Improve Your Change of Direction Speed

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How many times have you seen an athlete, that doesn’t look very fast, continue to make plays to help the team win? It’s not luck. The ability to change directions quickly is an important skill that an athlete can possess. In many cases, it’s rare for an athlete to sprint long distance in a straight line (unless its track and field). Most sports requires constant cutting and changing of directions to evade opponents.

To improve your change of direction speed, you must first master these 3 progressions:


Here are the progressions:

Setup with feet hip/shoulder width (whatever feels natural) apart, good athletic position, and nose over toes. 

  • Controlled lateral step – slower step to “feel” good positioning, establish good footwork, and balance.
  • Quick lateral step – it’s an explosive side step then reset + repeat opposite side.
  • Lateral shuffle w/ drift – shuffle side to side and drift to slow down momentum.
  • Lateral shuffle w/ COD – shuffle quickly both directions. It’s against momentum, it involves decelerating and accelerating.


Here’s the crossover progressions:

Get in a solid athletic stance, and have your nose over toes.

  • Crossover step – I like to teach it without a fixed foot during the crossover. Depending on which way to go, you will externally rotate one side then push off with the back side leg to crossover. Repeat opposite side.
  • 2 Crossover w/ drift – crossover twice then drift to slow down momentum. Repeat opposite side. Keep head and upper body square looking in-front.
  • Change Direction Crossover – now you’re going against momentum because you’re changing direction. Keep core stiff and crossover opposite direction.


Here are the progressions:

  • Fast hips – Dissociate the upper body from lower body then freeze. A common mistake here is pivoting and keeping one foot planted, instead you’re going to do a mini plyo step. This will allow the body to be more reactive and create a better angle.
  • Hip Turn w/ Shuffle – You’re going to hip turn and at the same time pushing off laterally to shuffle.
  • Hip Turn w/ Crossover – Hip turn and crossover. Crossing over allows you to cover more ground in a short amount of time.

Hopefully you found this article helpful! For more training tips, sign up for my newsletter below! Please like, and share the videos to somebody that wants to improve their change of direction speed!