One way to be a better athlete is to improve your speed, agility, and quickness. You can do so by adding certain exercises and drills to your workout. Running 50- or 100-yard (46- or 91-meter) dashes, jumping rope, and practicing yoga are several ways you can improve your speed, agility, and quickness.
Sprint between two cones to improve your speed, agility, and quickness. Start out small and set the cones 10 yards (9 meters) apart. Dash from one cone to the next, timing yourself. Run back to the first cone and sprint again. Continue until you can't go on. As your speed improves, set the cones farther apart, first to 20 yards (18 meters), then 50 yards (46 meters). You can also vary the way you sprint. For instance, if you play American football, try sprinting backward as if you are trying to catch a ball thrown toward you.
Another way to improve speed, agility, and quickness is to work with a partner. Have the partner lead you as you both run. The partner determines the pace of the run and should vary his or her speed between sprinting and jogging. It's up to you to keep up. Following a leader will improve your reaction time, making you a stronger and faster athlete.
When you are agile, you are able to change position and avoid obstacles quickly. One way to improve your agility is to run through an obstacle course. Set up several cones in a zig zag pattern and time yourself as you run through them. You can also set the cones in a straight line and slalom through them. If you play basketball, try dribbling the ball around the cones. Dribble the ball with your feet around the cones if you play soccer.
Good balance is key to speed, agility, and quickness. You can't be fast if you can't stay upright. Improve your balance by practicing yoga at least an hour a week. Several poses are designed specifically to improve balance, such as the eagle pose. Stand on one foot and wrap the other leg over your knee and around your calf. Weave your arms together and hold them in front of your chest. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and then switch sides.
Try a plank pose to improve balance in your arms. Lie on your right side, keeping your shoulders and hips aligned. Push up with your right arm so that your body is at a 45-degree angle with the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides.