Best running back cone drills

Running backs are an integral part of any football team, responsible for carrying the ball and making explosive plays. In order to excel at their position, running backs need to possess exceptional agility, quickness, and change of direction abilities. One effective way to enhance these skills is by incorporating cone drills into their training regimen.

Cone drills are a fundamental component of running back training because they simulate game-like situations and improve various aspects of their performance. These drills require the running back to navigate through a series of cones placed at different intervals, forcing them to make quick cuts, change directions, and accelerate rapidly. By performing these drills regularly, running backs can improve their footwork, balance, coordination, and overall agility on the field.

There are several cone drills that are specifically designed to enhance a running back’s athletic abilities and make them more effective on the football field. One of the most popular cone drills is the 5-10-5 drill, also known as the pro agility drill. In this drill, the running back starts in a three-point stance and sprints five yards to one side, touches the cone, changes direction, sprints 10 yards to the opposite side, touches the cone, and finally sprints five yards back to the starting point. This drill helps improve a running back’s ability to change directions quickly and explosively.

Another beneficial cone drill for running backs is the L-drill, also known as the 3-cone drill. In this drill, the running back starts in a three-point stance and sprints five yards forward, touches the cone, changes direction, sprints 10 yards to the side, touches the cone, changes direction again, and sprints five yards back to the starting point. The L-drill is particularly effective in improving a running back’s agility, as it requires them to perform quick changes of direction in a short space.

Best Running Back Cone Drills

The agility and quickness of a running back are crucial for their success on the field. Cone drills are a popular and effective way for running backs to improve their footwork, change of direction, and overall agility. These drills help them develop the necessary speed and control to make sharp cuts, evade defenders, and find the open lanes to gain yards.

Here are some of the best cone drills that running backs can incorporate into their training routine:

  • 1. Lateral Cone Drill: This drill involves setting up a line of cones spaced about 2-3 feet apart. The running back starts at one end and laterally moves quickly from side to side, weaving in and out between the cones. This drill improves lateral agility and quick footwork.
  • 2. T-Drill: In the T-drill, cones are arranged in the shape of a “T”. The running back starts at the base of the T, sprints forward to the top of the T, shuffles to one side, backpedals to the other side, and finally sprints back to the starting point. This drill helps improve acceleration, change of direction, and overall agility.
  • 3. Figure 8 Cone Drill: This drill involves setting up two cones in a figure 8 pattern. The running back starts at one cone, makes a tight turn around it, runs to the second cone, makes another tight turn, and repeats the pattern. This drill focuses on agility, balance, and quick changes of direction.
  • 4. 5-Cone Drill: Five cones are arranged in a straight line, with each cone about 5 yards apart. The running back starts at one end and sprints to the first cone, touches it, sprints back to the starting point, then sprints to the second cone, touches it, and continues this pattern until all cones have been touched. This drill helps improve speed, acceleration, and change of direction.
  • 5. Zigzag Cone Drill: Cones are set up in a zigzag pattern, and the running back runs through them, making quick cuts and changes of direction. This drill helps improve agility, balance, and the ability to navigate through tight spaces.

By incorporating these cone drills into their training routine, running backs can enhance their footwork, agility, and overall performance on the field. Consistent practice and repetition of these drills will help them become more elusive, explosive, and effective in evading defenders and gaining yardage.

Importance of Cone Drills for Running Backs

Running backs play a vital role in the success of any football team. They are responsible for running the ball, evading defenders, and making quick, agile movements on the field. To excel in these areas, running backs need to have exceptional footwork and agility. Cone drills are an essential training tool that can help improve these skills and make running backs more effective on game day.

One of the main reasons why cone drills are crucial for running backs is that they simulate game-like situations. The agility and speed required to navigate through cones mirrors the movements running backs need to make on the field. By practicing these drills, running backs can improve their ability to change direction quickly, accelerate, and decelerate, giving them an advantage over their opponents.

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Another benefit of cone drills is that they help improve a running back’s spatial awareness. Running backs often find themselves surrounded by defenders, and their ability to identify and exploit open spaces is crucial. Cone drills can train running backs to read the field more effectively, helping them make split-second decisions about where and how to move. This enhanced spatial awareness can be the difference between gaining extra yards or being tackled for a loss.

Overall, cone drills are a valuable training tool for running backs. They help improve footwork, agility, and spatial awareness, all of which are essential skills for success in their position. By incorporating cone drills into their training routine, running backs can become more elusive, dynamic, and effective on the football field.

Cone Drill 1: Lateral Agility Drill

Cone Drill 1: Lateral Agility Drill

The first cone drill that is essential for running backs to master is the Lateral Agility Drill. This drill focuses on improving the player’s ability to quickly change direction and move laterally, which is crucial for avoiding defenders and making quick cuts on the field.

During this drill, the running back starts by standing next to the first cone. Upon the coach’s signal, the player must sprint to the side, touching the cone with their hand, and then quickly change direction to sprint to the opposite side and touch the second cone. This back-and-forth lateral movement continues as the running back moves quickly between the cones.

By consistently practicing the Lateral Agility Drill, running backs can improve their footwork, balance, and overall agility on the field. This drill helps them develop the necessary skills to make quick and evasive movements, allowing them to navigate through tight spaces, avoid tackles, and create separation from defenders. Additionally, this drill helps improve the running back’s reaction time and enhances their ability to make split-second decisions while on the move.

