3 Ideas to Increase Your Soccer Agility and Speed
April 7, 2016 Francine Jones 0 Comments
If you want to be good at soccer, you have to have a great deal of speed, control and agility. These are skills that can be improved through training drills and strength building exercises. Having these skills under your belt will not only make you a better player, but it will help to prevent injury. Sports Medicine Australia reports that “the rate of injury for [soccer] players is 35 injuries per 1,000 playing hours.”
So here are 3 ideas to help improve your agility and speed on the field:
You can improve your agility and speed by increasing your range of motion. Before you play, use dynamic stretches such as lunges, bunny hops and running kicks to prepare your body for the game. This will increase the speed of your kicking and running motions. When you cool down, use static stretches to promote elasticity and recover. You will have longer stride lengths and be able to change directions much faster over time. Some great static movements are the standing quadriceps stretch for the upper thigh and standing hamstring stretch for the posterior chain.
Use Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a great training tool to build explosive power. Explosive power will make you faster. Fire-out is an exercise that requires the use of two resistance bands. Start by attaching one end of the resistance band to a sturdy pole. Then, step through the resistance band and pull it up until it rests on your shoulder. Do this with both bands until you make a sort of harness. Crouch down on all fours and then lunge straight out as fast as you can. The tension that the bands puts on your muscles will give you the ability to explode in single bursts of speed.
Muscular Endurance Drills
Soccer players have to be able to quickly do the same kicks over and over again with accuracy. It’s a type of strength that requires your muscles to remain strong throughout the long duration of a soccer match. Without it, your agility and speed will deteriorate and you’ll become more likely to take on an injury. One way to build muscular endurance is through a basic soccer kicking drill. Place 10 soccer balls on a line in front of the goal. If your dominant kicking leg is the right leg, then start with the ball closest to your right side. Then, have at it. Go down the line and practice your free kick over and over again. Change up the angle and distance to keep the exercise fresh and fun.
Soccer is an extremely demanding physical sport, perhaps the most demanding of all sports. A prominent Sports Fitness Advisor noted that soccer players can range between 8 to 12 kilometers in a single match. It requires a balance of strength, endurance, speed and agility. Training for soccer doesn’t have to be boring though. Just follow these 3 simple ideas and you’ll see real improvement in your game.