Football Agility Drills using Smartspeed

Speed, Reaction and Agility Drills for Football

Some of the core skills needed to succeed in football (soccer) focus on the ability to stop and start, quickly react and change direction, and to cut and sprint with explosiveness and agility.

This can be effectively trained with a range of sport specific soccer drills, for which the Smartspeed Pro timing gate system can be utilized to measure these skills in order to provide a benchmark for improvement.

Here are some of our top soccer agility drills that are great in a team setting, as demonstrated by our clients in the videos below.

Grid Protocol
with Atletico de Madrid

This is a great competitive team drill for speed and agility incorporating unplanned change of direction for explosive movements.

In the video you can see how Atletico Madrid have used the drill to encourage competition between their players.

You will need:

• 4 x Smartspeed Pro Gates
• Smartspeed online account

Set up:

1. Set up 4 Smartspeed gates as a square, 5 yards apart.
2. Set up for a 4 point Grid Drill and connect your gates.
3. Each player (max 2) is assigned a colour (e.g. player ‘X’ = red, ‘Y’ = green).
4. Upon commencement of the drill, the player must run through the gate corresponding to their colour.
5. The players continues to repeat this for a set time.

You can also run this as a 6 point grid drill, and configure your own time or grid size to suit your needs.

Pre Season Plyometrics Testing
with KRC Genk

Using Smartjump mats KRC Genk will test their athletes jumping from different heights, measuring the contact time, jump height and the reactive strength index (RSI). They also measure Vertical jump to analyze jump height and lower limb strength.

These are important tests to run in the pre-season as a bench mark, and then redo during the season in order to measure fatigue.

You will need:

• 1 x Smartspeed Pro or Lite gate
• 1 x Smartspeed Online account
• 1 x Smartjump mat
• 30, 45 and 65cm Blocks/platforms

Setup:

1. To measure RSI with a drop jump set up your Smartjump mat right up next to your block, connected to your smartspeed gate.
2, Set up your smartspeed online to record RSI.
3. Have the athlete step off the block onto the jump mat then jump into the air straight away landing on both feet.
4. Your Smartspeed Pro gate and online platform will give you instant feedback on the jump and on RSI
5. Repeat this with each of your blocks to measure RSI at different heights.
6. For a Vertical Jump, you do not need a block.
7. Simply have the athlete start standing on the mat, then jump straight up into the air with both feet at once.
8. The Smartjump will be able to measure the height of the jump and contact time.

Corner Sprint Drill

This drill is testing an athletes ability to continually react quickly and maintain speed for an extended period of time. The Gates are critical here as a visual stimulus to get an athlete to instinctually run toward and then straight back to their start position before reacting again.

You will need:

• 4 x Smartspeed Pro Gates
• 1 x cone or marker

Setup:

1. Use four Smartspeed Pro gates to mark out a square approximately five yards by five yards.
2. Place a cone in the center of the square. This is your starting position.
3. Set up your Smartspeed online for reactive agility and connect your gates.
4. As the gates light up, sprint to the corner indicated then return to the middle before sprinting to the next gate that is lit up.

Shuttle Take-off Drill

This is a very popular and simple drill for measuring an athlete agility and ability to change direction at speed.

You will need:

• 1 x Smartspeed Pro or Lite gate
• 2 x cones or markers

Setup:

1. Place two cones/markers 20 yards apart. Place one Smartspeed gate in the middle.
2. Set your Smartspeed online up for a shuttle drill.
3. Starting from the middle marker have the athlete wait for the gate to light up, then sprint to the left (10 yards), turn and immediately sprint to the other end (20 yards) and then back to the start (10 yards).
4. You can then repeat this starting on the right.

Shuttle Reactive Agility Drill

A level up from the Shuttle drill, this incorporates reaction time into the drill by utilizing the Smartspeed gates ability to indicate to an athlete which way to run first. The athlete still starts in the middle, but they do not know whether they will run to the left or right first and must react quickly depending on which gate lights up.

You will need:

• 3 x Smartspeed Pro gates

Setup:

1. Place three Smartspeed gates 10 yards apart (20 yards total)
2. Set your Smartspeed online up for a reactive agility drill
3. Starting from the middle marker wait for one of the gates to light up, then sprint to that end (10 yards), turn and immediately sprint to the other end (20 yards) and then back to the start (10 yards).

Have a soccer specific drill you’ve been using your Smartspeed gates or Smartjump jump mat for? Let us know! Tag us in on social media.

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