Train Real Game Speed

By Anthony Hazelwood

The following activity triggers players to perform a speed reaction activity. It includes speed reaction, agility patterns and linear sprinting to the ball. The metabolic training adaptations are meant for speed production. The time of action for each repetition should be around 3 to 7 seconds’ max and the resting period for each athlete after each action should be around 40 to 50 seconds. The reason for the resting period being larger in an amount in comparison to the intensive action is to promote complete recovery before commencing the following action. Therefore, not fatiguing the athlete and having them perform their action at maximal pristine level.

When preparing the activity, if needed, concentration and difficulty levels may be increased by having players execute something extra unique by setting more restrictions. Every activity may be modified, and it is up to the coach to be creative. However, it is important to respect the parameters of the exercise time, the rest, the types of actions used and the weekly periodization of the activity.

Additionally, it is beneficial to train a soccer team and its players with all the elements of the game being present in the session. By doing so, it will promote soccer specific adaptations to the player’s body, mind, and emotional triad. Ultimately, these adjustments will enhance their real-time game performances on a physical, emotional, conscious, and subconscious mental level.

Area Size: 12 yds. L x 5 yds. W.
Total Activity Time: 12 Minutes.
Sets: 1.
Action Time: 4 – 7 seconds.
Recovery Interval Time between Action Time: 40 - 50 seconds (also depends on the number of players.)
Action Repetition: 9 – 12 reps.
Intensity: High.

• Tactical: Intensive speed actions to reach the ball first.
• Fitness: Speed Production and Reaction.
• Technique: Proper fitness and off/on the ball execution/techniques.
• Mental-Emotional: Players fully engaged and concentration is high.
• Concentration Level: High.


• 2 players are set up on the field as shown in the diagram above.
• Initially, the two players are waiting to hear the coach’s command.
• Each cone is assigned a number (1-5).

• As the players set, the coach will call out a sequence of numbers for players to quickly run and touch each cone in the assigned sequence.

• Once the players here the number sequence, they will run and touch each cone.
• Once finalized they will run and sprint towards the ball.
• Whoever reaches the ball first will wins a point for their team.

Coaching Points:
• Attentiveness in the start for speed reaction.
• Attention to number sequence to recognize the speed of touching cones.
• Explosive acceleration after agility cones into linear speed.
• Intensity to get to the ball first.

By Anthony Hazelwood

Current Seattle Sounders Academy Performance Coach with previous European academy coaching experience as an assistant fitness and strength/conditioning soccer coach with Levante U.D. (2013-2014) and Getafe SAD CF (2015-2016) in Valencia and Madrid, Spain respectively. A USSF “A” licensed coach with a BSc in Physical Education and an MSc in Sports Training and Nutrition.

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