15/Love Vol. 1: Why lateral quickness is the difference

September 21, 2011
by Justin

What did Deion Sanders and Pete Sampras have in common? Naturally, their feats of athleticism will always put them in the conversation of all time greats. Primetime locked down everyone on the field and Pete dominated from the clay to the hard court. Even though they conquered two different sports they both had more in common than championship pedigree. They had lateral quickness, and if you do these workouts, you can also.

Workout #1: Pro Shuttle

What you’ll need: 3 Cones, but if you don’t have them use three rocks.

Spread 3 cones out in a straight line with the outside cones 10 yards apart with the third cone in the middle at the 5 yard mark. Start the drill facing the middle cone and run parallel to whatever side you desire. Once you touch the cone run full speed to the cone 10 yards away from the furthest cone. When you arrive at that cone, change directions once more, 5 yards away in the opposite direction. Run through the middle cone as if it is the finish line because that is the last part of the workout. Here’s a link to the video that illustrates the Pro Shuttle:

Workout #2: Pro T-Shuttle

What you’ll need: 4 cones

Place 3 cones in the same formation as the last drill, with 1 cone 10 yards away from the middle cone. Start the drill from the fourth cone that is 10 yards away from the middle. Sprint 10 yards to the middle cone, breaking down as you draw close enough to touch the cone. Shuffle laterally to 1 of the cones to your left or right 5 yards away without crossing your feet. Touch the cone and shuffle to the opposite side of the T, 10 yards away without crossing your feet. Once you touch that cone shuffle back to the middle and backpedal to the starting point. Here’s a link to the video that illustrates the Pro T-Shuttle:

Both of these workouts will enhance your explosiveness along with your reactive closing speed. Be sure to emphasize proper hip movement and bring your knees as high as you can when you are in a full sprint to enhance your lower bodies’ range of motion. If possible, find someone to time and record each drill’s result, so that you gauge your progress. Not everyone can hit the right shot like Nadal or serve as hard as Roddick, but these techniques will put you in the position to get to the ball faster and more efficiently.

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