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Functional Speed Training for Soccer

Bring your speed training to another level by training with the ball.  Yes,  a lot of the speed used on the pitch is without the ball.  But this drill will work on speed both with and without the ball. 

Important Point: This speed drill MUST be done at 100% speed and intensity. Soccer players are meant to be fresh each time they do a repetition. Therefore, don't break the team up into two groups each working on different halves of the field. By working the entire team on the same half of the field the rest will be built into drill naturally. When doing speed work, rest must be adequate to allow for fresh players on each repetition.

Drill Set up:

Half of a soccer field  


Players work in pairs. To make the drill competitive I recommend matching fast players with fast players and slower with slower players.  


Two players stand in line. The server kicks the ball towards the goals. The two players will then sprint at 100% max speed to reach the ball. Whoever reaches the ball first is on offense and needs to make a direct run towards the goal to score. The other player tries to stop the attacker. This is not a conditioning drill so make sure players go right after the goal.  


Rather than having a server, the offensive player will start with the ball about 3 meters in front of the defensive player at midfield. Upon a blow of the whistle both players sprint towards the goal. The offensive player trying to score and the defensive player trying to catch up and stop the scorer. This is not a conditioning drill so make sure players go right after the goal.

Drill taken from Fitness Training in Soccer by Jens Bangsbo. (created with CoachFX Software) Below is one variation of the drill.

zig zag agility with ball