Soccer demands both speed and endurance. You don't need to be Usain Bolt to succeed, but explosive sprints are definitely worth the training. To be successful, you'll also need to improve your mental speed, including your sense of anticipation and your ability to quickly change movements and techniques. Bring your A game to the field by increasing your speed and agility in running, ball control, and reaction time.
Part 1: Building Speed
A. Do sprint drills to raise your maximum speed. Training to reach high speeds within relatively short distances can increase your top speed. Sprint drills are an easy way to accomplish this.
- Run at top speed for 22-33 yards (20-30 meters).
- Make sure that your arm action is smooth and relaxed during the exercise. Keep your arms close to your body.
- Focus on making smooth, even strides.
- Keep your head relaxed and in a natural position.
- Slow jog or walk back to your starting point when finished with the sprint.
- Do 2-4 repetitions of this drill.
B. Do acceleration drills. The ability to accelerate quickly is critical in soccer, and often more important than a high maximum speed. Acceleration drills will make you build up to and come down from high speeds more efficiently. This type of exercise also helps you work high speeds into other routines. To do a simple acceleration drill:
- Jog for 7 yards (6.4 meters), then accelerate. Begin to decelerate around yard 12 (meter 11). Repeat the sequence, then walk back to your starting point.
C. Use a speed ladder. Training with a speed ladder will increase your speed, lower body agility, balance, and coordination. This horizontal tool requires you to alternate your feet across successive rungs as you run. To improve your speed, train with the ladder while using a stopwatch, and work on improving your best time.
Speed Ladder: The Pro Ladder will improve lateral speed and directional agility while enhancing balance. The 11 rung ladder comes with 4 steel grass spikes to secure the Pro Ladder on the grass and minimize tangles during training.
D. Try interval training. To use speed effectively on the field, you will have to get used to using bursts of speed interspersed within other movements. To accomplish this, do 30 minutes of interval training. Alternate light jogging (5-10 min) with short bursts of more powerful exercises, such as:
- Running stairs or hills
- Ladder drills
- Using a ball in combination with any of the above
Part 2: Increasing Agility
A. Train to improve reaction speed. Being fast on the field isn’t just about running speed it’s also about your ability to change your direction, speed, or technique quickly and frequently. To improve your reaction speed, practice while a coach or friend calls (or better, uses a visual signal) for you to change your exercise. Respond as quickly as possible. Try incorporating a combination of exercises like:
- Changing direction quickly when running
- Sprinting on command
C. Practice ball exercises.While training to increase your speed at moving across the field, do not neglect your control of the ball. Remember that soccer is primarily a sport where the player’s lower body moves in contact with the ground and ball. To be not only fast, but fast and in control of the ball, you must work on your agility.
- Dribble at every opportunity, using all parts of your foot (outside, inside, top, and bottom).
- Do speed dribbling exercises by kicking the ball slightly forward and running after it.
- Practice changing direction quickly while dribbling and doing speed dribbling exercises. You can also do this while attempting to evade another player in order to practice using quick dribbles as a way to beat opponents.
- Do lateral ball drop exercises. Have a coach or partner hold a ball at shoulder height, 5.4 yards (5 meters) away from you. When your coach/partner drops the ball, attempt to reach and control the ball before it bounces a second time.
- Practice cone or flag exercises to increase your speed and agility. Time yourself and aim to beat your time each round.
These are all the perfect equipment exercise you can actually use to become stronger and faster in the field.
This 10 Pack Hex Markers 2 inch comes in different colors offer a great solution to training and marking out fields, drills and more. Hex Agility Cones significantly improves an athlete's ability to accelerate, decelerate, and quickly change direction with precise timing and body control. Perfect for any sport.
For speed, agility and plyometric drills, it's hard to beat hurdles. That's why these all-purpose hurdles are designed to stand up to the biggest beatings and heaviest athletes. Highly durable, multi-directional speed that has bounce-back construction that comes in 4pack and a carry bag.
The Pro Return lets you hit shot after shot returning the ball back to your feet. Designed for home and club players, the cord length is easily adjustable to fit the space you have to play in, whether in a garden or on the training field. The system lets you practice your shooting, crossing, penalties or passing, and is ideal for solo or team training. Simply adjust the cord length and position the base weight so the ball will return to you and you can practice over and over without ever having to climb over the back fence again.
This very useful equipment increases your strength in your legs and core while improving your fitness and agility with the Pro Sports Parachute resistance belt. Belt is adjustable. It develops your fitness fast, Improves Reaction,Speed, And Stamina. It has an Easy belt Adjustment for All Ages that has 15lbs of resistance and it Comes with Easy to Manage bag.
Built to work on grass and turf, Agility Poles are designed for versatility and performance. The 2 piece poles are then connected so they remain attached that makes it super-fast to locate and set up. This 5FT 29mm Thick Quality PVC High Poles comes in yellow and blue color with an easy carry solution.