Tag Archives for " sprints "

Technical Circuit to develop Short Sprinting Endurance

By Alex Trukan This practice is aimed at developing an ability to maintain high quality of physical actions throughout the whole game. This means that for example sprinting or explosive bursts will be more consistent even towards the end of the match. From technical point of view, the practice involves variations of running with the

Continue reading

Developing Anaerobic Fitness Using Sprints

By Jebreel Bubtana

This exercise will work on the anaerobic fitness of your players in a fun and competitive environment. As soccer involves a lot of short sprints, this exercise will focus on this.

Set up the field as shown below with two cones 8 yards apart. You can set up multiple areas so that your whole team can work on this, with two players per area facing each other in the middle between the two cones (figure 1).


The players will give themselves a letter, A or B. A’s will start by

Continue reading

Foot Skills with Short Sprints

By Jebreel Bubtana

The exercise below will work on your players’ foot skills and aerobic endurance.

Set up and directions:

Set up the field as shown below with a 20x20 yard square in the middle and a bigger square on the outside. All but two of the players on your team will have a ball (figure 1).


The players with a ball will dribble around the 20x20 square whilst the two players without a ball

Continue reading

Improving Skills and Moves needed for 1 V 1 Encounters While Developing Multiple Components of Soccer Conditioning

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

Being able to take a player on 1 v 1 is an important and beneficial quality for soccer players of any playing position. For the attacking player to be successful in 1 v1 encounters, they must be able to beat the defender with a change of pace or by using a variety of moves and fakes to get around them. Players therefore need to be comfortable and confident at performing different moves, and doing so at speed.

Today’s activity will focus on teaching/practicing various moves and skills using an individual dribbling training format. We have also modified the exercise so that we can target a number of conditioning parameters that are necessary for soccer athletes.

Set-up and Design:

This exercise uses the space between the top of the 18-yard box and the half-way line for the playing area. Begin by setting up a 20 yard by 20 yard grid in the centre of the playing area. Place a small pylon 10 yards away from the middle of each side of this 20 by 20 grid. Give each cone a letter. Divide your players into pairs and give each group a different number. Have each Player dribble around inside this area performing a specific move (scissors, Ronaldinho, Stanley Matthews, etc.) as quickly as possible but under control (Figure 1).

(For simplicity, we have only used 6 players in the illustrations. However, you will likely have between 10 to 14 players when you choose to do this activity, which means 5 to 7 groups of two.)

After a few seconds, the coach will call a specific number as well as the letter of one of the

Continue reading

Using Short Sprints to Develop Starting Speed and Acceleration as well as Cutting Technique

By Justin Cresser For many coaches, speed is considered to be one of the most important predictor’s of soccer performance. Indeed, one of the first things that come to mind when doing tryouts is speed assessment. In today’s activity, we are focusing on developing starting speed and acceleration. These components of speed are especially important

Continue reading

Functional Training for Strikers and Attacking Midfielders: Short Sprints, Quick Turns and Finishing on Goal

By Justin Cresser

As mentioned several weeks back in our article entitled ‘Functional Training of The Centre Midfielder’, every so often we will present position-specific conditioning exercises. Today’s article focuses on strikers and attacking midfielders.

One of the most difficult tasks for any team is breaking down defenses in the attacking third of the field. In this area, defenses tend to be very compact and defending players more often than not will outnumber their attacking opponents. Strikers are marked very closely, and are immediately closed down as soon as they receive balls. As such, players in this position have to be very

Continue reading

Soccer Science: In-Season Plyometric Training Improves Power-Related Performance Parameters

By Justin Cresser

Today’s article is a first of a series entitled ‘Soccer Science’, in which we present the latest findings from Sports Science research in soccer, and discuss how these findings may influence the way we train we our players.

The title of the article we will discuss today is: ‘Effects of in-season short-term plyometric training program on leg power, jump- and sprint performance of soccer players.’ It was published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The article can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

The main findings from this article are that- in comparison to players who partake in a normal training program, youth soccer players that complete plyometric training twice per week, in addition to their normal training routine, performed significantly better on power-related assessments such as the squat jump, the countermovement jump and the first 5 meters of a 40 meter-sprint. As such, these exercises are highly recommended as part of both pre- and in-season training programs.

