The L Drill is a staple of football training. From the NFL Combine to High School speed and agility training sessions the L Drill is used to evaluate and train explosiveness, change of direction and speed. It’s simple setup and instruction make it a great drill for large group training.
The L Drill for Speed and Agility Training
There are many different variations of the L Drill but the setup of the drill is the same. Players start on the outside of the first cone. The second cone is placed 5 yards in front of the first cone and the third cone is 5 yards to the side of it.
Basic L Drill
The most basic pattern is very quick to learn and works on developing lateral change of direction as well as acceleration. In this pattern the player runs forward and touches the first cone, returns back to his original cone and then runs around the second cone, loops the third cone and finishes the drill by going around the second cone to the starting line.
As a coach there are a few things that need to be emphasized. The main coaching point is to have the players facing the third cone the whole time. By doing this the athlete will work on making cuts off of both of feet. In addition to this his times will be much better because he won’t have to swing his hips around.
The other major coaching point is to have players use their arms to accelerate between the cones. Many times they will let their arms fall limp because they are only traveling a short distance. This takes away the acceleration that the arms can generate.
Backpedal L Drill
An easy change to the L Drill is to change the first segment of the drill. One of the quickest ways to do this is by having players run the first segment but then backpedal the second portion where they are returning to the first cone. The key here is to have players touch the line with both hands. This helps them work on lowering their whole body which not only encourages lower back development, but also puts them in an athletic position to start their backpedal.
Bear Crawl Drill
Another quick, easy adjustment to the drill is to have the players do the first segment in a bear crawl and then sprint the rest of the drill. This does a few things that are beneficial to the player’s overall conditioning. First by bear crawling they are developing their shoulder strength and stability which is critical to staying healthy over the course of a season. The second thing this does is force players to get into a sprinting position from a non-traditional starting position. The body awareness they develop is critical in teaching them how to make transitions that take place during any game.
As you can see the L Drill is a critical drill that can be adapted to fit any need. By working to emphasize the change of direction players can increase their conditioning while still creating gains in their change of direction.
(See Also) Strength and Conditioning Drills