The ability to position the body in an efficient manner in order to perform a physical task is referred to as agility. It is one of the highly desirable attributes for sporting activities like soccer, basketball, football, etc. The agility drills also act as exercises for warm up before one actually starts playing.
It is necessary to perform the agility drills for many different sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, and football. Making the body agile and fit is the primary objective of these exercises. The shape of a ladder acts as an excellent medium to train the players efficiently for becoming agile. Let us have a look at the ladder drills meant for different sports.
For basketball these drills include various hopping actions which help in moving quickly from one place to another. The variations of the hopping exercises are mentioned below.
One Foot Hop: The first type or variation of hopping is the 'one foot hop'. In this drill, one has to jump into every box of the ladder using either of the two legs till the entire length of the ladder. After completing the first round, the same process should be repeated with the other leg.
Two Foot Hop: The 'two foot hop' exercise is similar to the previous exercise, except for the fact that both legs should be used in this drill at a time in every hop.
Two Feet in Each Box: This exercise is performed in a running motion. The right leg should first be placed in a box followed by the left leg. This pattern should be continued for the next box and so on.
One Foot in Each Box: The one foot in each box exercise is similar to the 'two feet in each box' drill. However, only one foot will land in each box.
For soccer these drills are more or less the same as that of the basketball version. The sideways ladder drills are more important in soccer. Variations of these drills could be numerous.
In football the drill includes the lateral ladder drill, double chop drill, lateral ladder double chop drill, and weave drill.
Double Chop Drill: In this exercise, one has to run through the ladder while chopping the feet in each square twice. It has to be taken care that the head should be maintained in a straight position while performing this drill.
Lateral Ladder Drill: To start with this exercise, the body should be in such a position that the shoulders and hips remain parallel to the ladder. One should start moving sideways by placing the left foot before the right one. Both the left and right feet should be placed in each box while going through the ladder.
Weave Drill: In this agility ladder drill, one should start by standing at the right side of the ladder. The left foot should be placed in the first box followed by the right one. The next step of this drill is to place the left foot outside the square to its left hand side. The sequence should be repeated in the reverse order and continued till the end of the ladder.
Lateral Ladder Double Chop Drill : The drill is similar to the 'lateral ladder drill', except for the fact that each feet should be chopped twice in every box of the ladder.
The sport of tennis, just like many other games, requires the player to move quickly around the court. The agility exercises for tennis should include lateral ladder exercises more than any other types. Tennis requires the players to generate intense speed quickly, thus lateral drills help a lot.
These drills can be practiced by just marking or drawing lines on the floor/ground. One need not spend money on nylon rope ladders. In fact, children should not be allowed to use ropes for the fear of their feet getting entangled and thereby losing balance. The agility ladder training activities and other drill skills, if mastered properly, would help the players improve their performance and make them fitter.