Fast Feet for Soccer?

I’ve had the pleasure of coaching some of the fastest athletes in the world from a variety of sports ranging from Track & Field, bobsled, skeleton, football, and baseball. Many coaches like to use  ladder, ‘agility’ and ‘quick feet’ drills to enhance the speed of athletes such as these. I tend to look at these applications as being the worthless tools of trainers who prefer to use a gimmick than understand the fundamentals of what it actually takes to run fast.

Running speed (and change of direction) is a function of how much force you put in to the ground. It has next to nothing to do with how quickly you can reposition your feet. You can coach someone to the highest level in ‘quick feet’ activities with little to no carryover to running speed, agility or change of direction capabilities. For this reason I stay clear of it for most athletes. But soccer’s a little different. There are times in the game where your effectiveness can be greatly enhanced by having agility, dexterity, and coordination of the extremities even if the force application to the ground is minimal.

 

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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.
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