5 Best Speed and Agility Cone Drills

January 17, 2020

Speed, agility, and quickness are all vital attributes of a pro athlete.

To put it simply…

Slow athletes get left behind.

Don’t let this be you.

Use these 5 drills to develop your footwork, increase your strength, and maximize your performance.

Top 5 Cone Drills for Speed and Agility Training

5-10-5 Pro Agility Shuttle Drill

5-10-5 Pro Agility Drill

Set Up: 3 Cones, 5 yards apart in a straight lineAlso called the 20 yard shuttle, this is one of the most popular drills to measure quickness and agility.

  1. Start by straddling Cone #1 with one hand touching the cone.
  2. Sprint to the Cone #2.  Touch the cone with your right hand.
  3. Change direction and sprint to Cone #3.  Touch that cone with your left hand.
  4. Sprint back through the starting Cone #1.
  5. Repeat in opposite direction.

X Drill

X Drill

The X Drill is excellent for developing change of direction, quick feet, and running at different angles.  This is a helpful drill for practicing quick transitions and developing faster reaction times.

Set Up: 4 Cones, 5 yards apart in a square

  1. Start at Cone #1.  Sprint to Cone #2.
  2. Lateral shuffle across to Cone #3.
  3. Pivot 45 degrees and cross over backwards to Cone #4.
  4. Turn and sprint back to Cone #1.
  5. Switch starting cone and repeat in opposite direction.

3 Cone / L Drill

3 Cone L Drill

The 3 cone L drill is another popular agility test used in the NFL combine to assess agility, balance, and change of direction.

Set Up: 3 Cones, 5 yards apart in L shape

  1. Start in a three point stance.  Sprint to and touch Cone #2.
  2. Sprint back to and touch Cone #1.
  3. Sprint up and around Cone #2 toward the inside of Cone #3.
  4. Turn around Cone #3, back around Cone #2 and passed Cone #1.
  5. Switch starting cone and repeat in opposite direction.

W Drill

W Drill

A great drill to develop acceleration, change of direction, and forward to backward movements.  This drill can also be performed side to side with diagonal sprints and lateral shuffles using the same cone positioning.

Set Up: 7 Cones, 5 yards apart in zig-zag pattern

  1. Start at Cone #1.  Sprint to Cone #2.
  2. Plant with the outside foot.  Backpedal to Cone #3.
  3. Sprint to Cone #4.  Repeat until finished with all cones.
  4. Switch starting cone and repeat in opposite direction.

Slalom Weave Drill

Slalom Weave Drill

This can be useful to build agility cutting in different directions quickly as well as a skill builder by dribbling a soccer or basketball to build handling and footwork skills.

Set Up: 10-15 Cones in a straight line, each cone 4 yards apart

  1. Weave in and out of the cones going around the outside of the cones.
  2. Walk or jog back to the starting position and repeat.
  3. To add a speed element, add another cone 20-40 yards past the end of the slalom as a final all out sprint.

What’s the Difference Between Speed, Agility, and Quickness?

Good question.  Let’s look at the definitions.


Max velocity.  This requires several seconds of straight line running to get up to max speed.  As you may expect, you need to run fast and straight to develop top speed.


Ability to transition or change directions quickly while maintaining balance and coordination.  Cone drills are essential for building footwork and body control skills.


Acceleration or ability to get to top speed in a short amount of time.  In most sports, getting to top speed is rare.  Quickness and directional movements are much more common.

Each of these can be more or less important depending on your sport and position.  An offensive lineman playing football should be training differently than a forward playing soccer.  But, speed and agility will be beneficial for all sports including basketball, hockey, tennis, volleyball, and baseball.

How to Get the Best Results from Your Training

Here are some guidelines to help you put together a balanced speed and agility training program.

  • Please don’t start your training until you have completed a solid dynamic stretching warm-up.
  • These drills work best when performed at full speed.  Just like in a game situation.  If you need to start slow to get the hang of things, that’s fine.  But work up to maximum intensity as soon as possible.
  • Do your speed and agility training while your body is fresh.  If you’re tired from strength training or practice, you’re not going to be effective.
  • Each drill has suggested cone spacing, but feel free to move the cones closer or further apart.  Closer cones will target agility, cones that are spaced further apart can help reaching top speed.  Think about where you need to improve based on your sport.
  • Don’t over train.  3 sets of 2-3 drills is plenty if you’re going all out.  Make sure to take a rest day in between training sessions to let your body recover.

Need Cones?

It’s hard to do cone drills without cones.

And great cones will help you train to become great at your sport.

Get the Profect Sports set of 50 Pro Disc Cones and get a Free PDF with the Top 15 Speed, Agility & Quickness Cone Drills.

This cone set includes with bonus whistle, cone holder and mesh carrying bag to keep you organized and focused on the things that really matter.

Getting faster, stronger, and better.

Our cone set is designed for coaches and trainers – complete with enough cones for the whole team.