Soccer requires great agility and speed in order to perform at maximum level. For that reason, many of the below exercises are used extensively by soccer players in their training routines. While they help sharpen soccer skills, they are also effective at burning calories, especially in those who are overweight.
Give the following five agility drills a try and see how you like them. If you want, you can incorporate these into your weekly routine by adding them to your cardio days.
1. Weave In and Out
1. Place 4 markers out in a straight line approximately 3 yards apart.
2. In between each set of markers place another marker only 3 yards to the left. (see diagram right)
3. Sprint from one marker to the next bending down to touch each one with your hand.
4. The emphasis is on taking quick side steps, rather than turning to face the marker and sprinting forward – that takes more time (which don’t have in a game).
2. Follow the Leader
1. Mark out a large area – 20 yards by 20 yards for example.
2. Pair up with a partner and have them run randomly within the area.
3. Try to maintain 2 yards distance from them at all times. Your partner should be changing direction and pace constantly.
3. Box Drill
1. Use 4 cones or markers to mark out a square approximately 5 yards by 5 yards.
2. Place a cone in the center of the square. This is your starting position.
3. Give each corner a number and remember it! Have a team mate (or your coach) call numbers at random.
4. Sprint to the corner shouted and return to the middle.
1. Place 2 markers 20 yards apart. Place marker in the middle only 3 yards to the side. (see diagram right)
2. Starting from the middle marker sprint to one end (10 yards), turn and immediately sprint to the other end (20 yards) and then back to the start (10 yards).
3. Turn on a different foot at each marker and try to touch the ground with your hand.
5. Super Shuttle
1. Set a series of cones out in a cross formation. (see diagram right)
2. Run backwards to the center cone, side step to the right cone (or your left if you are performing the drill), side step back to the centre cone still facing the same way.
3. At the center cone turn and sprint forward to the end cone. Now run back to the center cone, side step to the left, side step back to the center, then turn and sprint back to the start.
4. Phew! Sounds complicated – it’s not – the diagram explains it quicker than I can!
1. Place 10 shuttles in a line 5 yards apart.
2. Weave in and out as fast as possible and walk back to the start.
3. This exercise is often performed much more slowly with a ball. The goal here is to develop speed of leg movement so no ball is used.
Use the soccer agility drills above as they are or adapt them to fit your individual needs.
Thanks to Sports-Fitness-Advisor.com for directions.