teenager doing agility training on soccer field

Agility Exercises for Teenage Athletes


As a sports performance youth training company, we understand the importance of agility in a youth athlete's performance. Agility is defined as the ability to change direction quickly and efficiently while maintaining balance and control. It is vital to training for any sport, as it not only improves overall performance but also reduces the risk of injury.

Let's discuss the top agility exercises that every teenage athlete should incorporate into their training routine.

Hand-Eye Coordination:

One of the key components of agility is hand-eye coordination. This cognitive skill is crucial in sports that involve catching or hitting an object, such as basketball, baseball, and tennis. To improve hand-eye coordination, athletes can do drills like tossing and catching a ball with one hand, throwing a ball against a wall and catching it, or using reaction balls.

Improving Explosive Power:

Agility also requires explosive power, which is the ability to move quickly and generate force in short bursts. This skill is essential for sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. 

Plyometric drills that can help improve explosive power are the following:

  • Box jumps
  • Tuck jumps
  • Lateral jumps 

Sport-Specific Skills:

While general agility exercises are beneficial for all athletes, it is also essential to incorporate sport-specific skills into training. For example:

  • Soccer players can benefit from 3-cone dribble drills that involve weaving in and out of cones while dribbling a ball. 
  • Basketball players can do figure 8 crossover drills to improve their agility and ball-handling skills.

Training with Body Weight:

Agility exercises can also be done using only body weight, making them accessible for athletes who do not have access to equipment. Some examples include high knee drills, speed ladder drills, and dot drills. These exercises can be done anywhere and are an excellent addition to any training routine.

Cone Drills:

Cone drills are a popular choice for agility training as they simulate the quick changes in direction that athletes experience in sports. 3-cone speed drills and run-shuffle-run speed drills are great options for improving agility, speed, and coordination.

The Importance of Agility Training:

Agility is a crucial component of athletic performance and should not be overlooked in training. Incorporating agility exercises into a training routine can improve overall performance, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance sport-specific skills.

Agility and Injury Prevention:

One of the less talked about, yet significant, benefits of agility training is its role in injury prevention. Agility drills can improve an athlete's proprioception, or awareness of their body position in space, which in turn reduces the risk of unplanned missteps or falls that can lead to injury. 

For instance, exercises like single-leg landing drills, where an athlete repeatedly jumps and lands on the same leg, can increase stability and help athletes become more adept at safe landings during game situations. When athletes improve their foot-to-the-ground contact, they are less likely to twist an ankle or suffer a knee injury. 

Furthermore, agility training contributes to better balance and stability, which are essential to maintaining control during high-speed movements and top-speed turns, common in many sports. Therefore, incorporating agility training exercises into a teenager's athletic regimen is not just about boosting sports performance, but it's also about playing safe and staying in the game.

Additional Benefits of Agility Training:

Beyond improving sports performance and reducing injury risk, agility training offers other robust benefits that extend into everyday life, particularly for teenagers. 

First and foremost, it aids in the development of superior body control and coordination, important attributes not only in sports but also in daily activities. 

Regular agility training can also foster a sense of self-discipline, as athletes learn the importance of consistent training to achieve their goals. It can also boost self-confidence, as teenagers observe their skills improve over time. 

Furthermore, speed and agility training drills are often dynamic and fun, adding an element of enjoyment to the workout which can encourage a lifelong love of fitness. Lastly, agility training can enhance concentration and mental toughness, skills that are invaluable both on and off the playing field. Hence, don’t overlook the power of agility training in a teenager's athletic journey - it's not just about the game, it's about shaping well-rounded, healthy individuals.


As teenage athletes continue to grow and develop their athletic abilities, agility training becomes even more critical. By incorporating these top agility exercises into their training routines, athletes can improve their performance on the field or court and excel in their respective sports. Remember to always consult with a certified trainer or coach before starting any new training program. Keep challenging yourself and have fun!

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