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Have you been told you lack agility? Try these 5 changes of direction patterns!

Feeling sluggish when you need to change direction or try to evade an opponent? Has a coach or a scout told you that you lack agility or move too slow? Good news, you’ve stumbled across the perfect blog for you.

It is one of the most common feelings that athletes of all ages are scared to hit the weight room during the off-season, the thought that if they get stronger, they will in turn become slower. I’m here to tell you that with the right strength and conditioning program and high performance coach we can turn strength into agility by following these 5 COD patterns to make yourself more explosive and more agile than ever before.

There are 5 main types of COD that are seen within field-based team sports;

  • Cutting

  • Drop Step

  • Pivot

  • Lateral Step

  • Lateral shuffling

Drill 1. Criss Cross Run

The criss cross run incorporates drop steps and cut steps within a 5m x 5m square. This allows athletes to have enough space to accelerate and decelerate whilst staying in a small area to simulate more game based spacing.

Drill 2. Lateral Shuffle

The lateral shuffle places emphasis on improving lateral speed, we want to see athletes staying in their athletic stance through the entire duration of the drill. It is important to not space out steps too far it will slow you down and put your limbs in a more vulnerable position. Quick steps under your hips, with majority of the power coming from the outside leg.

Drill 3. Continuous Cutting Drill

The main objective of this drill is to expose athletes to performing cuts at a higher pace, this drill is great for basketballers, footballers, and rugby players. All of which their sport requires them to change direction at high speeds to evade an opponent or create better spacing for their teammates.

Drill 4. Multidirectional Box Drill

One of my personal favourites, especially for field and court-based athletes that are exposed to a variety of COD patterns within their sport. It requires athletes to move in a wide variety of directions in a small, confined area.

Drill 5. Lateral One Step and Sprint

Hitting near top pace then being able to move to the side then back to going forwards. This is extremely important in sports that athletes are trying to get past an opponent that is facing them whilst avoiding contact (basketball, football, soccer, rugby immediately come to mind).

These 5 drills target different aspects of COD and can add in elements of reactive stimulus. But it is important that the technique and patterns of the drills are done really well before adding reactive elements in.

It is important that the technique and patterns of the drills are done really well before adding reactive elements in.

Done properly these 5 drills will allow you to see immediate improvements in your agility speed and improve your performance.

Do’s and do nots of COD patterns.

Expose yourself to COD patterns at least one session per week

Focus on movement quality first, then add intensity before stimulus

Speed up and slow down as fast as you can

Stay low and in athletic stance through corners

Pick 2-3 drills and complete 3-4 times in a session

Do 10 reps of each drill in one session

Forget about other aspects of training, such as strength and power

Complete these on an uneven or slippery surface

Want to find out even more about how to improve your agility? Contact us now and join the ACE Performance Tribe now.

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