Speed is an essential component of any sport. However, it's a bit more critical in soccer. Soccer players must maintain their momentum as they run the field for an entire game. As you train, you should take steps to include drills that are designed to help you run faster in soccer.
When we talk about speed in soccer, we are discussing more than just running fast. While running fast is essential, the ability to run at full pace for an entire game is what truly matters.
We've compiled a few tips designed to help you run faster in soccer, to take your game to the next level on the field.
Running Faster in Soccer with the Ball
Running in soccer goes beyond simply maintaining the endurance of running up and down the soccer field. Soccer players need to be able to dribble the ball, control the ball, pass the ball, and keep the ball away from their opponents. All while maintaining their speed and endurance during the game.
Some of the world's best soccer players are not the fastest athletes. Rather, they are the players who get the most out of their speed. The best soccer players use their speed to move quickly with the ball, maintaining a rhythm to throw off the defenses of the opposing team.
Running Faster in Soccer without the Ball
The need for speed for offensive soccer players is obvious. Offensive soccer players need to sharpen their off-ball movement skills to separate themselves from various defensive players. For example, a winger needs to get past both the fullback on his/her side and the center backs. Without explosive speed, defenders can sit back and relax without worrying about players ever zooming past them.
Defensive players must run faster in soccer to prevent other offensive players from making plays past them. The easiest way for teams to score is to slide through with the ball to wingers and strikers trying to get past the back line. Defenders must have the speed to catch up with them quickly.
Speed Endurance Drills to Improve Your Soccer Speed
Running faster in soccer doesn't matter if you're not able to maintain your speed for the entire game. For example, if you receive the ball at midfield and break away from the defense with an explosive sprint, it won’t matter if you run out of gas 10 yards later. You need to work on your endurance until you can stick to your maximum speed from start to finish.
If you want to run faster in soccer, you must start by increasing your strength. Increased speed is just one of the benefits of strength training. In fact, researchers have proven that strength training directly correlates with becoming a more agile and nimble runner; both which are highly compatible. Essentially, the stronger your body, the faster you will run.
Training with VertiMax helps soccer players develop the quickness, strength, and speed to help them dominate maximum pitch from kickoff to the final whistle.Here are a few of our favorite VertiMax strength training drills designed to help you run faster in soccer.
- Kick Drills (V8) - Start by stepping in front of the V8 platform. With resistance loaded at the waist and at both thighs, run at full speed, kicking the ball into the net. Be sure to follow through with the gradual slowdown after you kick the ball. This drill is ideal for strengthening the muscles needed to run faster in soccer (i.e. your quads, glutes, hamstring muscles).
- Attacking and Defending Drills (V8) - Start by stepping in front of the V8 platform. Load resistance at both thighs, explode into a full sprint, running away from the platform, breaking down into squatted stop. Return to the platform starting position with a swift side gallop step. Repeat.
- Back Pedal Head Drill (V8) - Standing about 15 meters away from the platform, with resistance loaded at the waist, begin to swiftly back pedal. Once you hit your targeted mark, sprint forward, and hit the ball with your head (thrown by another individual).
- Marching A & A Skip (Raptor) - Secure to the Raptor to a fixed point, such as a fence, with resistance loaded at the waist and thighs. Begin the Marching A (i.e. toe up, knee up, heel up), and take it out to the 10 yard marker. Once you hit your marker, walk it back (backwards). For a more advanced drill, add a little skip into the motion. This drill is ideal to strengthen your running form.
Don’t Forget the Arm Techniques
What you do with your arms while you run matters. Ideally, you want your arms cocked at a 90-degree angle. As you run, be sure to drive your elbows back and forward. Take care not to straighten your arm on the way back. You want your arms moving forward and back, and not sideways. As you are running, your hands should be going through your hip. Pay attention that they are not high by your chest, or below your hips. Essentially, the faster your arms move, the faster your legs will go!
Adding these drills to your weekly training sessions will help to rapidly increase acceleration and velocity leading to enhanced vertical jump performance, increased speed, and elevated endurance. With a little push from VertiMax, you can start to train smarter, not harder!