Three Agility Drills for Ultimate

As a high level player and NCSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Melissa is on a mission to improve the sport of ultimate by giving players the tools they need to train like the serious athletes they are. In addition to writing The Ultimate Athlete Handbook and starting The Ultimate Athlete Project, Melissa gives ultimate fitness clinics internationally. Gain access to many more of Melissa’s articles and videos by signing up for her email list at 25UltimateTips.com.

Every sport has unique movement demands. In ultimate, what separates us from other sports is the high frequency of very sharp cutting angles and lateral movement.

Here are three drills that will help you work on the footwork and movement patterns to change direction more rapidly.

In order to push the body in any direction, the feet must be outside the center of mass. To change direction laterally or at a sharp angle, your body ends up in what we call the hockey stop position. This hockey stop position places the outside leg far outside of the center of mass and allows the center of mass to get low while you decelerate and accelerate in the opposite direction.

The center of mass remains closer to the inside leg. The outside leg absorbs a lot of lateral force and should be bent at a 10-20 degree angle.

Explanation of the Hockey Stop Position

Drill 1 – Crossover Hockey Stop

This drill works on getting comfortable in the position with a bit of lateral momentum.

Drill 2 – Short Slalom

The short slalom drill challenges you to get lower than is comfortable and helps you get your feet far out of your center of mass. You’ll know you’re doing this drill correctly if you occasionally feel off balance or sometimes even hit the dirt. You’re trying to push the edge of your comfort zone and that means failing every now and then.

Drill 3 – 5-10 Drill

This drill helps to brings awareness to your hips. On defense you want to keep your hips open toward the person you’re covering as much as possible. On offense, keeping your hips open on short cuts will help you to fake and cut more quickly.

I hope you enjoy these ultimate specific footwork drills and soon with your ultimate specific cleats!

If you like these drills, you can find more ultimate specific footwork in Melissa’s Agility for Handlers or in The Ultimate Athlete Project.

2 easy exercices to warmup your feet

As a high level player and NCSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Melissa is on a mission to improve the sport of ultimate by giving players the tools they need to train like the serious athletes they are. In addition to writing The Ultimate Athlete Handbook and starting The Ultimate Athlete Project, Melissa gives ultimate fitness clinics internationally. Gain access to many more of Melissa’s articles and videos by signing up for her email list at 25UltimateTips.com.

I have devoted a lot of time to teaching players how to train for ultimate. By now, most players are using a dynamic warmup before training and practices. Today I want to suggest that we also pay closer attention to the feet, especially before training for speed and agility work.

Here are two times and two ways to take better care of your feet. If you suffer aches and pain in your feet in the morning, this is for you. These exercises take just a few minutes. Use them as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth (or even while brushing your teeth).

In the morning

Roll ‘em out!

Start off your morning right with a quick rollout of the feet. The fascia of your posterior chain is all connected. If you suffer from chronic hamstring tightness, rolling out your feet each morning as well as the hamstrings is a great place to start.

Quick, simple and requires only a tennis or lacrosse ball.

Now with your feet starting of the day feeling a bit looser, you can avoid compounding your tightness problems.

Before an SAQ workout

I recommend doing speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) work in cleats on grass. But before you put on your cleats, take a few minutes to warm up the feet. Though they’ll be in cleats, they are still flexing and working as you lightly bounce on the balls of your feet or make sharp changes of direction.

Here are a few exercises which will bring more awareness to your feet, help you develop strength in the feet and control in the ankles.