Personal knowledge of football and being an athlete is not enough. Coaches who are serious about the future of their players use various resources to bring out the best in seasoned, novice and young players, especially during training.
Not only do coaches strive to train the next Dominic Calvert-Lewin but also they encourage players to emulate their style, speed and agility. Everton’s Calvert-Lewin is currently the fastest sprinter in football – he was measured at a speed of 34.935km/h when Everton played Southampton in 2018.
Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is second with a speed of 34.845 km/h. Sprint training plays an integral part in football training drills, especially to build speed.
Coaches also incorporate tools that assist in developing mental skills in young players as part of training and realise how football training drills can help performance. Let’s take a look at three drills that incorporate sprints: https://www.ukcoaching.org/resources/guides/developing-young-players%E2%80%99-mental-skills.
Change of direction speed ladder
This is one of the best football training drills to develop the ability to turn and run in an instant with super-fast feet. Lay a ladder down in the training area and set down a pair of cones ten yards from the end of the ladder, which will act as the finish line.
Allow the player to move laterally or backpedal through the ladder. Both must be drilled at different times but follow a pattern of two feet in and two feet out. When the player has moved through as fast as they can, they must explode into a sprint to the cones.
The players start by lying face down with their palms near their shoulders, as in a push-up. On command, they must jump up and sprint as fast as possible to the pre-set finish. This should be a relatively short distance – anything between five and 30 meters.
When the players reach the finish line, allow them to jog back and immediately resume the push-up position again. Your aim should be an interval of no longer than 20 to 30 seconds. These repetitions can be completed eight times.
These sprints are great in preparation for the stop and go nature of football. Perform 12 to 15 sprints for 50 to 60 feet with intervals of 10 to 15 seconds in-between.