Quickness to me means having the ability to react mentally and physically to a stimulus such as an opponent, ball or puck with rapid awareness. Without getting too deep and technical in its relationship to sports, it is the athlete's ability to process his/her first or next move without much thought.
It is quite simply the brain's ability to send messages to the athlete's muscles. Next, the athlete's neuromuscular system has to recognize the stimulus and movement of the stimulus in order to react.
Now, do they react slowly or quickly?
Well that depends on the amount of training the athlete has partaken in. Have they performed any training or drills to develop new motor patterns that will enhance reaction?
Working and training in small areas at a fast pace are great for developing better reacting motor patterns. Small areas being in the 5-10 yd. range. Examples are: getting up explosively from various positions and sprinting either straight ahead or multi-directionally.
Chase drills. Follow same format as above but have the person being chased 5 yds. ahead of the athlete chasing. The athlete being chased has to be in a tougher starting position than than the pursuer.
An example would be have the athlete being chased on the their stomachs while the pursuer is in a high push-up position. Use a cue like a clap, whistle or point in the direction where you want them to sprint.
Other examples are fast hops or touches over a line and timing how many touches you can accomplish in 10 seconds. Do a couple of times with each foot and try to beat your score.
Jumping rope and dot mat drills are also excellent for developing fast feet and hip rotation.
Proper nutrition is of utmost importance as well. Give the brain and muscles good food and you will find your reactions sharp.
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From Quickness to Agilty