It must be a close call as to who is the faster player, Bayern Munich’s Dutch star Arjen Robben or Portugal and Real Madrid hero Cristiano Ronaldo. Both can run and change direction at speed, and both possess a potentially devastating end product to boot.
Many people assume that soccer speed is in-built, but it can certainly be taught and perfected. Control, meanwhile, is something that even more easily, over time, can be fine tuned. So here is an exercise that combines both.
How to set it up
- Make sure your soccer players are warmed up before they try this.
- You need 10 cones, a ball, a goal, a stopwatch and a timesheet.
- Create a five-yard square around the penalty spot.
- You need two gates, each two yards wide, each side of the penalty “D”, and 20 yards from the goal line.
- Make another gate in the centre of the pitch 24 yards from the goal line, and place the ball here.
- Players initially face the goal. On your whistle, players turn around and sprint towards the ball. Start the clock.
- They must then dribble it around the course as fast as they can. The choice of direction is yours.
- When they return to the starting area, they shoot into either corner of the goal.
- The clock stops when the ball hits the net.
Why this drill works
Fast, focused, and in control. These are the things you want your striker to be. This drill demands the use of both feet and lightning quick movement, agility, co-ordination, the necessity to change direction and, ultimately, the ability to shoot at goal.
Get your young players to train in this way and they will replicate the positive benefits of this in match day situations.