Texas Rangers Strength & Conditioning

Dot Drills & Ladders

In sports, the feet don’t work independent of the rest of the body. Athletes who have quick feet also have quick hips. Our goal is not to train tap or River Dancers. Our goal is to develop athletes who can move their hips and feet as quickly as possible while maintaining body control. Because all movement is initiated off the ground, the following footwork drills will help you learn how to apply force into the ground and then use this force to propel your body the different directions. While there are many dot and ladder drills to choose from, the following drills will help you maintain a low athletic position and/or utilize a crossover step.

Dot Drills

Dot drill (single-leg hop).  There are four exercise patterns in this drill. Perform each exercise pattern on one leg. Hop from dot-to-dot in each pattern. Perform five reps of one exercise pattern on the right leg and five reps on the left leg. Do three sets of one exercise pattern with a one minute rest between sets and then do the next pattern.

1. M-Pattern

  • You are going to outline the letter “M” forward and then backwards while hopping on one foot.
  • The sequence of hops in this pattern is (1), (2), (IN), (3), (4), and then reverse the pattern.
  • Start by standing in circle 1 on your right foot.
  • Hop forward into circle 2; then hop diagonally backwards into circle “IN”; next hop diagonally forward into circle 3 and backwards into circle 4.
  • Now, reverse the sequence hopping forward into circle 3; diagonally backwards into circle “IN”; diagonally forward into circle 2 and backwards into circle 1.
  • This is one rep. Do 5 reps and switch legs. Five reps on each leg is one set.
  • Do 3 sets with a one minute rest between sets? 

 

  • M-Pattern – (1), (2), (IN), (3), (4), then reverse
  • Around The World – (1), (2), (3), (4), (1), then reverse
  • Up & Back – (1), (IN), (2), (3), (IN), (4), then reverse
  • In & Out  – (1), (IN), (2), (IN), (3), (IN), (4), then reverse
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2. Around The World

  • You are going to outline a square box while hopping on one foot.
  • The sequence of hops in this pattern is (1), (2), (3), (4), (1), then reverse the pattern.
  • Start by standing in circle 1 on your right foot. Hop forward into circle 2; then hop laterally into circle 3; next hop backwards into circle 4 and then laterally into circle
  • Now reverse the sequence, return to circle 1 and repeat the sequence on your left foot.
  • This is one rep. Do 5 reps and switch legs. Five reps on each leg is one set. Do 3 sets with a one minute rest between sets?3

3. Up and Back

  • You are going to hop diagonally into the middle of the square 2 times in this sequence while hopping on one foot.
  • The sequence of hops in this patter is (1), (IN), (2), (3), (IN), (4), and then reverse the pattern.
  • Start by standing in circle 1 on your right foot.
  • Hop diagonally forward into circle “IN”, then diagonally forward into circle 2; next hop laterally into circle 3 and then diagonally backward into circle “IN” followed by a diagonally backwards hop into circle 4.
  • Now reverse the sequence and return to circle 1. This is one rep. Do 5 reps and switch legs. Five reps on each leg is one set. Do 3 sets with a one minute rest between sets.

 4. In and Out 

  • You are going to hop into circle “IN” on every other hop.
  • Start by standing in circle 1 on your right foot.
  • The sequence of hops in this pattern is (1), (IN), (2), (IN), (3), (IN), (4), then reverse the pattern.
  • Start by standing in circle 1 on your right foot. Hop diagonally forward into circle “IN”, then diagonally forward into circle 3; next hop diagonally backwards into circle “IN” and diagonally backwards into circle 4.
  • Now reverse the sequence and return to circle 1.
  • This is one rep. Do 5 reps and switch legs. Five reps on each leg is one set. Do 3 sets with a one minute rest between sets..

Ladder Drills

Start slow to perfect the movement skills required for each drill. Gradually increase speed as your technique improves. Stop, slow down and repeat a drill when your technique breaks down. Your goal is to move as fast as you can, not as fast as you can’t! Moving fast with bad technique creates bad habits, not better movement. Keep your feet low to the ground on each step and concentrate on getting your feet down quietly.

