Football players need to develop agility to be able to run around obstacles as well as stop and change directions quickly. Some of the most common football agility drills are so closely associated with the sport that they have made their way into movies and televisions shows; the football player running through a set of tires, or a football player running sprints and changing directions, for example. These football agility drills are so closely associated with the sport because they work so well, but they are not the only drills a player can benefit from at practice. Ladder drills are a common agility drill that can be worked into every practice for a football team.
Ladder drills involve the use of a ladder, of course, but the same drills can be executed using evenly spaced pieces of wood or plastic cones. Lay the ladder down on the ground and have the football players line up about 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters)from one end. The players will then run toward the ladder one at a time; once a player reaches the ladder, he must place one foot in between each set of rungs until he reaches the end of the ladder. Once he has reached the end, he will sprint to a cone placed several yards away and stop as quickly as possible. The player can also reach the cone and change direction quickly, sprinting to another cone placed several yards away.
Ladders can be used for other football agility drills as well. The same initial setup described above can be done for another ladder drill in which the player will shuffle to the side until he reaches the ladder. Once at the ladder, he must shuffle to the other end of the ladder moving sideways. Once he reaches the far end of the ladder, the player will turn and sprint to a cone placed several yards away. When choosing football agility drills such as ladder drills, be sure to take into consideration the safety of your players. Make sure they are wearing proper safety equipment at all times.
Choose football agility drills that will help the players develop speed, but also stopping power. Part of football is being able to change directions quickly, so simple sprints from cone to cone can help immensely; enhance such drills by having the players switch directions once they reach the cone. Sprints also help develop quickness off the line, which is important for wide receivers and other players who must move down field quickly.