and short sprints are essential for soccer.
When performing sprint work always remember to:
· Do a complete warm-up with some ball work before sprinting.
· After the ball work, then do a good stretching routine.
· Do all your remaining ball work.
· Save your sprint work to the end of your session.
· Do a sprint (one rep), then do active rest with the ball
(juggling, ball feeling etc.), and then do another sprint. Three to
five repetitions = one set.
· The active rest will help your endurance, and also give you
time to recuperate before the next sprint.
· Do your sprint as maximum speed.
The following are some speed work exercises. You would probably only
use one or two at any one training session.
1.) Slalom: Place some cones (any object will work-coasters, milk
jugs, soccer balls etc.) as below.
(5 yds.) (10
yds.) (10 yds.)
Gradually accelerate from A to B. Then sprint to C and D (slalom
around C and D). Then directly sprint to E. Slowly jog back to A.
Do some ball work, (juggling, passing, dribbling) and repeat. Do at
least three repetitions.
Note: you can also do this same exercise with
2.) Change of direction:
A B C Coach D E
Gradually accelerate from A to B. Sprint from B to C. Just before
reaching C; a partner (parent, sister etc.) plays a ball to the right
or left from D. You must react to the ball and sprint after it. If
possible set two markers for a small goal at E. This can be a wall,
target board etc. Sprint after the ball dribble and try to finish
on target. Remember to keep your head down when you strike the ball
on target. Collect the ball and play it back to the passer. Repeat.
Do five repetitions, then do active rest (ball work), then repeat.
Do three sets of five repetitions, each with active rest in between.
A B C D
(5 yrds.) (10 yrds.) (10 yrds.)
Sprint from A to B and turn and go back to A.
Turn at A and sprint to C and turn and go back to B.
Turn at B and sprint to D and turn and go back to C.
Turn at C and sprint to D again. Then directly sprint back to A.
Note: if you have a partner- they can
play a ball into you at the end, when you get to D. You can
receive it and play it back (one touch or two touch)
Or-You can receive it-turn and sprint with the ball back to A-turn
and make the long pass back to the server.
Note: You can do the entire sprint with the
Do one repetition- active rest, then another rep. (three reps total).
4.) Speed work with the ball:
A B C
Sprint from A to B. When you get to B have a partner play the ball
into you at a fairly hard pace. The ball should be played into you
at different directions and pace-on the ground and in the air. It
can be played into your body or in front of you, for you to sprint
onto. This is an actual game like situation.
The object is to not let the ball run past you. Trap the ball in any
legal way possible. Remember to try to receive it at speed. Get the
ball down, as quickly as possible, under control and sprint to C.
Turn at C and play it back quickly to the server. Server can do a
one-two as you go back to A. Repeat.
Note: one of the faults of a lot of
American players is that they can’t receive the ball at pace.
Try to increase your speed as you receive the ball. This will take
time and practice. The ball should stay close to you. Trap it, and
get it under control. Remember-sensitizing your body will help with
5.) 360 sprint and turns:
Sprint with a ball from A to B. Do a complete 360 with the ball around
the cone. Then sprint with the ball to C. Continue doing a 360 around
each cone, until you get back to A.
Active rest- then repeat.
Note: You can also do this exercise without
Get around the cones as fast as possible with the ball. You can do
inside of the foot around, or outside of the foot around.
Most sprint work may need to be done outside, unless you have a fairly
large indoor space.
After you finish any sprint work, it is best to slowly jog, and then
do some stretching.
this page for printable version