Instructors commonly use ladder drills to assist athletes in developing quick feet, body control, and kinaesthetic mindfulness, in addition to improving essential movement abilities. Most agility ladders are constructed of elastic rungs that are bound to nylon straps to fashion boxes. Characteristically, the boxes are set around 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimetres) away from each other. However, the box size can be modified by sliding the rungs up or down the straps. Trainers may desire to occasionally vary the size of each box so that athletes are required to fine-tune their stride length and foot placement. Making these adjustments in foot placement mimics the action requirements of competition.
Normally, an athlete completes one pass by going down the ladder, leading with one foot, and then reversing, leading with the other. This guarantees training of equal nature. Coaches can change passes to meet the necessities of the individual or group. When carrying out these drills, athletes must progress from simple drills to those that are more intricate. At the outset, one should focus on performing each drill as fast as possible! In other words, individuals should execute each exercise as swiftly as possible without obstructing proper control or position.
There are many ways that you can test for agility. One option is to do what’s called a “T-Test”. This is where you set up cones in the shape of a “T”, with three cones on the top being approximately five yards apart and the bottom one being ten yards down.
While being timed, an individual would start at the bottom of the T and sprint up to the cone at the intersection. Once there, he or she would shuffle toward the cone on the far left, then shuffle all the way to the cone on the far right, shuffle back to the intersecting cone and sprint back to the bottom of the T.
A male that can complete this in 9.5 seconds or less, or 10.5 seconds for a female, would be said to be extremely agile. However, if either sex took more than two seconds longer, being 11.5 seconds for men or 12.5 seconds for women, then they would be labeled as “poor” on the this particular agility test.
Agility, by definition, is “the ability to quickly change body position or direction of the body.” This is important in sports such as football, basketball and rugby, where success relies on the player being able to weave past his or her opponent. It’s just as imperative in individual sports like tennis and hockey, where the goal is to arrive at any given spot on the court before the ball.
The key to being agile is to have proper coordination and balance so that you can execute your movements with speed and power. You have to be able to change direction on a moment’s notice and still be able to maintain good form.