Physical Preparation for Soccer: Speed

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Speed means the maximum velocity a player can achieve and maintain. Most players can maintain this maximum velocity only for a short period of time and distance. Speed can also be measured by the amount of time it takes a player to cover a particular distance.

A crucial part of any player’s game is the ability to cover the ground both efficiently and economically over the first few meters and to open up stride length and increase stride frequency over 35 to 45 meters. Therefore, training to improve maximum speed requires a great deal of focus on correct running mechanics, strength length and frequency, the leg cycle and hip height/position. Physical preparation principles such as the ‘dead-leg run’ and stride frequency practices that help to develop an economical running technique can all be easily integrated into all practice sessions.

The world’s fastest soccer players have very little contact time with the ground, and any contact they do make is extremely efficient and powerful. Focusing on the biomechanics of running helps to control this power and use it efficiently and sparingly. Training when fresh (both physically and mentally) is also crucial for players’ to attain their maximum speed. As a result, regular exposure to correct running mechanics at the beginning of all practice sessions will greatly benefit players of all positions.

Physical Preparation Components

United Soccer Academy’s Physical Preparation program consists of 8 key components:

Speed Agility Quickness Reaction Strength Power Plyometrics Dynamic Flexibility

Click here to download the Physical Preparation Curriculum.