Explosive power is critical to successfully performing many movements and actions required in soccer such as accelerating past a defender, vertical jumps, and shooting from distance. Training for power can be done with Olympic-style weight training, medicine ball training or plyometric training. However, plyometric training, which involves doing jump-related exercises that focus on training the muscles to produce the maximum amount of force in the shortest amount of time, is probably the most convenient. Many coaches do not incorporate this type of training during the competitive period either due to a lack of time or the belief that the high-intensity nature of these exercises may be counter-productive to on-field performance. However, the results of the article presented above suggest that it may be beneficial for coaches to include them in training sessions during the in-season as well. An important consideration is the volume of plyometric exercises. Doing 1 to 2 sets of two exercises should be adequate. High volume workouts are not recommended for in-season training.
The following are two plyometric exercises that can be incorporated into training once per week during the competitive period to improve the explosive power in your players:

This exercise uses the space just outside the penalty box for the playing area. Set up a row of five hurdles, in a horizontal line, so that the row is approximately 10 yards from the top of the 18-yard box. Each hurdle should be approximately 1 yard apart. Have your players stand 5 yards behind the first hurdle in the row. Place a small cone 7 yards away from the last hurdle in the row so that it is also 10 yards from the top of the penalty box (Figure 1).

When ready, have the player at the front of the line run towards

Continue reading

Pass and Sprint with Half-Turns and Speed Dribbling

By Justin Cresser

No matter what phase of the season we are in, I always include an activity that focuses on improving my Players’ first touch. I think this is extremely important, especially at the youth level.

The following is an exercise I like to use during the competition phase at it emphasizes several components of soccer conditioning. It incorporates short sprints, anaerobic conditioning, agility, and it also develops a player’s first touch. You can also use it as a warm-up routine.

Divide your players into groups of 4. Each group will have 2 working players and 2 non-working or passing players. For each group of 4, set up the following station:

Place two large ones 30 yards apart in a straight line. Have a non-working player stand at each cone with a ball at their feet. Place two small cones in between these two large cones so that they are 10 yards apart and each small cone is 10 yards away from one of the larger cones. Have a working player stand at each of these small cones facing the non-working player closest to them (Figure 1).

On the coach’s signal, the passing players will play a ball into space that the

Continue reading

Integrating Short Sprints into a 3 V 3 Small-Sided Game

By Justin Cresser

Playing a 3 v 3 small-sided game (SSG) is an excellent way to improve the anaerobic endurance of your players. It is also an excellent way to work on basic group defending and attacking. However, by making one simple modification you can get all the technical and tactical benefits of a normal 3 v 3 SSG and also target starting speed as well as acceleration. This exercise also places a greater emphasis on the anaerobic component.
Set up a 20 by 20 yard playing area. Place two small goals (1.5 yards apart) on the end line at the bottom of the playing area.  Each goal should be 1 yard in from the closest sideline (Figure 1). Have 3 players stand a few yards apart, 10 yards behind the end line with the goals. These are your defenders. Have another 3 players stand a few yards apart on the end line at the top of the playing area. These are your attackers (Figure 1).

Play starts with one of the 3 defenders playing a hard pass along the ground to any of the 3 attackers. As soon as

Continue reading

A Favorite Conditioning Activity With a Ball

Many years ago, when I first created FineSoccer.com I described one of my favorite fitness activities.  It’s a combination of breakaways, sprints, defending and goalkeeping and over 10 years later it’s still one of the best conditioning activities I know.

This activity requires two full sized goals, a keeper in each goal and 4-6 players to the right side of each goal.  The size of the field can vary as the further the goals are from each other the greater the distance of each run but the closer they are together the more runs each player will get in a given time period.  I have done this with goals as close as 35 yards apart and as far apart as 120 yards.  In this example we are going to go with the goals 60 yards apart.

This is a breakaway activity with a defender chasing.  To start, one player from the

Continue reading