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SPEED AGILITY DRILL For Children and Young Players AGE 6+

This SPEED AGILITY SOCCER DRILL has been donated by qualified Football Coach Matthew Kirckwood, from elite academy soccer coaching. We thank Matthew and recommend his coaching and website.

Session Difficulty: Medium

In this speed agility soccer drill & coaching session, were going to look at Speed, Agility and Quickness drills for children and young players. Now before anyone starts with the 'children should forget about running, it's football they should be concentrating on' comment, I completely agree - to an extent. However, I think it's vital that children, and young players are taught why it's important to be quick and agile, and understand how they inherit these key attributes.

I watched a session recently with the Ajax Academy, and they were working on SAQ work with there young players, and it proves just how vital it is to develop children not just technically with a ball, but also physically with the way they run, the way they jump, the way they change direction. One of the Ajax coaches said 'Before we even look at how they do with the ball, we want to see how they move. Are they light on their toes? Are they quick, and most importantly, do they love the game?' This is vital for the development of a young player.

As a scout, the first thing i'm told to look out for, is how the child moves. Does he run well? Is he light on his toes, or does he look quite heavy legged? Does he have good balance and co-ordination? All these key skills are developed through specific SAQ sessions, and the one below will develop your players specifically for football. There's no use in sending a young player to do 10 laps of the field. This i'm completely against. It has no correlation to what he would do in a match, however football-specific SAQ work can have a huge impact on a child's development.

Would Messi be as good as he is now without amazing balance, speed, agility and co-ordination?
Session Requirements
- Area size 20 x 40
- Minimum of 10 players
- Cones - Various colours
- Set of bibs
- Ladders (if possible) if not, use cones
- Poles (same as above)
- Hurdles
- Footballs
- Mini goals
- The session has been split up into four areas. Each grid is 20 x 10 and has a different activity being lead at all times.
- The players will complete the drills for 2 minutes, then move onto the next clockwise.
- To progress, make the intervals shorter, and the sessions longer but remember...
- We still want quality, not quantity.
- A1 is working on Balance and jumping which is vital in football.
- The player jumps over one hurdle, then backwards back over the same hurdle, then forward (repeating himself)
- He then moves across at a quick pace to the next hurdles and does the same until all hurdles are complete.
- He will then sprint between the four poles, dropping his shoulder as if he would do when beating an opponent.
- To finish off, he will then move quickly towards the football, and keep the football up for as long as possible for 30 seconds. This will not only test him physically, but also mentally.
- A1 is working on fast feet through the ladders, then quick changes of direction between the poles.
- Once this has been completed, six cones are laid out and the player must quick work his way through the cones, keep the ball close, and not hitting any cones - paying attention to quick, light feet.
- The player will then move at pace for the last 15 yards towards the bottom between the two cones.
- The coach will then place the ball back on the area of player number 2.
- More footballs will be placed so no waiting occurs.
- A3 is a simple 2 v 2 match in a 20 x 10.
- The emphasis is one quick play, with points scored for elements of skills and trickery used to beat the opponent.
- Coach must emphasise the importance of moving quickly, both when attacking and defending.
- In A4, the emphasis is on agility and speed.
- The players start off by sprinting quickly forward and backwards between the cones (5 yards apart) working on fast feet, and changes of direction.
- He will then move onto the hurdles, stepping in between both with the importance of light feet, and movement of the arms and legs working together.
- As soon as this has been completed, he will move quickly towards the football, and work for 20 seconds on turning between the cones. He can do any turn of his choice, as long as it is under control and quick.
- To finish off, the player will then jump in between over the ladders again using his arms and legs for balance, as well as speed to move off the mark quickly i.e. Jumping up for a header.

As you will recognise, even though the sessions ultimate aim is to develop Speed, Agility and Quickness, every area includes a football. Never let anyone tell you that a session cannot include a football. As Mourinho once said, 'You wouldn't tell a great pianist to do press ups to get better at playing. You'd make him practice with the keys' it's the exact same with football. Regardless of whether the session is working on the physical aspect of the child/young player, using a football is crucial in developing players for the modern game.
Thanks for reading!



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