Agility Drills for Football

The agility drills are aimed at improving lateral quickness in football players. Improving the lateral quickness is crucial because it reduces the number of steps wasted at the time of changing direction. The agility drills for football given below should bring about the necessary changes in your game.
The game of football is such that you need to maintain the balance of the body and perform actions like sprinting, stopping quickly and most importantly, changing direction with great agility. It is only when you move faster that you can intercept and stop your opponents.

Thus, it should not be surprising to know that most football exercises revolve around the 'agility factor'. There are quite a few effective workouts meant for making you agile by training the muscles in different ways. Some of these are given below.

Effective Football Agility Drills

The football agility drills are useful for speeding up movements of players so that they can tackle their opponents with ease.

These drills strengthen the muscles and thereby help improve the agility. Have a look and take your pick...

Shuttle Drill
Shuttle Drill
The shuttle run drills prove to be of great help from the point of increasing the agility of football players required for running sideways. These drills also build up stamina and endurance. The 20m drill is used for improving lateral quickness in football players.

In the 20m drill, one should first move to the left and cover a distance of 5m.

In the next step, the player should move in the opposite direction and cover 10m.

In the final step, the player should turn back, cover a distance of 5m and return to the original position. This way, the player covers a distance of 20m. This drill can greatly improve lateral quickness.

*Note: The three lines depicted in the 'Shuttle Drill' image actually overlap each other; it means the player starts and finishes the drill on the same line. The illustration is made in such a manner that readers can understand the steps of the drill easily, without any kind of confusion.

Box Drill
Box Drill
To perform this drill, the field should be marked in a square shape by placing 4 cones at 4 corners. The fifth cone should be placed at the center of the square. Distance between the cone placed at the center and each of the 4 cones at 4 corners should be 5m.

The player has to start the box drill from the cone at the center.

The player must sprint towards every cone, touch it and return to the middle cone.

To make the drill interesting, the players may follow a random pattern - ask one of the fellow players to randomly call the numbers assigned to the cones.

Weave-in and Weave-out
Weave-in and Weave-out
This drill is good for increasing the agility needed for making swift moves. In this exercise you'll have to turn and move at regular intervals.

In this drill, the cones should be placed in such a manner that players will have to follow a zig-zag path.

The cones should be placed equidistant to each other in a zig-zag pattern. In this drill you'll have to run along the path and touch all cones that lie in the way.

This exercise is similar to the weave-in and weave-out agility drill. However, in slalom you'll have to sprint along a zig-zag path without touching the markers or cones. The markers should be placed in a manner that they are equidistant to each other.

T-Test Drill
T-Test Drill
In this agility drill, you'll have to move along a T-shaped path. You will need 4 cones to lay the 'T'-shaped path for the drill. Out of the 4 cones, 3 should be placed in a straight line, equidistant to each other. Distance between the cones should be 5 meters. Fourth cone should be placed at a distance of 10m from the cone that is in the middle. This type of arrangement creates the 'T'-shaped path needed for this drill.

Start from cone A and move towards cone B which is placed in the middle.

Once you touch cone B, turn left and move towards cone C. Touch the cone C, turn back and head towards cone D.

After touching cone D, move towards cone B and finally to cone A.

Vertical Leap
Vertical Leap
The vertical leap is an agility drill for football players that helps in strengthening the leg muscles. This exercise allows players to make explosive movements that are especially needed for the game of football. It is advisable to warm up the muscles before doing this exercise.

Players should start in a position with legs slightly bent at knees.

Take a vertical leap as high as you can. You may land a little further from where you started.

Perform as many leaps as you can before taking a break. Measuring the height of leaps can help you gauge your performance and make improvements to it. You may also think about bringing variations to the vertical leap drill. Here are the instructions for one such drill. Note that you would need a secure platform for the drill.

Place either of your legs on the platform. Consider that you have placed your left leg on the platform.

Now jump vertically and cross/scissor your legs in the air. By crossing legs in the air, you would land with the right leg on the platform.

This pattern of performing the vertical leap provides good, explosive exercise to leg muscles.

One-legged Squats
One-legged Squat
Such type of squats are performed by lifting either of the legs. In this exercise, two sets of 25 squats are performed with or without weights. You may place your hands on the hips or extend them in front of the body, parallel to the ground surface.

In the first step, you may lift either the left or right leg. Let's start with the left leg. The left leg may bend slightly at the time of lifting it.

Now, squat with the right leg while keeping the left leg in the air. Try to maintain the left leg parallel to the ground surface.

Lift the body and bring it back to the original position. Perform the same squatting exercise by lifting the right leg and so on.

Step Up
In this exercise, generally, a plyo box is used for stepping up.

You may start with either the left or right leg. Let's start with the right leg. Step on the platform with the right leg.

While stepping on the platform, the left leg should be lifted. Balance the body for a while by resting on the right leg.

Step down carefully and repeat the exercise with the left leg. Two sets of 25 steps each should be performed with both legs.

Pairing Up
You would require a large area to perform the pairing up drill. To perform this drill, the participants should stand in pairs. One of them has to run in the field randomly. The partner of this player should follow him. The follower should maintain a certain distance from the leader; however, he should keep track of the leader and constantly follow him. You may continue with this drill as long as you wish. Running along a random path gives you a feel of the real game of football.

Speed and Agility Drills for Football
The improvement in agility and speed needed for playing football can be brought about with help of ladder drills. In such kind of drills, ladders or boxes (generally 18 x 18 inches) can be used to improve the body balance and reflexes. In the agility ladder drills used for football, you should move in such a manner that you step into the squares one by one with both the feet placed close together. The arms shouldn't droop while running.

The agility drills presented in the article should help in making the players stronger and fitter for the game of football. There are many such drills that can be used for improving your football skills. You may also think of devising your own drills by studying the ones listed above.