Speed and agility are the two core pillars of any good athlete, and in sports like soccer, being quick on your feet can help you capitalize on an opening or even move on the defensive. One of the most effective ways athletes can work on their speed is through agility cone drills.
Agility cone drills better prepare a variety of muscles throughout the body to properly handle sudden shifts and turns. If you’re looking to become more agile, the best way to go about it is with the help of dedicated specific drills that use agility cones.
The Best Agility Cone Drills for Soccer
Agility cone drills are some of the most diverse training drills people can perform to improve their speed. The best thing about these drills is that you can easily change them depending on the level of intensity that you’re looking for.
Putting a Foot in Each Box
- This is one of the most basic agility cone drills since it is very similar to running. Place ten cones about three feet apart in all directions, creating small boxes similar to an agility ladder. Put one foot in each box as you pass through the course.
- Harder variations can include feet touching the box or the outside and inside the box as you move up the ladder. These can improve the brain's connection with the rest of the body, allowing you to get into a position to sprint much faster.
123 Back Drill
- Start by placing three cones five yards apart and a single cone five yards away from the second cone. This final cone will be the back cone, and that will be where you start. A partner will tell the runner to move to a specific cone. While on their way, the partner could issue the back command, which means that the runner will have to backpedal to the back cone.
- Doing so can improve an individual's reaction speed and can help them switch up their speed at a moment’s notice.
Pro Agility Shuttle
- The pro agility shuttle remains one of the simplest yet most effective agility drills. You can start by placing three cones, one in the middle and two exactly 5 yards apart in opposite directions. You start from the middle cone and then move to either the right or left cone.
- Move to the farthest end of the course, running the full length of 10 yards. This exercise aims to help people accelerate, decelerate, and then accelerate in quick succession. It's the fastest way to measure a person’s agility.
- A variation of the pro agility shuttle, the staggered shuttle shortens the distance between two cones, making the drill much more explosive. Start as you would with the Pro Agility Shuttle. One of the cones from the center will be 3 yards away, while the other one will be 5 yards.
- Start by sprinting to the 3-yard cone and then make your way to the farthest cone, traveling 8 yards. You can even switch up the exercise and move to the farther cone first and then toward the opposite end.
Agility Cones Make You More Agile Without Any Additional Equipment
Agility cones can be very helpful when preparing for a sport like soccer. All the above mentioned drills focus on helping athletes accelerate, decelerate, and change direction, all in quick succession. So if you want to be more agile on the field, these agility cone drills can be a good place to start.