Agility training is extremely important in sports and whether a person has natural agility or not they can benefit greatly from agility drills. Agility ladder drills are specifically helpful and can benefit athletes and improve their agility in a variety of sports. However, basketball is one sport where a player’s agility is extremely important. Basketball involves almost every body movement there is as players move forward, backward, side to side and just about anything else you can imagine.
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.
If you have ever heard the phrase that an athlete is “quick on their feet”, they are referring to the speed and agility derived from an athlete’s agility and speed with their feet. Current NBA players such as Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and John Wall are successful because of the agility they have developed and practiced since they were young players.
It is important for basketball players at any age to use and practice basketball agility ladder drills to improve their speed and agility. But is especially important for young players. The sooner they begin to improve their balance, coordination, speed and reflexes the quicker they will improve their basketball performance.
The 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.
So let’s take a closer look at some specific drills using the agility ladder that can benefit basketball players.
2 FEET IN, 1 FOOT OUT
Move forward through each ladder placing two feet inside each box, then one foot outside each box, alternately the outside foot. Move as quickly as possible trying not to make contact with the ladder.
2 FEET IN, 2 FEET OUT
Move forward through the ladder placing two feet inside each box, then one foot outside each box. The second foot that steps out is stepping right back in.
LATERAL 2 FEET IN, 2 FEET OUT
Move laterally and alternate your steps placing two feet in each box, then two feet out of each box. If you are moving to the left, then your left foot should lead the footwork.
Start with one foot inside the box and one foot outside the box. Moving laterally, jump and switch your feet in the air moving to the next box. Your feet will switch when you’ve landed in the next box.
Start with both feet in the box and jump forward so that the right foot lands outside the next box. Jump back into the next box with both feet then back out to the other side with the left foot.
Try to increase the speed in which you complete these drills and work on keeping your feet from touching the bars. Do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with or until you are able to complete each drill successfully.
Practicing these drills as part of your normal workout regimen will only help you to keep your speed, agility and balance sharp. It is highly recommended that young basketball players make these drills part of their normal workout routine. Performing Agility Ladder Drills is the best way to improve your acceleration, lateral speed, leg strength, multidirectional movement and balance.