Agility Training for Any Athlete

Speed and agility are very important qualities of a great athlete. Strength, coordination, balance, and endurance are all aspects of agility training that, when developed properly, can lead to massive success. But even for those who enjoy a more-casual daily exercise, honing these abilities can improve your overall performance.

The Bigger, Faster, Stronger (BFS) program that was developed in the 1980s offers a way that could give your agility a boost. The program incorporates a set of movements known as the 5-dot drill. It was designed to help improve the quickness and single-leg abilities of high school and collegiate-level athletes. To do the drill, five dots are marked out on the floor with tape or paint (see diagrams). The athletes then go through five different movement patterns, including double-limb hopping, single-leg jumping, and a 180-degree turn in the air (all are outlined below). Each of the five movements is completed six times, and the goal is to increase speed. BFS recommends that to master this drill, it should be performed six times per week for about a month.

It is also important to take note of any knee instability as you perform the drill. Ensuring proper body mechanics is crucial to reducing your risk of injury during this high-level exercise. One position to avoid is called genu valgum, which means that the knee moves inward when the foot is planted. Also, be sure to keep your knees behind your toes (not over) when landing on a dot, as this will reduce stress on the knee joint.

Not only does this drill provide a benchmark to assess your agility, it should also help you improve and build agility with repeated practice. We all love a good challenge, and it’s nice to be able to see improvement in speed over time. So give it a shot and compare your results to the Bigger, Faster, Stronger dot drill chart below!

(1)

image1

(2) R foot

image2

(3) L foot

image2

(4)

image3

(5)

image4

 

DOT DRILL STANDARDS  
Less Than 50 Seconds Super Quick
5060 Seconds Great
6070 Seconds Average
7080 Seconds Needs Work
Over 80 Seconds Slow

 

References:

Bigger, Faster, Stronger. “Dot Drill – The Warm Up.” http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads/Dot%20Drill%20Info.pdf (accessed February 9, 2016).

Moore, E. W., Hickey, M. S., and Reiser, R. F. “Comparison of Two Twelve Week Off-Season Combined Training Programs on Entry Level Collegiate Soccer Players’ Performance.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 19, no. 4 (2005): 791.