Use these sample soccer agility drills to improve your balance, body control, foot speed and co-ordination.
Like speed drills, agility drills should not be physically exhausting…
A slow jog or walk between each drill should allow complete recovery. The emphasis must be on quality and form.
Because these soccer agility drills are not physically demanding, you can perform them any time during the week and on any day. One quick tip however…
Many coaches like to get all the intense physical training out of the way before move on to (more enjoyable?) skill practise. The problem is skills need to be performed with near perfect form. Practise does NOT make perfect – it makes permanent. So rehearse getting it right!
With that in mind I would perform soccer agility drills and skill work after the warm up before moving into more enervating, fitness drills. A typical agility session could consist of 3-5 sets of 10 repetitions in total (a repetition being one drill).
1. Weave In – Weave Out
- Place 4 markers out in a straight line approximately 3 yards apart.
- In between each set of markers place another marker only 3 yards to the left. (see diagram right)
- Sprint from one marker to the next bending down to touch each one with your hand.
- The emphasis is on taking quick side steps, rather than turning to face the marker and sprinting forward – that takes more time (which don’t have in a game).
2. Follow the Leader
- Mark out a large area – 20 yards by 20 yards for example.
- Pair up with a team mate and have them run randomly within the area.
- Try to maintain 2 yards distance from them at all times. Your team mate should be changing direction and pace constantly.
3. Box Drill
- Use 4 cones or markers to mark out a square approximately 5yards by 5yards.
- Place a cone in the center of the square. This is your starting position.
- Give each corner a number and remember it! Have a team mate (or your coach) call numbers at random.
- Sprint to the corner shouted and return to the middle.
4. Mini Shuttle
- Place 2 markers 20 yards apart. Place marker in the middle only 3 yards to the side. (see diagram left)
- Starting from the middle marker sprint to one end (10 yards), turn and immediately sprint to the other end (20 yards) and then back to the start (10 yards).
- Turn on a different foot at each marker and try to touch the ground with your hand.
5. Super Shuttle
- Set a series of cones out in a cross formation. (see diagram right)
- Run backwards to the center cone, side step to the right cone (or your left if you are performing the drill), side step back to the centre cone still facing the same way.
- At the center cone turn and sprint forward to the end cone. Now run back to the center cone, side step to the left, side step back to the center, then turn and sprint back to the start.
- Phew! Sounds complicated – it’s not – the diagram explains it quicker than I can!
- Place 10 shuttles in a line 5 yards apart.
- Weave in and out as fast as possible and walk back to the start.
- This exercise is often performed much more slowly with a ball. The goal here is to develop speed of leg movement so no ball is used.
Use the soccer agility drills above as they are or adapt them to fit your individual or team’s needs.
Play the Best Soccer of Your Life
With the right soccer fitness program, and a bit of dedication, you can play with more energy, more confidence and greater consistency than ever before.
Jacky has a degree in Sports Science and is a Certified Sports and Conditioning Coach. He has also worked with clients around the world as a personal trainer.
He has been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of people from very different ends of the fitness spectrum. Through promoting positive health changes with diet and exercise, he has helped patients recover from aging-related and other otherwise debilitating diseases.
He spends most of his time these days writing fitness-related content of some form or another. He still likes to work with people on a one-to-one basis – he just doesn’t get up at 5am to see clients anymore.