The agility ladder is a tool used by many trainers, coaches, and parents who want their kids to be the next best athlete at whatever sport they play. Similar to many tools for athletes, there is a time and a place for using any piece of equipment. A lot of coaches and parents think the agility ladder can make you faster; this is not true in terms of linear speed. Agility ladders can help you with your (go figure) agility but does not directly correlate to linear speed. If you are looking to improve an athletes speed, the two things you should be focusing on are force production (strength), and stride frequency. One of the biggest misconceptions is that working on strength will make you bigger and slower which is not true. Another common mistake among coaches and parents is trying to make an agility ladder specific to one sport when an agility ladder is a general tool used to improve skills, and overall athleticism.
What are agility ladders good for? Agility ladders are great at improving your foot-eye coordination. They are great at improving rhythm and coordination of the feet in multiple planes of motion. Once an athlete becomes proficient at ladder drills you could mix it up and incorporate some hand eye coordination as well by throwing a ball at them while doing ladder drills. Ladders are also a great tool for conditioning, maybe not for the more advanced athlete, but young athletes that are severely out of shape could benefit a lot from doing just simple ladder drills.
Using an agility ladder can be very beneficial for many young athletes, but knowing when and how to use them is very important.