Agility training should be done 2 days per week. Like speed, your ability to stop, start and change direction can be trained. This is called agility. Agility is a major component of soccer competition and can be the deciding factor in the outcome of a game. Agility is easily trained by performing drills which require you to stop, start and change direction.
Unlike the other components, the agility workouts are not specified by week. The program provides six very good drills that should be done on a weekly basis (2-3 drills, twice per week). Each agility session should last a maximum of 30 minutes total exercise time. With a short warm-up, 2 sets of 2-3 drills and a warm-down, you should need no more than 30-40 minutes. Some of the agility drills will also enhance your speed.
The primary goal of an off-season program is to enhance overall conditioning and to work on those areas where you fall short. This information will provide general conditioning and performance drills which may be used by all ages and skill levels of soccer players. Learn how you may increase the difficultly or enhance the program for older or more advanced athletes.
Mini Shuttle: (agility)
- Place 2 markers 20 yards apart. Place 2 markers in the middle only 3 yards to each side.
- Starting from the left-middle marker, sprint to one end (10 yards), turn and immediately sprint to the other end (20 yards) and then to the finish marker (10 yards).
- Turn on a different foot at each marker and try to touch the ground with your hand.
Weave In and Out: (speed and agility)
- Place 6-8 cones in a straight line approximately 3 yards apart.
- In between each set of cones, place another cone only 3 yards to the left.
- Sprint from one cone to the next, bending down to touch each one with your hand.
- Focus on taking quick side steps rather than turning to face the cone and sprinting forward, which takes more time.
Follow the Leader: (agility)
- Mark out a large area at least 20 yards by 20 yards.
- Pair up with a teammate and chose one as the leader.
- The leader will run randomly, changing directions and speed often.
- The follower should try to maintain 2 yards distance from the leader.
- After 3–5 minutes, have the teammates switch positions.
Slalom: (speed and agility — do not use a ball with this drill)
- Place 6–10 cones in a line approximately 5 yards apart.
- Run, weaving in and out, as fast as possible to the last cone, then walk back to the start.
- While this drill can also be done with a ball, here you are trying to go as fast as possible, so use a ball only when working on footwork.
Box Drill: (speed and agility)
- Mark out a square approximately 5 yards by 5 yards (cones work well for this); place a cone in the center for the starting position.
- Number the cones from 1 to 4.
- Have a teammate, coach or parent call out cone numbers at random; when the number is called, you are to sprint to the cone, touch it and return to the center as quickly as possible.
Super Shuttle: (speed and agility)
- This drill can be confusing, but it is great at helping your change of direction.
- Place 4 cones as shown in the diagram.
- Begin by facing out from the center; backpedal into the center, then side-step to either the right or left, then side-step to the other side (touching the cones); sidestep back to the center; then turn 180 degrees and sprint forward out the other side.
- There are about a thousand ways to do this drill, so make up your own games and have fun! The goal is to go in all directions: back, side to side and forward.
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