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Three-Cone Drills

This is an excerpt from Developing Agility and Quickness by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association,Jay Dawes & Mark Roozen.

Three-Cone Drills

Adding a third cone allows for different combinations of movements and increases the complexity of the drills. To set up for three-cone drills, coaches should place three cones in a straight line, spaced approximately 5 yards (5 m) apart.

While performing three-cone drills, athletes must maintain a good athletic position. They should also use short, choppy steps to round the cones. The 180-degree drill in the previous section provides good training for three-cone drills. Athletes can use a variety of movement combinations for three-cone drills. Additionally, all of the drills in the previous section can be modified for three cones. The following examples are just some of the possible com-
binations for three-cone drills. All are level 2 drills.

  • The athlete sprints forward to cone 2, turns 180 degrees, and backpedals to cone 3.
  • The athlete sprints forward to cone 2, turns 90 degrees, and shuffles to cone 3. He repeats this drill, facing the opposite direction during the shuffle.
  • The athlete sprints forward to cone 2, performs a 360-degree turn around it, and sprints to cone 3.
  • The athlete shuffles to cone 2, turns 90 degrees, and backpedals to cone 3.
  • The athlete shuffles to cone 2 and then back to cone 1, then immediately turns 90 degrees and sprints past cone 3.
  • The athlete backpedals to cone 2, turns 180 degrees, and then sprints past cone 3.
  • The athlete backpedals to cone 2, turns 90 degrees, and then shuffles past cone 3. He repeats this drill, facing the opposite direction during the shuffle.

Coaches can also use drills created specifically for three cones. Some drills presented here use the basic cone setup discussed previously and others use different layouts.

 

Pro-Agility Drill

Level 2

 

This drill is often used to test change-of-direction speed and agility. It also improves agility performance. Coaches should use the basic three-cone setup. The athlete begins facing cone 2, with the hips, shoulders, and torso parallel to the cones. When ready, or on the go signal, the athlete turns and sprints left to cone 1, turns 180 degrees and sprints back to cone 3, makes another 180-degree turn, then sprints back past the middle cone. This drill can be performed in either direction.

Pro-Agility Drill

 

90-Degree Round

Level 1

This beginning movement pattern teaches body position, body control, and how to adjust to forces during movement. Three cones are set up in an L shape, with legs 10 yards (9 m) long. The athlete starts inside of cone 1, keeping the hips, shoulders, and torso parallel to the cone. When ready, he turns and sprints toward cone 2. As he approaches it, the athlete slows down slightly, moves to the outside, and makes a 90-degree turn around cone 2. He then accelerates out of the turn and then sprints past cone 3.

90-Degree Round

 

90-Degree Cut

Level 2

The purpose of this drill is to develop quick transitions between high-speed agility movements. Three cones are set up in an L shape, with legs 10 yards (9 m) long (figure a). The athlete starts outside of cone 1, keeping the hips, shoulders, and torso in line with the cone. When ready, he sprints to cone 2. As he reaches it, the athlete drops down into a good athletic position, makes a sharp lateral cut (b and c), and sprints past cone 3. This drill should be performed in both directions for an equal number of repetitions.

90-Degree Cut

 

Read more about Developing Agility and Quickness by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Jay Dawes, Mark Roozen.