Defense Wins Championships
To help develop your quickness, work on footspeed drills such as jumping rope, doing defensive slides, running sprints, running stadium stairs, and doing cone drills. By increasing your quickness, you'll be a better defender. Here are some details on the drills you can do.
- Jumping rope: start off with a good warmup (30 to 45 seconds of jumping rope at a slow pace). Then do a series of 30 to 45 second repetitions where you jump with both feet, alternate from one foot to the other, and then jump on one foot or the other for the entire repetition.
- Defensive slides: you'll work on these during practice with your team, but you can also do these on your own. Start on the baseline at one corner of the court and slide to the middle of the lane, then switch directions and slide back to the sideline, continuing all the way up the court to the opposite baseline.
- Running sprints: go to a track and warm up with a lap or two of easy running. Then go onto the grass of the football field and run a series of sprints. Start off with some shorter sprints (20 to 30 yards), and work your way up to longer sprints (40 to 50 yards).
- Stadium stairs: running stadium stairs is a great way to get in shape and work on your agility. Start off with a good warm up, then run one set of stadium stairs stepping on each step, then one set where you kick your knees up high, one set where you put both feet on each step, one set where you run up stepping on every other step, and finally one set where you jump on each step with two feet.
- Cone drills: cone drills involve putting a cone (or some other object) on the court (or grassy field) and doing various sprint and slide movements from cone to cone. For example, place four cones about 10 yards from each other, with one cone in the center of the four. Slide from the center out to one cone, then back to the center, then out to the next cone and back to the center, continuing until you've slid out to each of the cones and back to the middle. Work on increasing your speed out and back to the cones.