Coaching Association of Canada

Drum Beat

Stage of Activity 



Drum or something to create a loud rhythm
Cones to mark course (if needed)


5-10 minutes

Number of People


How it Works

Create a 50m to 150m course for locomotor movement (e.g. running, skating, skiing, swimming, etc.) 

The coach begins by asking all athletes to clap or stomp the drum’s rhythm with their hands or feet.

Athletes complete a designated time on the course, listening carefully and alternating their locomotor rhythm to match the drum. E.g. match push of wheel (wheelchair, bike), foot lift (running, walking), lateral push (ski, skate), stroke (kayaking, swimming, canoeing, rowing) to rhythm.

Coach changes from fast to slow, regular to irregular, accelerating to decelerating after each 10-20 second interval.


Rhythmic locomotor movement, changing movement patterns, timing, external cuing, reaction time


Use a visual stimulus for the beat if an auditory stimulus is not compatible with the environment.

Try in partners or teams to match rhythms of other athletes and the beat (e.g. highly applicable to sports like short-track speed skating, cycling, rowing, etc.)