Notifications

What good are rope ladder drills?  

  RSS

Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9503
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 12, 2017 4:55 pm  

Some coaches used them a little where I coached last, but it's a regular feature where I coach now.  Typically they'll instruct the players to put their feet in each space once, or twice, going straight ahead or sideways, and then immediately after the last rung, take a shot from a coach with a shield or do some other assignment involving force.

I can understand the desire to increase the kids' agility, and to get them to take quick steps.  But when you give them detailed instructions on the steps required -- not just to get their feet up so they don't trip on the rungs -- they must have their heads down.  Then they get to the end and suddenly have to look up, often not in time.


Quote
mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22971
August 12, 2017 5:17 pm  

Zach opened my eyes quite a few years ago on the utter silliness of any ladder drill.

Name one time any player on a football field should be looking at his own two feet while he tap dances.

Nuff said.

We have replaced all ladder drilling with buzz the feet eyes up reaction drills.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


ReplyQuote
ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
August 13, 2017 6:07 am  

https://www.elitefts.com/education/coaching-education/stupid-training-tools-agility-ladders/

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9503
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 13, 2017 7:11 am  

Zach opened my eyes quite a few years ago on the utter silliness of any ladder drill.

Name one time any player on a football field should be looking at his own two feet while he tap dances.

Nuff said.

We have replaced all ladder drilling with buzz the feet eyes up reaction drills.

Yeah, those are the kind I go for.  I used to make them look like stiff-legged Celtic stage dancers in a chorus line taking choppy steps in various directions with their arms at their sides following the way I held a ball over my head, so they couldn't look down.  The arms were at their sides so they had to rely on their feet alone for balance.  (They could have their arms out later when I had them crouch & shuffle like inside LBs.)

I'm not against drilling with obstacles on the ground -- half rounds, rolling players' bodies -- to get them used to picking up their feet & hopping over stuff.  But, even though I get the general idea they have in mind for the ladder with all the fancy steps -- getting players used to precise footwork -- that seems far enough removed from actual football that it should be reserved for spring clinic, unpadded.  Every minute they do it in full gear I'm afraid reinforces the idea of heads down in games.

That's what I base a lot of my coaching preferences on: unconscious or semi-conscious reinforcement of certain movements that go together, or at least not reinforcing bad ones.  I don't want to rely much on players following exact sequences of moves precisely to my orders, but rather to have them act football-ish so they'll tend to be in good, safe position to make plays without having to think much about them.  I do coach steps and form, but I don't expect tight conformance to the model in live situations.  I want them to be able to fail safe (& effective).

That's why I don't like whistles as start signals (should be reserved for "stop"), "shooting" hands in the tackle (too close to pushing off), or "thud" contact (makes them think about pulling up).


ReplyQuote
blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
Silver
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 847
August 13, 2017 9:28 am  

IMO they have some value as part of an offseason speed and agility program, but otherwise they aren't worth much except maybe as part of a dynamic warmup.


ReplyQuote
davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
August 14, 2017 7:19 am  

My study of consistently good teams vs consistently poor teams
Saw lots of cals, conditioning, scrimmaging and agility drills from the failing group
The successful aggregate
Not so much
We don't do any

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


ReplyQuote
Michael
(@michael)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
August 14, 2017 7:50 am  

I don't think ladder drills ever do any good.

But I have NEVER seen one actually coached, at all, so watching them always amuses me.

IF a coach thinks they could help, shouldn't some kid, at some point, be called out for bad steps?  Do it over, go a little slower next time so you can hit everything, whatever.  But no matter what any kid does, and no matter how far off he is from doing whatever it is he's supposed to be doing, he just gets to the end and gets back in line, with not a word being said about anything being off.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


ReplyQuote
PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
Kryptonite
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 12408
August 14, 2017 9:06 am  

I don't think ladder drills ever do any good.

But I have NEVER seen one actually coached, at all, so watching them always amuses me.

IF a coach thinks they could help, shouldn't some kid, at some point, be called out for bad steps?  Do it over, go a little slower next time so you can hit everything, whatever.  But no matter what any kid does, and no matter how far off he is from doing whatever it is he's supposed to be doing, he just gets to the end and gets back in line, with not a word being said about anything being off.

I was forced once to run a ladder drill station. I coached the hell out of it. Didn't know the value of it but if they were going to do it they were going to do it right. I have used ladders for first and second steps for o linemen before. Good for spacing. Now I just paint the field up for anything like that.


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9503
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 14, 2017 9:43 am  

I don't think ladder drills ever do any good.

But I have NEVER seen one actually coached, at all, so watching them always amuses me.

IF a coach thinks they could help, shouldn't some kid, at some point, be called out for bad steps?  Do it over, go a little slower next time so you can hit everything, whatever.  But no matter what any kid does, and no matter how far off he is from doing whatever it is he's supposed to be doing, he just gets to the end and gets back in line, with not a word being said about anything being off.

I'm not sure whether that's a good sign or a bad one.  It means the coaches don't take it seriously, and they're right not to.  But if they don't take it seriously, why are they doing it at all?

Our coaches actually do call one out occasionally, send him back.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17389
North Carolina
High School
August 17, 2017 3:54 pm  

IMO they have some value as part of an offseason speed and agility program, but otherwise they aren't worth much except maybe as part of a dynamic warmup.

I like them for offensive linemen.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


ReplyQuote
Share: