The ability to pick up and put down the feet in an efficient and controlled manner (footspeed) is a highly important component within a soccer player’s field conditioning. Simple drills allow a soccer player to develop the skills to be able to adapt to a specific situation on the field to either receive the ball on the run or evade pressing defenders. One such footspeed drill is Ladder One Foot & Sprint.
Purpose – This improves the neural component associated with picking the feet up and putting them down quickly (footspeed) as well as improving the athlete’s awareness of staying up on the balls of the feet during running.
- Start behind the ladder.
- Place one foot in each rung of the ladder as you progress forward through the ladder, as quickly as you can.
- This drill is performed twice, alternating which foot you lead with when you start.
- Once you reach the end of the ladder sprint away for 10m
Coaching Cues –
- Bend your knees to keep centre of gravity low.
- Hands kept above hip level with elbows at 90 degrees.
- Fire feet as fast as possible.
- Only lower body moves, upper body remains relaxed.
- Sprint 10m as fast as possible.
- Alternate which foot you lead into the ladder with.
Athletic Focus –It is imperative that a large focus be placed on the transition between ladder and sprint within this exercise. Athletes should already have a sufficient level of neural connection to complete the Ladder One Foot component well. It is important that proper running mechanics including leaning forward, driving the knees and ripping the heel to the butt are achieved straight away in the first stride of the sprint phase of the exercise. This exercise will assist athletes on the field when transitioning from picking up and putting down the feet for correct position to make a pass into sprinting toward space in order to receive a pass themselves.
Stewart Briggs, BHMS, M.Ed., C.S.C.S, PSP
Managing Director at Acceleration
For more Information: www.AccelerationFootball.com