The term “speed kills” is used frequently in the game of soccer because 80% of sprints during a soccer game are without the ball. Hence, a soccer player needs to utilize their speed to enhance their performance. Speed plays a key role in the success in every position. When the goalkeeper sprints off the line to recover the ball from an oncoming forward or a forward sprints to the near post to head the ball in the net. It is obvious that greater speed can significantly enhance the performance of any soccer player on the soccer field.
Speed is generally thought of as moving fast, but it can be split into three components.
- Acceleration phase (starting speed)
- Maximal velocity (top speed)
- Speed endurance (continuous speed)
The first component is: ACCELERATION. Acceleration requires specific technical and physical preparation. Three mechanics to focus on are the soccer player’s shin angle, their stride length, and their stride frequency. The shin angle determines the force applied to the ground and the angle at which the body is accelerating. The shin angle should be approximately 45 degrees, which will allow the soccer player to push themselves in the desired direction. Staying at 45 degrees allows for the line of power to occur. Stride length is the distance covered in the average of an individuals step. The length of the stride effects how much distance is gained. Strength and flexibility are two important factors that will improve the stride length. Stride frequency is the amount of strides taken in an amount of time or distance. Increasing both the stride length and the stride frequency will allow for an increase in speed. Training these three components will allow for an increase in a soccer player’s starting speed to give them the edge in their competition.
Often soccer athletes “pop up” on during their sprint. We are referring to the soccer player not staying low and developing the proper shin angle. Here at Champion’s QUEST, we focus on allowing our soccer players to obtain the proper angle needed to accelerate. We have speed clinics from the ages 11-13 and for 14 and up. We focus on linear speed, lateral speed, and multi-directional speed.
Check back next month for Part 2: MAXIMAL VELOCITY
Contact Coach Angela Garcia to do a speed clinic or for soccer specific speed training
Coach Angela Garcia, Soccer Assistant Coach
Tagged: acceleration, Angela Garcia, Athlete, Champion's QUEST, Los Alamitos, soccer, soccer players, soccer specific speed, soccer speed, Soccer Training, speed, starting speed, top speed, Youth Soccer Training