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Soccer Drills - Speed Work

Speed is a very essential component of most sports. There are two areas in soccer where speed is applied. The first area has elements that can be improved by specific speed training. The second area has elements specific in training with a ball. The first area has the following elements: the ability to accelerate quickly, a high maximum speed, the ability to react quickly to situations, being able to twist, turn and change direction quickly, and lastly the ability to produce bursts of fast running throughout the game. The second area is the ability to read a situation and anticipate and the ability to move the ball and use the ball at speed.

To gain acceleration, a player needs to move his/her feet, gradually increasing stride length as he/she drives forward. Speed ladders, sprint drills and low intensity ply metrics can improve acceleration as well as coordination.

Maximum speed requires leg strength and leg speed. Sprint drills could greatly improve these two. A warm up session over 20-30 meters of sprint drills is ideal.

Players usually react to visual stimuli. It is better that players, during a routine practice or workout, be given commands while they are running or moving. As the drills progress the players concentrate on the command and therefore making their running reaction more natural and relaxed.

Drills in changing directions can be done by getting the players run back then forward, then side to side, then back, then diagonally etc. There are no restrictions on the directions during a game. Multi direction is incorporated while running at speed.

To hold close to maximum speed for as long as possible is called speed endurance. Speed endurance coupled with many short bursts of effort is need during a soccer match. Interval type training is required to obtain this skill of a soccer player. Basic training like light jogging and stretching will be done during the first part of the training. After a week or two of low-level intensity training, players may increase intensity of the training.

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