Is your Agility Training a waste of time?
Posted: 12th April 2011
Is your Agility Training a Waste of Time?
Have you spent money on agility ladders, agility poles, agility dvd’s and resources only to end up with little if any results or direct on field agility improvements?
At almost every single training session, you see coaches running athletes through agility ladders, agility poles and cones in order to develop and enhance their athletes’ agility.
Running through ladders and around stationary agility poles?
The question needs to be asked “is this training simply a waste of time”?
So what is Agility?
According to Jeremy Shepherd renowned agility expert and researcher-Agility can be defined as the rapid whole body change of direction or speed in response to a sport specific stimulus.
Question: How does running around a cone or through a ladder develop agility or the ability to rapidly change direction in response to a sport specific stimulus such as evading an opponent?
As an athlete when do you run through a ladder on the athletic arena or attempt to evade or side step a stationary pole or opponent?
Imagine if you could develop agility skills in a specific game like manner that would actually transfer onto the sporting arena and best of all didn’t require any expensive equipment at all!
Would you be interested?
I’m going to outline some of the key drills and concepts I use when developing specific agility drills.
3 Concepts for development of Agility Drills
1. Specificity-Is the drill specific to the needs and requirements of the athlete?
2. Transference-Does the drill transfer onto the sporting arena?
3. Skill Development-Does the drill develop a sporting skill?
Stationary Handball Tag taken from The Speed Agility Quickness and Reaction DVD for Athletes DVD is a perfect example of an agility drill for AFL players that combines those 3 concepts.
Agility ladders and poles may have a place in the early development phase of agility to improve co-ordination and teach basic biomechanics (1). But using those tools as a means to develop agility may not be the most specific, transferable way to develop your athletes agility skills (3).
Agility based games such as those outlined in The Speed, Agility, Quickness and Reaction Training for Athletes DVD are enjoyable and will allow you or your athletes to develop sport specific agility skills incorporating Anticipation, Pattern Recognition, Visual Scanning, Decision Making, Spatial and Temporal Awareness which will enhance your athletes and teams performance (2)!
1. King, I. Speed Training Specialisation DVD Series
2. Shepherd, J. Personal Communication 2008.
3. Boone, J. Movement Based Games. The 5 Biggest Mistakes of the Could Be Fast Athlete!