or years, athletes have been told that if you want to make a cut and go around an object, that they should run hard up to it, plant hard on their outside leg, pivot on that leg, and then sprint out of the corner, going around the object. Not only is this technique slow and inefficient, a great number of knees and ankles have been injured during this process.
If you have ever watched the highlights of the best athletes work out at the NFL combine every year, you will see that all of the athletes who run the fastest times on the Pro Agility and L Drills have one thing in common—they all transfer their weight onto their inside foot and lean into corners. This is the most efficient and safe way to perform these drills.
Shift in Philosophy
This technique isn’t easy for everyone to master, because most athletes have been taught the exact opposite for many years. There is a series of drills which has been created with the help of some of our partners and perfected by Maximum Training Solutions to teach even the most talented athletes how to progress into this body position while changing direction.
- Crossover Drill – Use a line or a piece of tape on the floor as a visual aid. Start by standing in a balance, athletic position with the line on your right side. Your toes should be pointing in a direction which is parallel with the line. Start the movement by crossing your left foot over your right and landing on the opposite side of the line. Move the right foot behind your left and tap your right toe on the floor while keeping your weight on your inside (left) leg. Move back and forth over the line quickly while always keeping your weight on the inside foot and tapping your outside foot. This will help you learn how to position your body to keep the weight on your inside foot.
- Long Crossover Drill – Use the same technique as above, but this time drive off of your inside foot as hard as you can each time. The idea here is to accelerate your body weight by only using your inside leg to create the movement, and then decelerate your body on the opposite leg while leaning inside. You then need to quickly reaccelerate on that leg, and so on. This drill will build strength in your legs and further teach to you control your body weight and lean inside.
- Lateral Cone Run – Use 2 cones placed in a straight line approximately 5 yards apart. Start at one cone and run to the other. As you approach the second cone, prepare to change direction by positioning yourself in a way which will allow you to perform a crossover. Keep your weight on your inside foot, turn 180 degrees and run back to the first cone to perform the same type of turn on the other leg. Run back and forth between the cones several times. Start slow to get the footwork figured out and then progress to faster speeds. Remember that quality is the key to becoming more agile.
- 9 Cone Drill – Place 8 cones in a circle approximately 5 yards in diameter. Then place the 9th cone in the middle of the circle. Start at one cone and run to the middle cone. Touch the middle cone with your left hand. Turn 180 degrees and touch one of the outside cones with your right hand. Then, go back to the center cone and move around the circle, touching each outside cone in a counter-clockwise fashion. Each time you change direction, make sure you perform a crossover and keep your weight inside.
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