Agility training has become an integral part of football training at both the high school and college levels. In order for players to play at championship levels they must have power, speed and agility. Neither strength nor speed is enough to rise as the champion. Players must also have the ability to turn instantly, stay on their feet and out-maneuver the opposing team.Moreover, players who are agile on their feet are able to maintain their balance while changing direction, starting, slowing or stopping. It also helps the player to develop neuromuscular coordination and kinesthetic awareness enhancing full control of the body and prevents injuries.
A scientific approach is needed in order to effectively develop agility among players. It isn’t enough to build endurance through long runs or speed through interval training or speed work. Through a thorough agility training, respective group of muscles are developed which hones too the neuromuscular system leading to improve muscular performance.
Additionally, the key to agility is explosive speed, reaction time, balance, footwork and acceleration. To achieve these goals coaches have been left with traditional standing broad jumps, tires, repeated short distance runs or explosive starts over 5-30 yards.
In the modern time, agility training for football players, and other ball related sports such as soccer and basketball, must include other forms of training to improve their skills. These high school players are bigger and stronger than in past years which mean they need more aggressive training to achieve good results. Thus, the need to include additional approaches in teaching agility among players.
Use of ladder drills has grown popularity as one way of teaching agility to larger players. These drills can take many forms and teach the player to move their feet quickly in and out of small slots while maintaining balance and changing direction. Coaches can encourage explosive speed by directing a 30 yard sprint at the end of each pass over the ladder.
Another new addition to agility training is proprioception training. Physical therapist have been using this muscle training for many years but recently, coaches have discovered the benefits of the mentioned training for their players, hence, they adapted it.
Accordingly, proprioceptors are special biochemical receptors in the muscle, tendons, joints and inner ear whose purpose is to give information about the general position of body parts. Proprioception training puts a high demand on the core muscles developing abdominal and back strength to improve balance.
It must be noted that balance is a function of joint stability. With the inclusion of proprioception, balance is improved and so with the person’s stability. As soon as balance and stability is attained, this will definitely decrease risks for injuries.One approach included in this kind of training is to work on uneven surfaces which are found to significantly improvethe person’s strength, endurance, balance and stability.
Additionally, there are tools use in conducting proprioception training which include conventional cones, plyoboxes, weighted balls, rope, flat rung ladders and agility dots or mats. Other training items that are more specific to proprioception are trampolines, wobble boards and dyna-discs, all increase the balance ability of the player.
Indeed, agility training for football players will lead to a superb performance. Not only that, but players risk for injuries will also be lessened. Ultimately, this will result to an excellent performance of the players and the team as well which is hope also to lead them in becoming the champions in the game.