4 Ways to Make a Fast Soccer Team

The goal of developing faster players is one shared by coaches at every level of competition.

Just how to accomplish that goal is hardly the stuff of exact science. There are as many thoughts and theories as there are people to propose them. Remembering that, I would recommend that coaches and individuals contemplating enhancing their speed should consider the following:

Instruct Your Players on the Mechanics of Running

Part of running faster involves running better. By that I mean employing the mechanics, which allow the players to run as efficiently as possible.

If you are unfamiliar with the elements of efficient running or with the drills (form drills), which would help to produce them, you can find numerous books and videotapes on the subject.

Add Ballistic Exercise to Your Team's Weight Training Program

Plyometric jumps and resisted running are but two of many such exercises. When performing these exercises, the objective is to complete a repetition or series of repetitions as rapidly as possible.

The resistance or weight a player works against can vary from light to heavy. However, the speed of the movement must be as quick as a given resistance allows. Exercises performed in this manner encourage the development of explosive strength, which is critical for the enhancement of speed.

Don't Underestimate the Role of Flexibility

Everything else being equal, the more flexible muscle is capable of contracting more forcefully and through a greater range of motion with obvious impact upon a player's ability to generate speed.

Runners Become Faster Runners by Running Faster

Put another way, you cannot expect your players to gain speed unless you require them to run fast.

Repeats performed at 60, 80, 100, 150 and 200 meter intervals ask the players to run at their top speed. Such repeats should be performed in one or two sets of 3-5 repetitions, based upon the distance to be covered (in other words, as the distance increases, sets and repetitions decrease).

An old saying says: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

Neither can you take a slow runner and make them fast (in the elite sense). You can, however, produce measurable improvements in your players' running speed. Implementing these practices will assist you in accomplishing that purpose.

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