Speed training is all about stressing your muscles to the max so it’s vital to rest after each session. Muscles regenerate on the day after the actual exercise, so workouts should be restricted to 2-3 times per week at most. Speed training is best performed on a soft surface like grass. This makes it easier on your joints and lowers the risk of injury.
A thorough warmup is very important before any type of speed or agility training. Ideally, you want to spend at least 15-20 minutes trying to incorporate as many muscle groups as possible.
Start by jogging while bringing your heels back. This will loosen up your hamstrings. To warm up the quads, jog while raising your knees high without leaning backwards. The calf muscles can be warmed up by periodically leaping off one foot.
Place two cones about 15-20 yards apart. Start at the first cone, with your back towards the second. At a given signal, turn and sprint to the second cone. As soon as you reach it, turn and sprint back to the first. The key to this drill is to accelerate as fast as possible after each turn.
Set up three cones in a straight line. The first two cones should be about 20-30 yards apart – this is the actual distance you are sprinting. Stand at the first cone and sprint as fast as you can to the second. Decelerate until you reach the third cone, then turn and slowly jog back to the first cone. Wait a few seconds between repetitions and sprint again.
Usually, when sprinting from one cone to another players tend to slow down in the last few meters. The third cone is simply there to discourage you from slowing down before you have reached the second code.
Start at point A and sprint to point B. Touch the cone at point B and shuffle left for 4 meters (5 yards) to point C. Touch the cone at point C and shuffle right for 8 meters (10 yards) to point D. After touching cone D, shuffle left and touch the cone at point B. Backpedal to point A to finish.
Starting on the middle line. Sprint to the line on your right (4 meters) and touch it with your right hand. Sprint to the left line (8 meters) and touch it with your left hand. Finish by sprinting back to the middle line.
Plyometrics improve agility as well as explosive power by incorporating elements from both weight and speed training. Most plyometric exercises involve a series of jumps. The goal is to strive for maximum “air” and minimum ground contact time.
Standing with both feet together, jump up as high as you can. While jumping, bring your knees up to the chest. Launch yourself again as soon as you contact the ground.
Stand beside a soccer ball or a cone and leap over it from one side to the other. Remember not to spread your feet apart and to leap instantly each time you touch the ground.
Set up a line of cones spaced between 1-3 meters apart. Starting from one end, jump from one cone to the next with your feet together. Try landing near each cone while striving for as much height as possible.