Overall, the Lateral Agility Drill is an important cone drill for running backs as it helps enhance their lateral agility, footwork, and decision-making abilities. Mastery of this drill can significantly improve a running back’s performance on the field, allowing them to be more effective in eluding defenders and finding open running lanes.

3-Cone Drill

The 3-Cone Drill, also known as the L-Drill or the Shuttle Drill, is one of the most widely used cone drills for running backs. It is designed to test a player’s ability to change direction quickly and efficiently while maintaining speed. This drill requires a lot of agility, balance, and coordination.

During the 3-Cone Drill, the player starts at one cone and sprints towards the second cone, which is placed five yards away. The player then changes direction and sprints towards the third cone, which is placed ten yards away in the shape of an L. Finally, the player changes direction again and sprints back to the starting cone. The goal is to complete the drill as quickly as possible, without knocking over any cones.

This drill is an excellent measure of a running back’s ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction. It helps to improve footwork, agility, and overall speed. It also tests the player’s ability to stay low and maintain balance while changing direction, which is crucial in evading defenders and making sharp cuts on the field.

The 3-Cone Drill is often included in scouting combines and tryouts for football players, as it provides valuable insight into a player’s athletic ability and potential. It is also a favorite among running backs during their training sessions, as it helps them develop the skills necessary to excel in their position and become a more elusive runner.

Cone Drill 3: T-Drill

The T-Drill is another popular cone drill used to improve agility and change of direction for running backs. This drill requires a set of cones placed in a T-shape, with one cone at the top and two cones forming the base of the T. The running back starts at the top cone, sprints diagonally to touch one of the cones at the base, then backpedals to touch the other cone at the base, and finishes by sprinting back to the starting cone.

The T-Drill helps running backs develop their ability to quickly change direction, accelerate, and decelerate. By performing this drill, running backs can improve their footwork and balance, which are essential for making sharp cuts and avoiding defenders on the field. The T-Drill also helps improve reaction time and coordination, as runners have to quickly react to the changing direction of the cones and adjust their movements accordingly.

Coaches often use the T-Drill as a measure of a running back’s overall agility and quickness. The ability to efficiently navigate through the cones and change direction at high speeds is crucial for success in football. Running backs who excel in the T-Drill demonstrate their ability to make explosive movements, change direction on a dime, and maintain control of their body while moving at high speeds.

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The T-Drill can be customized to focus on specific skills or weaknesses. For example, coaches can add additional cones to create more complex patterns or adjust the distance between cones to increase or decrease the difficulty level. By incorporating variations of the T-Drill into their training regime, running backs can continue to challenge themselves and improve their overall agility and change of direction abilities.

5 Best running back cone drills

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Question and answer:

What is the T-drill cone drill?

The T-drill cone drill is a speed and agility drill commonly used in sports training, particularly in football and soccer. It involves setting up cones in the shape of a “T” and performing quick movements around them to improve footwork, change of direction, and overall agility.

How is the T-drill cone drill performed?

To perform the T-drill cone drill, you start at the base of the “T” and sprint forward to the top of the “T.” Then, you shuffle to the left or right to the cone on the side, touching it with your hand, and shuffle back to the center cone. Finally, you sprint backward to the starting point. This completes one repetition, and the drill is typically performed for a set number of repetitions or for a designated time.

What are the benefits of the T-drill cone drill?

The T-drill cone drill offers several benefits, including improved speed, agility, and quickness. It helps athletes develop better coordination, body control, and the ability to change directions rapidly. It also enhances acceleration and deceleration, which are important skills in sports that require sudden stops and direction changes.

Who can benefit from the T-drill cone drill?

The T-drill cone drill can benefit athletes in a variety of sports, such as football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and many others. It is particularly useful for positions or roles that require quick changes of direction, such as running backs, wide receivers, midfielders, and defenders. However, the drill can be modified to suit the needs of athletes in different sports and positions.

Are there any variations of the T-drill cone drill?

Yes, there are variations of the T-drill cone drill that can add more challenge or focus on specific skills. For example, the T-drill can be performed with cones placed closer together to increase footwork speed or with cones arranged in different patterns to simulate specific movement patterns in a sport. Coaches and trainers can customize the drill to meet the specific needs and goals of their athletes.

What is the Cone Drill 3: T-Drill?

The Cone Drill 3: T-Drill is a football agility drill that is designed to improve lateral quickness, change of direction, and overall footwork. It involves setting up cones in the shape of a “T” and requires the athlete to navigate through the cones as quickly as possible while focusing on proper technique.


In conclusion, the Cone Drill 3, commonly known as the T-Drill, is a versatile and effective training exercise for athletes of all levels. This drill helps improve speed, agility, and coordination, as well as enhancing an athlete’s ability to change direction quickly and efficiently. By incorporating cones in a T-shaped formation, athletes are forced to perform various movements such as sprinting, backpedaling, lateral shuffling, and cutting, replicating movements seen in many sports. Regular practice of the T-Drill can lead to significant improvements in an athlete’s overall performance on the field or court. Whether you are training for football, basketball, soccer, or any other sport, incorporating the T-Drill into your training routine can help take your athleticism to the next level. So, grab your cones and start mastering the T-Drill today!

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