Children’s speed and agility training programs need to be developed in age-appropriate stages. National Strength and Conditioning Association exercise professionals recommend that children between the ages of 5 and 8 should be revealed to a variety of movement patterns, which include legs and arms movements executed from a fixed position, jumping moves and workout that promote spatial awareness.
Many youth coaches are now using agility ladder training to help their young athletes improve their overall agility which they hope will help them do better in their chosen sport. Agility is known as the ability to change the body’s position efficiently and uses a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength and endurance. Sports requires players to move, whether it’s forward, backwards or sideways.
Agility ladders allow for multi-directional access and are used for things such as improving footwork and quickness as they navigate quickly through a series of sometimes complex patterns. Ladders can come in different specifications, are lightweight and easy to transport when needed.
The speed agility ladders are great for children and youth as they are easy to use and can teach the young athlete how to get their feet moving quickly in repeatable patterns. The drills can and should be done over and over so that the player not only becomes familiar with the pattern but also continues to increase their ability to maintain balance, speed, coordination and endurance.
Coaches should show patience if an individual struggles with these drills at first. They should start them with some of the simpler drills at slower speeds. As the players improves, they can introduce more complex patterns and try to get them to increase their speed.
There are many drills that can be used with the agility ladder training. But for younger athletes it’s best to stick to the basics. A few of the basic drills are as follows; Two foot run, Sideways Drill, Lateral Single-Leg Hops
Standing on one leg, hop in and out of the boxes until complete. Those are just a few of the basic drills that you can try with young athletes. There are many others they can progress to as they improve their overall agility.
But the benefits are definitely there. Agility ladder training for children will definitely help them to improve their balance, coordination, strength, reflexes and endurance. If you haven’t tried using these drills, it will be worth your while to try.