How Agility Training Improves Your Game

There are many different ways to train your body for peak performance on the soccer field. I’m sure you’ve had practices where you’ve done push-ups, sit-ups, and planks. Practices where you’ve done sprints and laps (and more laps) around the field. Practices where you’ve done cone and ladder drills. Each type of workout has a different benefit to your performance on the field. Although you may HATE sprints and push-ups – signature strength-training exercises – they help you be faster and stronger on game day. Ladders and cone drills – signature agility drills – lead to quickness and fluidity on the pitch. However, did you know agility training is so much more than ladders and cones?

What Is Agility Training

Agility training separates good athletes from great athletes. It encompasses change of direction, reaction training, fluidity, quickness, lateral speed, and more. Think about when you’re playing defense, and you miss the player and have to turn on a dime to track back and offer support. Or when you’re attacking the goal and a defender hits the ball away from you, and you have to change directions to go after the ball. Your body moves in all directions, so it only makes sense to train it to move as effectively as possible in multiple directions while processing various stimuli. 

Agility Drills

Indoor foot skills drills are a great way to get some agility training in because you’re working on footwork, body control, and speed. However, the examples below will give you a better idea of some top-rated agility drills that range in difficulty.

Lateral Line Hops

  1. Find a line and stand next to it.
  2. Start with your feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  3. Jump over the line as quickly as possible, side to side, without moving forward or backward.
  4. Get as many jumps as possible in the set duration of time. Aim for 30-60 seconds per round.

Lateral Shuffle with Reaction

  1. Set up two cones about seven yards apart side by side.
  2. Have a partner point which direction for you to move as you laterally shuffle back and forth.
  3. For 10-30 seconds, react to their instructions.

Ball Drops

  1. Set up two cones three yards apart.
  2. Shuffle from cone to cone as your partner stands with a ball in hand.
  3. React as they drop the ball.
  4. Sprint and try to catch it before the second bounce.

How Agility Training Improves Your Game

Agility training improves your reactivity, lateral movement, direction changes, and response to verbal and nonverbal cues and directions. Training the body to move quicker, more fluidly, and more powerfully in multiple planes of motion are vital to increasing your game day performance. Agility training will be the deciding factor in who gets to the ball first! And it better be you.

Featured Image via Adobe Stock @David Pereiras


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