Football is a quick-fire game where speed is everything. If you cannot produce an explosive speed, then it doesn’t matter how strong you are, as your opponents will be able to outrun you.
Looking at the sports betting odds, you can see that the teams lined up as the favorites all have fast runners. If you want to match their intensity, you need to complete the same agility drills that they do.
That’s where we come in.
Today, we will show you 7 drills that can improve your speed, to prepare for your next game.
This drill is very simple. It forces your body into making quick turns and an explosive start.
To set up the drill, you should place one cone near your starting point, and two cones around 6 yards away from your starting cone. This creates a finish line.
To complete the drill, you need to circle around the starting cone a number of times, and then sprint to the “finish line”.
You need to keep your circle tight around the cone – forcing your feet into completing delicate control. You also need to avoid making false steps.
Your coach can either tell you how many times to circle before the final sprint, or they can randomly shout “now” to keep your attention on the instructions and your feet at the same time.
This drill is set up exactly the same way as drill number 1, however you need to create a second “finish line” around 5 feet past the first one.
When you sprint towards the first finish line, you need to complete a backpedal before accelerating towards the second finish line.
This creates an added layer of difficulty and quick movement.
In this drill, we want to create quick transformations between sprinting and backpedaling.
You need to lay 4 cones in a straight line, each around 2 feet away from the last. Around 5 yards away from the last cone, you need to create a finish line.
Your starting point is around 9 yards away from the first cone.
To complete the drill, you need to sprint to the first cone, lower your center of gravity and run to the final cone, then switch to a backpedal towards the first cone again.
Now run forward to the third cone again, backward to the first, forward to the second cone, backward to the first, and then sprint to the finish line.
To make this drill more difficult, the coach could yell numbers to tell you which cone to run to next. This essentially mimics a captain telling you who to run towards or block. Fast movement and accurate footwork is needed to maintain speed during a quick change.
This drill is all about making quick movements with accuracy and speed.
Lay down a speed ladder and a finish line around 10 yards beyond it. Run through the ladder, and then backpedal it. Run again and then race to the finish line.
For an added challenge, your coach can yell “change” forcing you into quick but accurate movements randomly through your drill.
This routine helps to improve your single-leg explosive power, as well as your balance.
Copy the Changing Directions drill, but instead of using speed ladders, replace them with 9 mini-hurdles.
At the starting point, stand on one leg. Hop over the mini-hurdle, swap legs, and then hop over the next mini-hurdle. Keep swapping and hopping until you complete all 9 hurdles, and then sprint to the finish line.
Like the Swap and Hop, this drill is designed to give you explosive power.
To set up, place 8 mini-hurdles one yard away from each other in a straight line. Start in front of the first hurdle and using one leg jump over all 8, one after the other.
The aim of this exercise is to be fast and accurate.
This drill is difficult, so depending on your skill level you may need to reduce the hurdle numbers or avoid the pressure of speed. Make sure to complete drill number 7 to improve your strength. The more you complete this drill, the stronger you will be, and the more explosive your starts will be.
This exercise is to strengthen your legs. If one is weaker than the other, your sprint will not be fast and you may cause an injury.
Place a swiss ball balance between the middle of your back and a wall. Press into the ball while standing on one leg. Lower yourself down into a squat position and then stand back up again. Do this while staying on one leg. For added difficulty include dumbbells.
Make sure to swap legs.
Add these drills to your routine to improve your speed and your explosiveness. We recommend mixing these drills up to avoid muscle memory taking over. If you allow this to happen your body will not be ready for the game, and will only be ready for the drills.
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