Being a better overall athlete can help in becoming a better softball player. To create more athleticism, it’s encouraged to train with an agility ladder. This could help you develop quick feet and body control.
1. HIGH KNEE DRILL
There are a variety of exercises you can perform with an agility ladder. The first recommended one is a high knee drill. Start at one end of the outstretched ladder. Face forward and put one foot in each square of the ladder as you move quickly to the other side. You should bring your knees up to about waist or chest height, depending on flexibility. Make sure to pump your arms in rhythm with your legs to create balance and stability. As you progress, you should speed up while maintaining good body control.
2. SLALOM OR SKILL DRILL
The next drill is more advanced, called a slalom or ski drill. Face the long end of the outstretched ladder. Start slightly to the side of the ladder and go across each square, putting your inside foot in the center, followed by the trailing foot. Then reverse it and continue as you progress all the way down the ladder. So, it would go right in center, left in center, right on right side of the ladder. Then left in center, right in center and left on left side of the ladder. On each transition from right to left then left to right, you should move to the next square in the ladder. Speed up as you become more agile and comfortable with the drill.
3. SIDE STEP DRILL
In the next side step drill, start at one end of the outstretched ladder. Instead of facing down the length of the ladder, step to the side of the ladder looking across the short end. The length of the ladder should be to your right or left, depending on where you begin. Put your lead foot in, with your trailing foot following. If you’re going to your left, you would put your left foot in, followed by your right foot, then take your left foot out, followed by your right foot. Move to your left putting your left foot into the next square, followed by your right foot, as you move down the ladder. Pump your arms to help be in control of your body and maintain balance. Go at full speed, while maintaining good agile motions.
These drills can be completed with a single player or in a group. If you’re in a group, go through one person at a time until everyone has completed the drill, then send the group back in the other direction. Your coach can also turn it into a competition by using a stopwatch to track times. Monitor these times throughout a season to see how you improve and use this information to keep you motivated.