Soccer Speed Training To Boost Your Step

soccer speed training

Was that Usain Bolt or (insert your name here), now that's speed. Soccer speed training might be the single most important type of physical work you do to prepare yourself for match day.

Speed is the one thing that makes up for so much in the game, you got a bad touch? No problem your speed will make up for it, lost the ball again?

No problem your speed will make up for it, a player just put it through your legs? No problem your speed will make it up for it, you get the idea. 

Speed training is all about quality over quantity so make sure it is a short sharp session instead of a long dragged out one where you hardly get any work in.

Every pro team around the world includes a piece of speed training into their practice sessions because of how important it is for everything you do in a match.

Sometimes you can do all the right things but just don't have that burst in your step for your movements and decisions on the field to be the most effective. If you need that extra bounce in your step the drills provided can get you there, if you put the work in.

"MANNNNN if I had speed like that i'd be playing at big club by now!" Ever see a guy with natural blazing speed and wish you could be that fast?

Well there's a path to get there, I'm not saying overnight you're going to be as fast as Ronaldo but you can make drastic steps to increase your speed on the field and that first step you've always wanted.

If you're looking for a full 3 Week Soccer Speed Workout Plan feel free to find it here.

Soccer Speed Training Video Explanation

Top 5 Things To Remember About Soccer Speed Training

1. Always Start With Your Speed Workout

  • If you have a speed workout planned for the day always do it first when your energy and muscles are at their freshest.
  • We do this because speed work gives you the best results when your legs move as quickly as possible and you need your energy levels to be at their highest to make this happen.
  • Even if it's just 15 minutes a day be sure to start with speed training before you do anything else.

2. Got At Full Speed

  • The way increasing your speed works is by working out the muscles to move gradually at a faster and faster pace.
  • If you're going at half speed every time you'll never see progress so always do every speed exercise at your maximum speed.
  • Yes it is tiring but it's better to get in 5 minutes of quality full speed footwork in then 30minutes of it at 50%.

3. Add A Ball

  • We are trying to increase our foot speed to cover ground on the pitch and get that explosive first step but nothing is more important than getting that first step while the ball is at your feet.
  • You've heard the expression making everything you do game realistic so whenever you can incorporate a ball just like you would use in a match.

4. Arm Speed Is Crucial

  • The arms and legs movements are connected and work in unison so making sure to pump your arms with the counter movements of your legs will give you that little bit more of momentum.
  • Incorporating you arms into your soccer speed training not only will increase your speed but will help with your balance as well.

5. Quality Over Quantity

  • Soccer speed training is all about getting in quality repetitions over quantity ones.
  • Don't waste your time thinking you're going to increase your speed by training it for an hour.
  • This type of training is done best in small short burst of 15-20 minutes max, while doing every plyo, jump or sprint be sure to be going at at least 90% each time if not more to get the most out of each workout.

Top 5 Things To Avoid About Soccer Speed Training

1. Going Through The Motions

  • You're better off working on your touch or shooting if you're not going to go at full speed for any of the speed training you're doing that day.
  • Go into it fully focused and committed to doing the technique and workout to its maximum.

2. Comparing Yourself To Others Speed

  • The only person you should be comparing your speed to is yourself.
  • As long as you are improving your speed week to week that's all that matters because we are all born with different genetic advantages and disadvantages.
  • Don't get hung up if your teammate is still faster then you without putting in any of the work, this about your growing your speed and game day to day.
  • Believe me there are parts of your game the fast guy wishes he had as well so put your head down and put the work in.

3. Under Training Speed

  • Soccer speed training is something that can be done everyday even if it's just for 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Thinking you're going to increase your speed by doing it once or twice a week won't get you anywhere but will leave you frustrated why you aren't seeing any change.
  • Putting the work in consistently is half the battle, the other half is doing it at full speed every time.

4. Working Without The Ball

  • You want to get some element of ball work in while doing your speed training.
  • Whether it's during sprints, plyometrics or agility be sure to incorporate a ball in some way.
  • We want to mimic the game not just become olympic sprinters so be sure to get the ball at your feet from time to time.

5. Expecting Results Over Night

  • Watching your speed increase will take you time, it will probably be a month or two before you see any real difference if done right.
  • Don't get frustrated if you don't see results right away but plan for this to be a long process of improvement and something you always do no matter what.

Top 3 Reasons Why Soccer Speed Training Is So Important

1. Improves Reaction Time

  • Whether it's that through ball you need to reach or beating an opponent to a ball just a short distance behind you.
  • Increasing your speed will help you become quicker and more efficient in all that you do. 

