As most soccer fans and players know, speed is an essential skill which all players need, so most soccer players have getting faster as one of their goals to achieve.
There are ways to achieve this goal, but they require knowing the right information, as well as having the right strategy. You will need to understand the basics of how your body works so you can adapt and exercise to become a faster runner.
Generally speaking, a standard soccer match is around 90 minutes long, so players who are taking an active role will need a lot of endurance. But alongside this you will also need to be able to sprint, so you will need to match this endurance with speed.
Not just running is important, but knowing how to dribble with the ball as well.
There are lots of skills you will need to get faster in soccer, most of which we will be covering here, like; anticipation skills, mental processing, ball agility, and rapidly changing your movements to adapt.
How To Understand your Body
One of the most effective ways to get faster in soccer is to have a good understanding of how your body works and how this will affect your speed. An example of this is understanding your health, and the nutrition you give your body.
If you can keep your health in check, you will have control over what is happening to your body. Some coaches recommend eating a snack which is rich in carbohydrates before training to help with boosting speed.
You will also want to understand your physical structure, especially when it comes to your muscles and how this impacts your running. Your muscles are producing the energy needed to run faster, so you want them to be in the best form possible.
You will want to create a workout routine which will add to this muscle power. You will also want to pay attention to your flexibility as this will directly impact your speed, especially your agility.
By improving your flexibility, you will be able to improve your ability to sprint.
Factors That Affect Speed
While of course there are factors you can not control like your genetics which will impact how naturally fast you are, there are other factors which you are more in control of that you should pay attention to as well.
Some of these factors which attribute to your overall speed include:
- Sprinting, as in how often you can run fast in the 90 minutes of the game
- Accelerating, how fast you can get up to speed when you need to run
- The maximum speed that you are able to reach when running
- Your reaction speed and how well you can adapt while still running
- Your anticipation of the game and what you will run into
- Agility, so being able to twist, turn, and change your direction
- Having control over the ball while running
Now we have the basic of what makes you run well and faster down, we should go over what kind of drills will influence you to get faster.
Before you start speed training for soccer you will want to ensure that you are prepared, this includes ensuring that you are properly rested and healed, that you do a proper warm up and cool down, and to focus on speed routines near the start of your training sessions.
Drill 1 – Increasing Your Top Speed
To further increase your top speed, you will want to work on your drills for sprinting, these will help you reach the goal of reaching the highest speed possible in the shortest distance possible. To do this exercise you need to do a few simple things.
You want to get your head relaxed into a normal position and keep your arms smooth and on your sides relaxed. You want to make sure when you are moving you are keeping your knees as high as possible and make your movements smooth while striding.
Then run at your maximum speed and do this for between 20 and 30 yards. Then you will return to the starting point at a walk or slow jog. Do this about 2 to 4 times as practice.
When doing this you will want to wear cleats, these will give you the extra traction you need and will ensure you can change directions more effectively.
Drill 2 – Accelerating
One thing which can be just as important as being able to run at a high speed is being able to accelerate and then decelerate in a controlled way. This is sometimes more important than the top speed you can reach.
You will need to develop these skills as much as you can as well as being able to increase the lengths of your strides as well.
Generally speaking, the average distance of a sprint a soccer player will need to do is between 15 to 30 yards, so this is how long you will have to get up to speed.
To do this drill to improve acceleration, you will start by running at a slower steady pace for 10 yards and then sprint for 10 yards, then go back to a jog for 10 yards, then sprint for 10 yards, then decelerate over 5 yards, and then relax and walk back to the start.
We recommend redoing this exercise between 2 and 4 times. We recommend doing an activity like this with a friend since it is a good thing to do as a competition.
Drill 3 – Speed Ladder
Doing a speed ladder drill is a great way to improve your speed, as well as your coordination and balance. These force you to place your feet rapidly as well as strategically.
This is a much more simple activity than the other ones, all you have to do is get a speed ladder and see how quickly you can get through it. This again is a great one to do with a friend and see who is faster!