1. Quarter Eagle – Twisting Two Foot Jumps

  • The key phrase for this drill is “jump – turn – jump – turn”.

  • Stand to one side, facing the ladder with your right foot close to the ladder.

  • The lead foot (left foot) is the foot farthest from the beginning of the ladder.

  • Jump and twist the hips a quarter turn, 90 degrees, into the ladder, placing the lead (left) foot in the first square and keeping the trail (right) foot outside the ladder.

  • Next, jump and twist the hips 90 degrees the other direction, placing the trail (right) foot into the first square, keeping the lead (left) foot outside the ladder.

  • Now, jump and twist the hips 90 degrees and place the lead (left) foot into the second square of the ladder.

  • Continue this pattern the entire length of the ladder. Keep the shoulders perpendicular to the agility ladder the entire time, alternating each foot to land in the center of each square.

  • For more intensity, perform drill holding a Med-Ball with both hands extended in front of the body. Keep the Med-Ball straight out in front of the body the entire time.

    ***Hop 45°-90° so that your opposite foot lands inside the ladder each time.***

 

 

 

 

 

2. Icky Shuffle With A Touch – Touch The Ground With Hand On Every Step Outside The Ladde

  • The key phrase for this drill is “in-in – out – and touch.
  • Start from an athletic stance facing down the ladder with your right foot outside the first square.
  • Use a 1-2-3 rhythm by stepping into the first square with the inside foot (right) followed by the outside foot (left) and then step to the outside of the second square with the right foot.
  • As you step outside the second square with the right foot, bend down and touch the ground with the right hand.
  • Next, step into the second square with the left foot followed by the right foot and then step to the outside of the second square with the left foot and touch the ground with the left hand. Continue this three-step pattern and reach for the length of the ladder.
  • On the return trip down the ladder, begin with the opposite foot and on the opposite side of the ladder.
  • Think of the three steps as in-in-out (the first two steps are inside the squares and the third step is outside the square) and remember that you are alternating feet with each step.
  • Keep your feet as low to the ground as possible and keep them moving as quickly as possible – think “explosive stepping”.
  • When you have progressed to the point where you can perform this drill quickly, make it more intense by adding a change of direction. Do the drill forwards and then return to start going backwards. 

***Alternate feet throughout. Touch your fingers to the ground just outside of your plant foot. Use the same hand as your plant foot.*** 

3. Crossover Step – “The Snake” 

  • The key phrase for this drill is “in – out-out”.
  • Start from an athletic stance facing down the ladder with your right foot outside the first box. Use a 1-2-3 rhythm by using a crossover step to step into the first square with the outside foot (left).
  • Then step on outside the box (opposite of the box) with the right foot and then the left foot. You now have both feet outside the first box on the opposite side of the ladder.
  • Repeat the sequence going across the ladder using a crossover step into the second box with the right foot.
  • Then step outside the box with the left foot followed by the right foot. 
  • Keep your arms at a 90-degree angle and pump them explosively with each hip turn.
  • Continue in side-to-side fashion for entire ladder.
  • To make the drill more intense, repeat the drill going backwards

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***Alternate feet throughout – Crossover, Right, Left, Crossover, Left, Right…***

3. Double Icky Shuffle – Two In & Two Out

  • The key phrase for this drill is “in-in – out-out”.
  • Start from an athletic stance facing down the ladder with your right foot outside the first box.
  • Use a 1-2 – 3-4 rhythm by stepping into the first square with the right followed by the left foot and then step to the outside of the second square with the right foot followed by the left foot.
  • You now have both feet outside the first box.
  • Now, step into the second square with the left foot followed by the right foot and then step to the outside of the second square with the left foot and then the right foot.
  • Continue this four-step pattern and reach for the length of the ladder.


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***Stay low and athletic, making every step. Right, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, Right.***

“Forget about style; worry about results.” – Bobby Orr

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