Ladder Drill

Setup

Either use cones or yard lines to indicate the starting line, the 5-yard line, and the 10-yard line. This drill will only span these three lines that cover a total distance of ten yards. Multiple athletes can perform this drill at the same time in parallel.

Purpose

Develop starting and stopping speed and quickness. Players repeatedly accelerate for a total of six times throughout the course of one rep in order to build a faster burst of speed when coming off of the line of scrimmage or when changing direction on the field.

Drill Description

The Ladder Drill begins with all athletes lined up on the starting line. Athletes begin drill by exploding off of the line as fast as possible. Once the drill has begun, there is a rapid succession of forward sprints and back paddles in a pattern of 5-10-5. In other words, the athletes will sprint to the first line (five yards away) and then back peddle to the starting line. Once back at the starting line, the athletes will again explode into a sprint for ten yards and then return to the starting line with a back peddle. Finally, there is one more forward and back for another five yard trip.

To focus on the initial explosion, you can begin the drill with a certain snap count or cadence in order to prepare players for an initial burst of acceleration during the course of a normal play.

By lining up the entire team, or group of players, to run this drill in parallel, you can build a sense of race and competition that provides extra motivation for your athletes to push themselves hard throughout the course of the drill.

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