Agility Drills for Soccer

Agility Drills for Soccer

Agility is the skill of eluding or a counter movement executed in a tight situation, making it a necessary and desirable trait to be cultivated. By definition, it means the graceful movement with which a person or an animal moves.
There are plenty of different drills that soccer players can use to improve their speed, flexibility, and coordination. These drills are very easy to perform, and they also make use of a soccer ball, thus improving the player's ball control. With the help of innovative drills, an athlete can condition his body to face the rigors of a highly demanding physical game, and he can also improve the flexibility and coordination in his movements. Understanding the nimbleness one needs cannot be solely understood by means of semantics. The actuality of a process can be fully be grasped by the practical implementation, and for this reason, only someone who has played a physical sport will know what it really means.

The ability to turn the direction of the body seamlessly, and the ability to accelerate and pick up speed is merely one aspect of agility. Soccer is a game that requires a lot of short bursts of speed, along with quick changes in the direction of movement as well, and this is a quality that can only be improved with the help of practice and drills.

There are plenty of great soccer drills that are used by all the best soccer players in the world, and these drills are not just restricted to the game of soccer. American football players and even youth football players regularly undertake exercises that are similar to these drills, to improve their performance levels.

Honing Agility
The best soccer drills for agility are those that involve the use of a soccer ball, since these replicate the real game situations as closely as possible. In spite of this, there are some good drills that are more effective without the ball as well. An experienced coach or player will be well aware about what kind of soccer drills a team should be practicing, and the intensity with which they should be doing so.

Ladder Drills
Agility ladders are some of the most common props around the world, and they help athletes in many different ways. Ladder drills are useful because they teach the player to take longer strides, and by placing the ladder sideways, the athlete can learn how to move effortlessly in any given direction. The amount of steps that the athlete needs to take, the time in which he is supposed to complete the steps, and the direction in which he is supposed to move, are all decided by the coach, since the possibilities are endless.

Cone Drills
Close behind ladders, agility cones are some of the best props for carrying out soccer speed training. These cones can be placed on the ground in a variety of positions, and the players are required to maneuver their way around these cones with the soccer ball at their feet. This resembles the situation of a real game closely, and it also improves the ball control of the player. This is an added benefit to the fact that the player learns how to shift his center of gravity quickly, and how to change direction at a rapid pace.

Running Drills
The best agility drills are those that involve running and sprinting at high speeds. Since the overall objective of these drills is to enhance the speed and the flexibility of the athlete, there is no better way to do this, than by performing various running drills. The most common method is the stop and start sprint, where the athlete stops suddenly, and then accelerates instantly, in order to improve the explosive power in his acceleration. There are many different types of sprinting drills that an athlete can be subjected to, in order to improve his agility.

With the help of these, an athlete can develop tremendous control over his body movements, and also manage to turn direction very quickly. Here are some popular drills that are used in many different countries all around the world.
  • Follow the leader: A leader is chosen who carries out random movements and changes in direction while running, and everyone else has to follow his lead.
  • Weave in - weave out: Two lines of cones are made and kept about 5 yards apart. The athlete must run through the line while touching one cone from the first line, one from the second, one from the first, and so on.
  • Box drill: In a large square box on the field, assign a number to each corner. The athlete must stand in the middle of the box and run to the corner that corresponds to the number that is called out.
  • Mini shuttle and super shuttle: Place a series of cones on the ground and assign a sequence to the cones. The athlete must touch each cone in that sequential order.
With plenty of time spent on these drills, and with adequate practice, the agility of the player will see an improvement by leaps and bounds.