Soccer requires players to speed up, slow down and change directions quickly. Players must be able to run forward, backwards and shuffle from side to side. Their ability to move effectively combined with great skill can make them a very good player.
While all types of movements are critical, nothing is more helpful than straight ahead speed. Most of the running in a soccer match is forward and in a straight line. By taking time to improve your players straight line, or linear speed, you can greatly increase their effectiveness on the pitch. The ability to run away from defenders or beat an opponent to the ball is simply devastating.
Their are two courses of action that will increase your players linear speed. First you need to implement a strength training program that will help them improve their power. Secondly, you can teach them proper form. Simply training the athlete to run correctly will increase their linear speed.
The video below is from the Renegade Soccer Training YouTube Channel and in it Coach JR shows 5 drills that you can utilize to teach your athletes to run properly. For other great soccer coaching tools visit Renegade Soccer Training
The Youtube video below has sound, so please make sure that your sound is tuned on and that you have access to the site (Some schools block access to YouTube. If you are watching in a school setting and having trouble viewing the clip, please contact your network administrator)
The following is a recap of the 5 running form drills that Coach JR demonstrated in the video
1. Arm Form
90-degree bend in the elbow
One hand moves 1 ft in front of face
Other hand moves back next to hip (keeping the 90-degreee bend in the elbow)
2. Step Over and Down
Step up and over their opposite knee
Drive their foot down under their chin
Heel off the ground. On the front half of the foot.
3. Robot March
Combine arms and legs (drills 1 and 2)
Opposite arms and legs
4. A Skip
High knee skip
5. A Drill (High Knees)
Proper aggressive arm action
High knees with step over and down action
Forward upper body lean