Agility is the ability to stop, change direction and accelerate again. On the rugby field, it is how quickly Rugby/League players can move whilst staying balanced and flexible.
Running to evade the tackle, move into space for a pass and change direction at pace. Agility is a crucial skill in any players game.
I have compiled 3 tips to help you when training your agility.
1. Explosive power to stop and change direction
To train agility the right way you really need to be performing exercises fast and explosively.
A great exercise to improve explosive power is the Continuous Broad Jump. The Continuous Broad Jump trains horizontal power, as well as quick force absorption and production. Perform a broad jump and as soon as your feet touch the ground, explode off the ground and perform another Broad Jump.
2. Learn good lateral change-of-direction
Beating an opponent with a late change-of-direction is a priceless skill. The top Rugby Players in the world have the ability to stop on a dime then explode in a different direction.
Any type of cone drill that has the player accelerate 5m then cut 5m is going to help with this skill. What you're really focusing on is your footwork around those turns and being able to cut quickly.
My favourite way to do this is to have the player react off my arm. When they reach the first cone I stretch my arm left or right so that they have to cut quickly without knowing in advance. Mimicking exactly what happens in a game.
3. Being able to transfer energy
What I mean by this is that a player needs to be able to integrate movements between their lower and upper body. When you are sprinting at full speed and all of a sudden need to change direction, your lower body stops but your upper body wants to keep going. A strong core will fix this problem and improve the integration between your lower and upper body.
My favourite core exercise is Heel Touches. Perform this exercise to build a strong core.