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Change of Direction and Agility

Want to improve your change of direction and outrun the competition? Our strength coaches are here to help!

If you’ve been keeping up with our partnership with Misfit Ultimate this summer, you will know about our goal of helping ultimate athletes maximize their performance on the field. We’ve previously created a comprehensive ultimate frisbee warm-up and an ultimate frisbee strength workout to help prevent injury and boost performance on the field. 

Next up, we want to focus on the topic of change of direction in ultimate and nearly every other sport. Change of direction is crucial towards your speed, agility, acceleration, and deceleration. Agility is one of the most important components as it is a whole body movement with a change of velocity in response to stimulus. Needless to say, if you’re an athlete of any sport looking to improve your performance, read on! 

Visit our Instagram page to see how you can accelerate your change of direction!

Check back in one moment, our IG content is going live as we speak!

What is Change of Direction?

Change of direction (COD) is any activity with closed skills that involves a rapid, whole body movement with pre-planned change of velocity or direction. 

Two key components of COD:

The rate of change of velocity, or how an athlete increases the velocity of motion. 

Slowing down to come to a complete stop or in order to change direction. 

What is Agility?

A whole body movement with a change of velocity in response to a stimulus

Why is change of direction and agility important for athletes to practice?

Click through to learn about each aspect of change of direction! 

Being exposed to reaction-based drills can help enhance how quickly you perceive and process a stimulus and respond physically.

Having your athletes perform drills that are game-like or reaction-based drills, can help foster focus and intention during these drills. 

Ensuring your athletes perform change of direction and/or agility drills correctly, can help mitigate non-contact injuries by executing power-based movements.

Becoming more comfortable with various agility drills and being put in game-like situations can help with athlete’s confidence as they expose themselves more to these settings.

Book with a strength coach to accelerate your change of direction

Now that you have a better understanding of change of direction, how can we train these?

Training change of direction and agility can be done in any environment – on field, in the gym etc. It’s best to practice these drills on a surface that is specific to your sport – for ultimate athletes, on field would be best!

Change of direction drills

We’ve listed some exercises below that will get you started on your linear speed training. If you’re looking to see these exercises in action, visit our Instagram Page linked above to see a video of all the exercises!

Exercises to improve acceleration:

Pro-agility Drill

  • Set up 3 cones at 1, 5 and 10 yards apart
  • Have the athlete begin at one cone at the middle cone
  • Have the athlete turn and run first to the right, back 10 yards to the cone furthest to the left and then run through the middle cone as fast as they can
  • Ensure the athlete touches the right and left cones


  • Set up cones in a T formation, 5 yards apart 
  • Begin at cone “A” and sprint to cone “B”
  • Side shuffle to cone “C” and then all the way through to cone “D”
  • Side Shuffle back to cone “B”
  • Back shuffle back to cone “A”

Exercises to improve Agility: 

Box Drill

  • Set up the cones in a square formation, 5 yards apart
  • The athlete begins in the middle of the four cones
  • The coach can yell out a series of numbers (start with 1 or 2)
  • The athlete must get to each cone while keeping their chest facing forward as fast as they can
  • To make the drill more difficult – the coach can add numbers (1 through 4) or add numbers above 4 and have the athletes skip those numbers
    • If the coach says 1, 4, 2, 6, 3 – the athlete would only have to touch cones 1, 4, 2 and 3

Key takeaways

We hope you’ve learned something about the components that make up change direction and how you can improve it. What can you do to improve and develop your agility and change of direction? You can start with these exercises at the beginning of your workout and strength training program, once you’ve fully warmed up. Not sure how to start your warm up before you start these change of direction exercises? Check out our blog post for a thorough warmup to prevent injury and boost performance on the field. 

In the end, in most steam sports, speed is only one area in which athletes should be trying to enhance their skills – stay tuned for future blogs on deceleration and check out our recent blog on linear speed training which is just as if not more important for injury mitigation and performance!

If you or a group of friends want to get a jumpstart on sprinting faster, you can book with our strength coaches who offer individualized coaching and programming for all your speed and strength needs! 

Meet Lift Clinic - a team of Vancouver Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and RMT Massage Therapy practitioners who believe in strength and movement for life.

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