How to get “quick feet”?
To develop quick feet, you need to work on three fundamental factors running mechanics, strength & power, and nose breathing. The common methods of adding in conditioning drills outside of team practices and agility ladder drills will not significantly impact your performance the way you hope. Instead of doing the same thing and hoping for a different result, I recommend the following:
- Running Mechanics
- Strength & Power
- Nose breathing
Good running mechanics will help you accelerate efficiently to separate yourself from your opponents within a short distance, and it will give you a competitive advantage to shift the game. When we assess young athletes with a 10-yard sprint, we notice three things that tax them early during the game:
- Small quick steps that look deceptively fast
- Absence of arms swing that limits their potential
- Folded torso because they misunderstand how to stay low on the ground in the acceleration phase
After practicing Running Mechanics drills through 10 yards, such as Marching, Skipping & Running A’s, you will learn:
- To take long strides with proper rhythm
- To transfer the power of your arms to your legs
- To maintain an upright torso when you sprint
Strength & Power
As an athlete striving to play at an elite calibre, you need to develop a foundational strength; you will drain more energy if you cannot handle the game’s physicality. In your case, it will improve your work capacity; you will perform the skill of your sport with less effort throughout the game.
Adding Olympic Lifts & Plyometrics will help you generate power efficiently through your legs (triple extension) and repeatedly so you can react to the game faster.
Successively, you will have the athleticism to change direction by accelerating & decelerating quickly with your opponents having difficulty keeping up with you: this is what we call having “agility.”
You have a better athletic performance when you’re breathing through your nose than your mouth. Dr. John Douillard’s research has shown that nose breathing helps you maintain a consistent heart rate as the intensity picks up, and it can cut your total exertion in half. It may be difficult initially, but you will feel more energized during games as you practice.
As you have learned, there is more to quick feet than the usual conditioning exercises and agility ladder drills. Although they play an essential role in your athletic development, you will want to incorporate more fundamentals to improve your athleticism.
This will help you fill out the gaps and have you on the path to becoming a more powerful, explosive, and whole athlete.