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Developing Great Foot-work with the use of Foot-Speed and Coordination Exercises Part 1

By Justin Cresser Author of Total Soccer Conditioning: A Ball Orientated Approach

So many actions and combinations of actions depend on the ability of the player to move their feet rapidly, but in a coordinated manner. Take for instance a wing back jockeying a fast and tricky attacker on the flank in a 1 v 1 situation. The wing back has move their feet fast enough to keep the attacker in front of them, but must also be able to tackle if their opponent takes a bad touch or attempt a cross.

This week and next week’s articles will focus on developing good footwork; in terms of both foot speed and coordination. The exercises presented this week are of a more basic level and can be used earlier in the training year when players are slowly getting back to being game fit. Next week’s activities will be of a more advanced level and should be used only after players have mastered the basic patterns. Both sets of exercises can be used at the start of your training sessions and also incorporate technical training.

Set-Up and Directions:

Divide your players into groups of two. Each pair needs a ball, a small cone and a mini hurdle. For the first exercise, have the player without the ball stand 6 to 12 inches behind the hurdle, facing their partner who is standing 10 to 12 yards away with a ball at their feet. Place the small cone midway between the player with the ball and the hurdle (Figure1).

When ready have the player without the ball jump over the hurdle so that they land no more than

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