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Elysia Tsai's picture

Change of Direction Drills in the Pool- 3 Video Series

Get into the pool for shallow end running and add change of direction movements. I'm using the water resistance to build strength while running forward, backward and side stepping. These drills will show you how to properly change direction, simulate a long sprint with quick change of direction, and break free from a defender. These drills can be done for time, repetition, or worked into a larger pool circuit.  I prefer waist deep water to avoid feeling too buoyant, which can decrease the sensation of working on strength. If you do these drills in chest or shoulder deep water it will take you longer to change direction and require more steps to get from one end of the pool to the other. 

The first video demonstrates how to properly change your direction from running backward to forward. Go through a few practice steps before adding the change of direction to your sprinting intervals. When changing direction, your backward foot will now become the front foot you are going to explode off of. Avoid turning and exploding off the foot that is behind you, this will make you lose ground and not develop that first quick step to sprinting forward.

The second video demonstrates a sequence of sprinting forward, 3 steps to the left, 3 steps backward, turn and sprint forward. This drill simulates sprinting down field for 10 seconds, having to slow your body and change directions to defend a ball or move into a better scoring position.

The third video demonstrates a shorter sequence to develop strength as you take one step backward, one side step, one step backward and finally turning and sprinting a short 4 or 5 steps. This will simulate a defender on your back as you try to maintain your body position and break free.    

Remember, the water will throw you off balance when you are changing directions. Use proper mechanics, slow your body down with control and engage your muscles before changing directions quickly. If you have an ACL deficient knee or a ligament injury, take extra precautions with these drills. I am also wearing water shoes to provide traction and hamstring resistance.

 

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