ladder is a portable tool that can vary in length and style. Many ladders come in 10-yard lengths (and can often be separated into 2 five-yard lengths). The ladder is basically what it sounds like, a long strip of sections usually 16 inches square. I have seen coaches make this ladder by painting it on a grass field or even creating one out of athletic tape on a gym floor.|
The most basic patterns
in this ladder are running through it one foot in each square.
Emphasizing "fire feet" (as
if their feet are on fire and they are trying to stomp the fire out as quickly
as possible!). Next is running
stepping both feet in each square before going to the next one (lead with the
opposite foot the next time through). This
drill can also be performed laterally (side-stepping both feet into each square
– leading with the foot in the direction you are moving).
MORE ADVANCED PATTERNS
The progression moves to
more advanced patterns such as Cariocas through the
ladder (placing one foot in each square) emphasizing "fire feet".
runs involve running down one of the sides of the ladder placing the
outside foot in the first square and the inside foot outside the next square
etc. My favorite quickness
developer is the
drill. This drill has the athlete standing outside the first ladder square
(positioned laterally). The athlete
1) steps with the foot in the direction of the movement, into the first square.
2) Follows with the trail foot into the same square. 3) Steps back outside the
ladder with the lead foot. 4) Follows with the trail foot.
The athlete keeps progressing down the entire ladder using this
"4-count" pattern at each square.
You can train reactive
Plyometric patterns with the ladder. Basic
movements like 2 foot jumps in each
square (forward or laterally) or single
foot hops (forward and laterally). "In-and-outs" is a drill that I use that is similar to
hopscotch. 1) The athlete stands
with both feet in the first ladder square.
2) He jumps and lands with both feet OUTSIDE the same square. 3) He jumps
back into the next square (both feet) 4) He jumps back OUTSIDE the same square.
The athlete moves through this pattern the length of the ladder
emphasizing "fire feet" and extreme quickness. Another great Plyometric
drill is quick
skips through the ladder (emphasizing almost NO knee lift) just the fire
feet in a skipping pattern! The agility "ladder" is a great tool for
developing foot quickness…give it a try!
Dos Remedios' Website
for ladder drill videos
(On the football page under "video")