The other day my athletes performed low box training as part of their workout, and I can’t understand why more coaches and trainers don’t use this form of training.
Why Use Low Box Training:
Low Box Training is something I developed in the early 90’s while at a tennis academy in Florida. The reason I used low box training was to help my athletes understand how to reposition their feet underneath their center of mass to decelerate and re-accelerate quicker. The keys were to stay low and simply move their feet around the body. It was amazing to see how athletes started to stay in their stance longer and explode from a low position or what I like to refer to as “Stay in the Tunnel Position.” Low Box Training has so many options to create fantastic coordination skills.
Reasons to use Low Box Training:
- Deceleration Training
- Acceleration Training
- Impulse Jumping/Plyometrics
- Power Jumps
- Coordination Training
Low Box Training is useful for athletes of all ages, and it develops great confidence in the athletes moving their feet.
Low Box Drills:
One of my favorite drills, and the first skill I developed with low boxes, is to shuffle toward the box and as soon as you are close lift the feet. Don’t jump; flex the hips and knees, and decelerate the body over the box. Let me explain further. As soon as you are near the box you will lift the feet to clear the box. The foot going over the box first lands on the ground on the other side of the box while the inside or second foot lands softly on the box. The foot that went over the box is way outside the shoulder to replicate a great deceleration acceleration angle. The key is to not jump, lift the feet. The progression is to have the athletes learn to stop while doing this drill once they decelerate. The second step is to have them push off the outside leg and shuffle back across the box. The third step is to perform the second phase quicker. So don’t stop and shuffle back immediately. These are great drills.
The drill I explained above is then performed while doing the crossover move. What you will find is that athletes will focus on staying in the correct posture, height, and using proper angles to decelerate.
Another Low Box Drills:
Another skill that I love to perform on low boxes is the multiple box impulse jump and hop series. I line up six to eight boxes that are 4 inches to 6 inches. I have the athletes start with simple two feet quick jumps on and off the boxes. The focus is on quick responses off the ground. The next drill is to progress to ¼ turn jumps, still being quick. The third drill is to perform lateral jumps, but only if the athletes are skilled enough to control their foot landing on the box. If not, I will go to leaps or hops. Hops are also only done with athletes strong and stable enough to perform. From here I move on to more coordination movements such as the lateral side box shuffle (awesome drill! Finally I will have them perform the angular ski jumps. This one develops coordination.)
There are many skills and drills that can be performed on the low box, but you will begin to discover the ones that are the most beneficial for your athletes. Keep it simple, quick, and controlled.
For more details go to www.LeeTaft.com to check out how you can get a copy of the Low Box Training video. It is one that will change your approach to how athletes need to move their feet around their center of mass.