The Pro-Agility drill, also called the 5-10-5 drill, is one of the primary scouting drills used during performance evaluations and combine events across all sports. Apart from the 40 yard sprint it is also probably the most well-known. What people often don’t understand is that it is a highly technical drill that requires a large amount of practice. Learning small technical points can make a notable difference in your final time.
The first thing that needs to be learned is the setup. The athlete should be straddling the start line with one hand on the ground touching the line. Whichever side the athlete is running first is the same side the athlete should have their hand down. This allows for a faster and more powerful cross-over to cover the first 5 yards.
When running the first 5 yards the athlete should cover the distance in as few steps as possible. These steps should be practiced to the point that the athlete knows exactly how many steps it will take to cover the distance. Their shoulders should be kept square in the direction they were facing when they started. This will facilitate a faster first turn. Because of the short distance being covered turning all the way will not cover the distance faster and will cost the athlete time when making the turn.
In making either the first or second turn, the athlete should maintain a low center of gravity and lower their body as they approach the line. A low center of gravity will allow them to decelerate and re-accelerate quicker. When touching the line their bodyweight should shift towards the direction that they are turning, away from the line, making it easer for them to get into the next running section of the drill. When touching the line either hand is okay to use if the body lean and mechanics are the same. This is an area when the athlete should try both and find out which they prefer. The athlete should then stick with that hand while practicing the drill.
Getting into the 10-yard section of the drill is where the athlete should get their head and hips around facing the line where they will make the second turn. With the longer running section the athlete can get closer to full speed than the first 5 yards. As they approach the second turn the mechanics should be the same as the first: lower the center of gravity and lean away form the line so they can decelerate re-accelerate in the new direction.
The last 5 yards should be the same as the 10 yard sprint: get your head and hips around in the direction of the finish line and accelerate to full speed. A simple, but often missed aspect of the drill, is finishing through the line. Like following through on a throw, kick, or swing in a sport, finishing through will ensure that you don’t add any time by decelerating and slowing down too early.
The pro-agility should be viewed the same way any sport skill is viewed. It requires hours of practice and repetition to master. Particularly when close to an event, technique should be the primary focus when preparing to run the drill. Using the above tips will allow you to maximize your potential and present coaches and scouts an accurate measure of your true speed.