Secrets for Agility
Most sports require you to react to either another person or object like a ball. With these demands you can find yourself spinning around like a dog chasing a milk truck or under control of your mind and body so that you can leave your competition in the dust. In Sports you rarely know exactly where you will start and finish with the exception being track and field. As an athlete you must learn how to go north, south, east and west and every combination in between. This is why (MD) training so important, your body needs to practice starting stopping and starting again in all directions in as many positions as possible. This will prepare you for for the worst case scenario and give you the advantage.
We also need to consider dissociation of the hips and shoulders, this will help you keep you eyes on the ball or player while moving in a different directions and also giving you the opportunity to create torque for more power. (More on this in Part 2)
Two legs with two separate jobs
When talking about (MD) it’s important to think about our legs as separate motors one being the lead leg and the other being the trail leg. Whether you are shuffling side to side or some sort of crossover run you have one leg in front “lead leg” and one leg following “trail leg”. This is the biggest difference from linear running where both legs are responsible for the same action over and over. With two separate motors this results in having two independent actions. Each action will result in using a particular side of your foot to establish the best angle for the greatest amount of force to be transferred into the ground and back through your body. Remember being fast is a all about be able to produce power into the ground as quick as possible, it’s not a matter of who can move their legs the fastest.
When looking at pushing with a particular side of the foot we have two general edges, The Inside edge and Outside edge or “IE” and “OE”. Each edge has a particular strength and weakness in that it requires it’s counter part to be properly utilized. The IE will help us reaching full extension with finishing with the big toe pushing off. The OE gives us a stable plant leg so that we are to absorb forces when changing directions without losing power.
3 Drills for learning how to feel the IE and OE while striking the ground
*Carioca- Great for learning how to use the inside edge and outside edge of your foot.
*Lateral A-Skip- A must for learning timing and rhythm as well as using the inside edge of your foot.
*Hockey Stop- Great for learning how to decelerate and then accelerate in a new direction