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Athletes/Coaches: Are You Using The Ladder Wrong??

By Frank Daniels | In Blog, News | on May 14, 2014

If you are an athlete, you should understand the difference between moving your feet fast and actually being fast. 


These are 2 totally different concepts that are often confused to the detriment of not being able to make the big play when the game is on the line.


A lot of athletes, coaches, and parents will use the “ladder” as a tool for speed and agility improvement.


Question is, are you really improving or just spinning your feet in the same place??



Mike Boyle refers to this phenomena as the “road runner” syndrome. When an athlete spins the wheels very fast but never really does anything to move from the spot he/she was standing.


Speed is dependent not on how quickly you can move your feet, but more on how powerful and aggressive you can be to push yourself out of the place in which you were located. 

This is where ladder drills can be done incorrectly in terms of helping athletes become more explosive and agile. They can easily turn into a rhythm and quick feet drill as oppose to using the ladder to create force into the ground that actually produces real speed.


To the naked eye they can seem to be the same thing but by real game time performance standards they can actually hurt you more than help you.


Listen, the ladder can be a great tool to help athletes become quicker. A lot of athletes and coaches believe it to be the “holy-grail” of speed training, but not if we are missing out on the very important aspect of force production into the ground that creates real movement.

I’ll recap for you:



Pushing The Ground Away Aggressively = Fast Athlete 



Most Ladder Drills Are Quick Feet and Rhythm with No “Push” = Slow Athlete/Road Runner Syndrome




Check out the quick video below to see what I’m talking about:






P.S. If your child wants to learn the techniques for game-breaking speed and quickness we would be happy to do a free assessment on them and show them how they can take it to the next level. Simply email info@maximpacttraining.com for a Free Movement Assessment. 

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