2. Increases Your Anaerobic Capacity

  • Not only are you increasing your speed you're also increasing your conditioning specifically the conditioning needed to execute high intensity short sprints on the pitch known as anaerobic conditioning.
  • Aerobic conditioning refers to the longer steady pace runs you may do in a game your speed workouts focus on increasing your ability to do more shorter burst runs at a higher intensity.

3. Helps With Decision Making

  • Having a quick first step or sprint allows you to also make quicker decisions on the ball as increasing your speed has also increased the neurons that fire in your brain when we make decisions.
  • Believe it or not when you're doing your soccer speed training you're also improving your soccer IQ.

What Are The Different Types Of Soccer Speed Training Exercises?

1. Plyometrics

  • You've seen these before typically done with speed ladders where you put your feet in and out of the the squares as fast as you can with different patterns to increase your foot speed. 

2. Sprints

  • Short sprints are another great way to increase your speed by doing 5, 10, 15 and 20 yard sprints to replicate the types of runs done in a match.

3. Jumps

  • Explosive jumps such as box jumps, single and double leg jump routines are a great way to increase mobility and speed of the ligaments and joints.

4. Bounding

  • This includes long strides in all directions to increase the balance and bounce from each of your limbs.
  • Each bound may be anywhere from 1 yard to 3 or 4 yards depending on the workout.

5. Agility

  • Using lateral agility workouts around cones, sticks or anything else is a great way to increase your speed in every direction including backwards.

What Are Some Basic Soccer Speed Training Workouts?

(Speed Ladder, Various Starts, 30 Meter Mo, 30/60/90 & Speed 5)

Speed Ladder

Ladders are a great way of getting you to feel light on your feet and establishing a low center of gravity when generating that burst in your step.

The beauty of using speed ladders for soccer speed training is you can literally open up the ladder and do it anywhere in the house or on the pitch. Throw this in your bag and whenever you have a bit of time open it up and get some work in, a must have for any serious soccer player.

Each Drill repeat a minimum of 3 times:

  • Standard sprint
  • Icky shuffle
  • Icky shuffle – high knee
  • Back foot entrance carioca
  • In/out
  • In/out backward
  • Lateral
  • Carioca (4 times or 2 starting with each leg)
  • Two foot in and out
  • Two foot hop

Various Starts

These sprints are all across a 20m distance with alternate starting positions emulating different situations and positions you could find yourself in on the pitch.

  • Flat on stomach hands at side
  • Flat on stomach push up position
  • Sitting legs crossed
  • High knees
  • Heels to but
  • Jump squat
  • On knees
  • On back
  • Jump up head one direction then next

The 30 Meter Mo

This workout can be very beneficial when it comes to building and maintaining speed in a player due to its difficulty and soccer specificity. This drill is used by professional sides in Europe in their soccer speed training on a weekly basis, it goes as such.

Set up

  • 3 cones, one at your starting position, one at 15m and one at 30m.
  • A ball placed at 30M of the opposite end of the start position.


  • Using one of the various starts above for a starting position, sprint to the 15M mark at full speed, drop down into push up position so your chest hits the ground and back on your feet, sprint full speed to the 30M mark, collect the ball that's waiting for you there and sprint with the ball back to the start at full speed. That is 1 REP.
  • Leave ball where you finished. Jog to the far end (active rest) and do it again starting from the opposite side with a different various starting position.
  • 6 REPS is one SET.
  • 30sec REST between REPS.
  • Rest for 2:30min between SETS.
  • Complete 3-4 SETS.


This workout is great for accelerating after that first step. Remember to follow the workout closely for best results, this one you'll need a little more room but great for getting into that full stride for a counter.

Set Up

  • 4 cones, 30m apart and one at the starting position.


  • Start at starting position, sprint to 30 meter mark, jog slowly back to start, sprint to 60 meter mark, jog slowly back to start, sprint to 90 meter mark, jog slowly back to start. This is 1 REP.
  • 5 REPS is one SET.
  • 60 second rest between REPS.
  • 2:30min break in between sets.
  • Complete 3-4 SETS.

Speed 5

This drills is all about change of direction, body weight shift and explosion. Really drive your arms and legs when starting and stopping each time. Soccer speed training can be a long road but a beneficial one once you put in the time with such drills.

Set Up

6 cones, each cone 10 meters apart and one at the start.


  • Jog the first 40M, Sprint the last 10M - turn around.
  • Jog the first 30M, Sprint the last 20M - turn around.
  • Jog the first 20M, Sprint the last 30M - turn around.
  • Jog the first 10M, Sprint the last 40M - turn around.
  • Sprint the entire 50M. That's 1 REP.
  • 6 REPS is one SET.
  • 60 second REST between REPS.
  • 2:30 REST between SETS.
  • Complete 3-4 SETS.