You can improve your athleticism for a wide variety of sports by doing cone drills, which involve placing small plastic cones in various positions around a court or a field. You can run from cone to cone in a pattern conducive to improving speed, agility, power and endurance. The placement of the cones and the pattern you run can vary widely, thus increasing your body's ability to adapt to the fast-paced environment of sports.
Speed relates to your ability to generate movement rapidly. Training with cones can help you increase your maximum speed for a specific sport. By laying out cones in different patterns and running those patterns as fast as possible, you can effectively train your skeletal muscles to contract more quickly, thereby increasing your running speed. Speed training can benefit all athletes, primarily short distance runners and basketball players.
Agility relates to your body's ability to change its position efficiently and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance and coordination. By setting up a series of cones in patterns that require a lot of forward, backward and lateral body movements, you can increase agility. In sports competitions, this means that you may be able to move more efficiently across the playing field. Agility training exercises are particularly useful for football and soccer players.
Muscle power is equal to work done over a given period of time and is often referred to in athletics as explosive strength. You can increase your muscle power with cone exercises. Setting up cones on progressively higher platforms and explosively jumping over them is an example of a power-building exercise. These types of cone exercises enhance athletic performance in activities such as the high jump and the long jump in track and field.
Endurance is your body's ability to exert itself over a long period of time. Having muscular and cardiovascular endurance can help you maintain a high level of intensity over a long duration, such as during a sporting event. You can increase both your muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance by interval training with cones. Interval training involves setting up cones progressively further apart from one another and running back and forth between them with little to no rest in between. Endurance training is most beneficial for athletes who compete in endurance sports, such as triathletes.
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; Thomas R. Baechle, et al
- Physiology of Sport and Exercise; Jack H. Wilmore, et al