How to Improve Foot Speed And Have a Fun Time Doing It

Try This Speed Ladder Activity With Young Athletes

I believe that foot speed and quickness is trainable in young athletes.

One piece of training equipment that is useful in developing these qualities is a quickfoot ladder, also known as an agility ladder or a speed ladder.

A quickfoot ladder

There are many, many drills that can be performed through the ladder from those that are simple to some that are quite complicated and advanced. The ladder allows for forward stepping, side-stepping, hopping, jumping, etc, as well as combinations of these.

The drill that I find to be most popular amongst young athletes is a timed quickfoot ladder run.

For this activity, the only equipment required is a ladder and a stopwatch.

Getting ready to step through a quickfoot ladder The rules are:

  • The athlete can begin with a stationary standing start or a jogging “flying” start. (Let the athletes experiment).
  • The stopwatch starts with the first step into the ladder
  • The stopwatch stops on the first step out of the ladder.
  • The athlete must step in every space.
  • The athlete must step in each space only once.
  • A missed space = no time recorded.
  • Step on a rung/slat = no time recorded

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Apart from this being a really enjoyable and challenging activity for the athletes, I find that it is fantastic for developing coordination, quickness of movement and concentration.

I don’t insist on good sprint mechanics during this activity. I simply want the athletes to move through the ladder as quickly as possible.

Tips:

  • Young athletes really enjoy keeping and trying to better their personal best time for this activity. Keep an ongoing record of these.
  • Use a timed quickfoot ladder as a regular performance test.

Try this activity with your team or training group. I guarantee that it will be popular.

Let me know what you think

Do you use quickfoot ladders? What do you think of them? Do you have any favourite activities using them? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment.

Further reading

Books from Amazon:

Training For Speed, Agility and Quickness 3rd Edition

Track & Field Books

100 Best Selling Track & Field Books

Top 100 Best Selling Children’s Sports Coaching Books

Books from Booktopia:

Training for Speed, Agility and Quickness

Track & Field Books

Sports Coaching Books

There are links on this page from which Coaching Young Athletes can earn a small commission. This adds no cost to you but helps to keep this blog sustainable. I really appreciate if you do purchase through my links. Thanks for your support. Darren

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Instagram, Anchor or via email.

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