There is no question that agility is extremely valuable for any position in football, especially for running backs. One of the best

Football Coaching
1 Foot Rope Drill

ways to help players improve their agility, is by having them run through a rope ladder.

There are tons of different ways you can have players run through, that will help them in everything from keeping their head up, to securing the ball properly.

1 Foot Rope Drill

Start off with something simple, like just running through the rope as fast as they can with a football in their hands. This will teach them to keep their feet high, and really stay on the balls of their feet as they run down the field.

If you want to make this drill a little tougher, you can even have two coaches line

Running Back Drills
Rope Crossover Drill

up on one side of the ladder and have them pull and yank at the ball as the player runs by.

Crossover Rope Drill

Another great drill is the cross over. Because this is an unnatural running motion, players really need to focus on staying balanced, ending up in the awkward positions breaking a tackle will sometimes put you in.

Simply step across and over with your right foot into the square to your left, and then back across over with your left foot into a square to the right, and continue through the entire ladder.

Diagonal Rope Drill

Football Conditioning
Diagonal Rope Drill

To really test a players ability to move their feet, try having them run diagonally. Start at the corner of the roper ladder, and step in with your foot closest to the ladder, then across and over with the far foot, and continue like that until you step out of the ladder.

Then plant off the outside foot, and continue back through the ladder in the other direction, until you have completed the entire thing.

This drill is especially important for your running backs, and will help them improve their balance and ability to quickly change directions.

Vision Rope Drill

If you want to work a players hands, and teach them to keep their heads up as they run, try this vision drlll. Have the player line up facing sideways, and move the ladder facing you and another coach, who will both have footballs in hand.

Speed Drills
Rope Vision Drill

Toss the player a football as he passes you, which he will catch, and toss back, before receiving a second toss from your assistant beside you.

At first your players will have a tough time, but with good practice, it will become like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Coaching Tips

  • Make sure your players are going at full speed! Have them run through the drill half speed once to get the footwork down, but after that, they should be pushing themselves as hard as they can as they go through!


Got any other ideas for good rope drills? Let me know in the comments below!