Being a good athlete does not only mean being able to run fast, it also needs to be coupled with agility in order to possess the ability to run fast while changing directions quickly without losing your footing. The Agility Cones help emulate a scene with a real field or court and real opponents. Training with agility cones further improves the ability of a player to run and change directions. Training with agility cones focuses on strengthening the legs, tendons, and core muscles of the lower extremities. The training should be intense in order to have the same feel and experience throughout the training. Your body will then adjust to moving around which also decreases the risk of injury. There are many agility cone drills that will help you improve your skills and some of these are listed below.
Drill 1: 1 2 3 Back
This drill works best with a partner or your coach. Place three cones in a straight line with 5-6 yards of distance in between and another cone perpendicular to your 3 cones at the center where the athlete stops/starts. There are four commands for this drill: back, 1, 2, and 3. When the coach says ‘back’ the athlete returns to the back cone and when he says ‘one’ the athlete goes to cone #1 and so on. The coach rattles off random commands to measure the athlete’s ability to change directions and process information. This is also a good training exercise for defense strategies.
Drill 2: L-Cone
This drill utilizes three cones placed in an ‘L’ formation. The athlete starts from one cone to the 2nd then back to the starting cone, then returns to the 2nd cone and to the 3rd and back to the starting cone. Repeat this for 5-6 times during the session. The athlete improves their skills in changing directions through this drill.
Drill 3: Cone Alley
There are many versions of cone alley drills, but this one is the most common. This drill uses 8 cones placed in 2 lines with 4 cones each. They are placed in a zigzag pattern 4 yards apart. The athlete runs from the 1st back cone to the 1st front cone forward then runs to the 2nd back cone backwards (or back pedal) and so forth.
Drill 4: Run Shuffle, Run Shuffle
This drill is best for defensive players so that they can learn to quickly change direction without being ‘ankle-broken.’ Use 3 cones for this drill; place them in a straight line. Cone 1 is 5 yards from cone 2 and cone 2 is 4 yards from cone 3. From cone 1, the athlete will run to cone 2 then shuffle to cone 3. Do this for 5-6 times during each session.