Individual sports require a lot of movement , agility and many athletes are after the most useful techniques and drills to perfect that component of their body. One of the sports where agility plays a major role is of course tennis, where the player must be able to switch positions and movement in all moments during a single match. Players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Đjokovic are known for their persistence in catching every ball no matter how far it is. This requires a lot of agility training and a lot of flexibility, which can be improved using the agility ladder drills.
Đjokovic is renowned for his acrobatic returns in the game and incredibly good backhand slice. The truth is that this backhand wouldn’t be so precise and useful without proper agility training, because these moves can stretch a muscle to its absolute maximum. Federer on the other hand is known as a very balanced player, meaning he can anticipate and return any ball aimed in his field. This come after years of training, where you don’t push yourself to limits but rather remain calm.
Coordination is another key factor that is improving when managing agility ladder drills. Having the ability to respond to opponents forhand or backhand hit is crucial in the game of tennis and sudden moves can be expected. Inside fast feet drill is probably the best one to improve coordination, but the key is in movement not speed, although doing it faster is more useful in the long term. When your opponent is serving the ball towards you, you often must jump out of your position to try and catch the ball and that is also some skill you get by using agility ladder drills. Hopscotch is the name of this drill and in service it is easily one of the most useful ones.
When the opponent gets ready to serve the ball, you can see players jumping from side to side while waiting for the ball. The movements in either direction is a lot easier that way and these movements are improved with agility ladder trainings . You often have the necessary time to predict where will someone pass the ball in soccer or shoot at the goal if you are a goalie, but tennis teaches you to act quickly in the blink of an eye and that is why agility is the most important component of training in tennis.
Đjokovic and Federer are renowned for their great games, but that did not come overnight and hard trainings are definitely part of it. Running zigzag is practically part of their everyday routine and it is the most basic drill to improve your agility. So check some other agility ladder drills to make yourself more efficient and explosive in the game.