EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Five Minute AskDave: How can you train speed in your players?

This five minute fitness drill can be used during your training sessions for a quick break to help coaching points sink in, or as an incentive for a drinks break.

This is all about giving your players the ability to hit bursts of speed during a game.

How to do it

Short bursts
Short bursts of speed can help your players make up ground and surge past opponents. It gives them the extra something they need to win games. Use this simple training exercise but be sure to repeat it in each session. Set up three cones in a straight line. The first two are 15 yards apart, and represent the distance players are sprinting. The distance between the second and third cone is 5 yards – in this area players will slow down to a jog. By using the third cone your players will hit maximum speed at the second cone rather than between cones. Players sprint one by one.

Gradual acceleration
Gradual acceleration still utilises pace but adds in a stamina element as well. It’s more controlled and is great for rehearsing players in making support runs for team mates. Put four cones in a line so that they split the sprint path in three equal 10-yard sections. Start your players from the first and get them to gradually increase their pace until they reach the third cone. From that point on, they must sprint at top speed to the last cone.

How to coach bursts of speed

1. Players should start at full speed then decelerate
2. Here acceleration is key through the cones to add stamina to the session
3. Make sure players stay clear of the runners behind them after each go
4. Players should take a 20 second break between each run

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