Speed is certainly something that can be taught, with even those who are born with natural skill in this area being able to improve. A combination of both acceleration and football-specific training methods can be used in order to aid development, which help to change movement patterns and stimulate the appropriate muscles. Speed, agility, acceleration and power all play a role in determining how quickly a player can move around the pitch.
Strength and power are two components that help to maximise speed, however in football, where more multi-directional movements are required, agility and athleticism are potentially more important. Many professional football clubs today employ specialist speed coaches in order to improve the skill of players in this area, with a systematic and progressive approach generally being required.
Straight line sprints have been proven to improve the biomechanics of players, however it has little impact in a sport such as football. This is simply due to the fact that out-right sprinting makes up roughly 1% of a 90-minute match, with short distance speed being more beneficial as a result. Football has become an increasingly explosive sport, with players being forced to change direction every few seconds in general. As a result, coaches should avoid too many exercises where velocity is the focus, instead creating more explosive drills.
Training drills should be based on acceleration, quick feet, explosiveness and turning, both with and without the ball. Meanwhile, the way in which a player runs is also likely to effect their ability to reach top speed, which is best taught from an early age. This can be a tricky area for specialist football coaches to teach, so seek the advice of a professional in doing so.
Increasing the volume of training is not possible in most cases, meaning that speed development must be incorporated into regular sessions. As a result, it is worth keeping in mind the four components of speed when creating exercises:
Whether you are a qualified coach who is in charge of a successful club or simply lending a helping hand once per week due to limited resources, coaching your own child comes with a string of difficulties. So, just how can coaches be both successful and fair when it comes to working with those closest to them?
There are generally two types of players, those who are the same on and off the pitch when it comes to their personality, along with those who are completely different. While some individuals are capable of being introverted away from sport and turn it on when necessary, others find it more difficult. So, just what can coaches do to get the best out of shy players?
As a coach, it is important to understand what makes your players tick, with motivating youngsters being different to adults. How you aim to motivate players is likely to depend on their age and ability, however there are some standout methods of ensuring that individuals as well as the entire team remain focus upon their goals.