by Patrick Beith
Let’s learn how you can increase your soccer speed and and improve your overall agility with some simple training exercises. Increase your speed, improve your agility, and overall quickness with the soccer agility drills below.
Soccer players must have exceptional speed and quickness levels that must be consistently trained. A 30 meter straight ahead sprint is not the only way to assess an athlete’s speed. There is a difference between quick and fast. The best athletes have a combination of both quick and fast characteristics and both elements must be trained.
Lateral speed and agility work lays the foundation for an athlete in any sport. You know that agility training is used to improve foot speed, quickness, acceleration, switching gears, cutting, starting/stopping, change of direction, and reaction, but did you also know that agility training aids in preventing injuries by improving body control through proper movement mechanics?
With all of the benefits of agility training, you must include this in your soccer speed training program. Agility speed drills are an important aspect of soccer speed training. Here are our top 3 soccer agility drills:
Agility Drill #1
T-Drill: Set the cones up to look like a T. The athlete starts at the bottom of the T (cone #1). Sprint forward 10 yards to cone #2. At the cone side shuffle left 5 yards to cone #3. Plant at cone #3 and side shuffle 10 yards to cone #4. Plant again at cone #4 and side shuffle 5 yards back to cone #2. Cut at cone #2 and sprint back to the beginning to cone #1.
Agility Drill #2
Funnel Drill: Need 6 cones. The first 2 cones are next to each other 2 yards apart. Place the cones 3 and 4, 3 yards away form the first 2 and separate them 4 yards apart. Cones 5 and 6 are going to be 3 yards away from cones 3 and 4, and they will be separated 6 yards apart. The cones should form a shape of a funnel.
To start this drill, you should stand in an athletic position in front of cone #1. On a command of a coach or training partner, laterally shuffle to cone #2. Touch the top of cone 2 then sprint diagonally to cone #3, touch, then shuffle to cone #4. Touch cone #4 then sprint diagonally to cone #5, touch and laterally shuffle to cone #6. Touch cone #6 then sprint forward 5 yards to the finish line.
Agility Drill #3
X-Factor Drill: Set the cones up in a square pattern with each cone 10 yards apart. The athlete starts at cone #1 and sprints 10 yards to cone #2. At cone #2 the athlete plants and sprints diagonally to cone #4. Cut at cone #4 and sprint 10 yards up to cone #3. At cone #3 the athlete plants again and sprints diagonally back to cone #1.
Agility Drill #4
Agility Ladder Drill: This one is pretty straight forward, but you’ll need an agility ladder. Using the ladder, step in and out of the main square going right foot and then left foot into the center square and then outside and then the opposite left foot goes in and so on. Continue going up and down through the ladder touching each foot into and outside the square.