With warmer temperatures (hopefully) just around the corner, The Offside Rule (We Get It!) has teamed up with MaxiNutrition to bring you tips for an ideal start to your spring warm-ups. Whether you’re gearing up for kickabouts in the park or you’re a Sunday League superstar, MaxiNutrition’s football training guides detail everything it takes to get your skills up to snuff. Here are our favourite drills, which will assist in building speed, endurance, and agility on the field.
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For agility: cone drills
When the training cones come out then you can bet agility drills are on the agenda. Agility drills allow players to increase their reactions and time off the mark. From England to Brazil, using cones is a great way to mimic the split second turns needed by all of our most beloved players. A popular drill is the 3-cone L-drill.
To set this up, take three cones and place them five yards apart in an L shape.
Starting at a corner cone, sprint to the middle cone and touch it with your foot. Sprint back to the starting cone and, again, touch it with your foot. Then, sprint to the cone you’ve not yet visited –but instead of touching it, run around it anti-clockwise. Finally, sprint the perimeter of the L shape so you finish back where you started. After you’ve performed these steps, repeat five times with the aim to better your time. With each turn you’ll improve your movements and thus your chances of besting your competition.
For speed: sprint training
Aiming to achieve the speed-based ability of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott? Sprint training should be a priority. While running during a match tends to be reactive and unpredictable, sprint training remains imperative so that when the time comes you will be best prepared to reach the ball and fire off a shot. Speed-based players excel at leaving others behind. In order to build speed, you’ll need to train for it.
The Flying 20 drill is a fantastic method, used by players who want to improve their straight-line speed. You’ll need 70 yards of space with no bends. Mark 30 yards with a cone. From there, walk forward another 20 yards and mark that.
Begin at a medium-paced jog from the start line. Build up your speed as you near the 30 yard mark. From there, sprint to the 20 yard track. Use the final part of the track to come to a halt. Jog back to the start and repeat after a 30-60 second rest (the time it takes to jog back to the start).
Best for endurance: interval training
Possessing high endurance is what separates the winners from the losers. Playing at a high level for a full 90 minutes is a tough test for even the fittest of players. Endurance drills are essential for improving cardiovascular fitness and increasing lung capacity. One of the quickest ways to build up endurance is interval training.
At its core, interval training comprises a period of low intensity exercise broken by intervals of maximum effort activity. Such intervals boost your anaerobic fitness as well as your body’s endurance levels.
Of course, it’s recommended to concurrently develop aerobic fitness, which can be accomplished by performing steady state cardio once a week, such as a long run or swim.
The simple drills are designed to help any level of footballer, from amateur to professional. Increasing agility, speed and endurance requires dedicating some serious time and effort, but offers the chance to outshine your competition on the pitch.
To further step up your football fitness regime, be sure to check out MaxiNutrition’s football guide section for more information.