Build Soccer Speed and Agility: The 4 Cone Soccer Drill
As professional soccer players know, a give-and-go break-away method can help athletes work around their opponents and score fast goals. This type of attack requires soccer speed and agility, which means fast direction changes and power and control on the backpedal. To build these skills and develop soccer juggling agility, athletes need to work on conditioning in two primary areas:
- Mental coordination and sharp reflexes
- Power and stability in the core and hip flexors
The first set of skills can be honed using soccer conditioning drills like the 4 cone drill in the video below. The second can be generated by complicating these drills with the additional challenge of the Kbands. Added kinetic resistance applied to the upper legs and core can help soccer players build strength and generate an explosive response to changing events on the field.
Soccer Speed and Agility: Setting Up the 4 Cone Drill
The soccer drills demonstrated here by the Kbands trainers will require two participants, a player and a coach. Two players can alternate roles throughout the session if they choose.
To set up the soccer speed and agility drills:
- The Player should attach the straps of the Kbands around the upper legs with the label forward and the metal rings facing out. The resistance bands should be clipped to the rings with the long band in the front and the shorter band in the back. The Player then stands in a starting position behind one of the front two cones facing the Coach.
- The Coach should place four training cones on the ground in a square, with a distance of about five yards along each of the four sides. The coach should then stand in front of the square holding a soccer ball while the player stands in a starting position behind one of the front two cones.
Soccer Drills: Warm Up
Since the drill will involve controlled passes, the soccer player and coach can warm up briefly before the drill begins by executing a series of short passes with the foot and the chest. As demonstrated in the video, the passes should be slow and close, emphasizing accuracy and coordination, not explosivity or speed. The coach tosses the ball for a chest pass, the soccer player returns the ball, the coach tosses for a foot pass, the player returns, etc. When both participants are ready, the sprinting, passing and backpedaling elements of the drill can begin.
Soccer Speed and Agility: Executing the 4 Cone Drill
When the starting signal is given, the soccer player will sprint toward the cone designated by the coach. If the destination is one of the rear cones, the player will backpedal. If the next destination is a cone at the front of the square, the player will sprint forward. Each time the player arrives at a new destination, the coach will call out and point to the next cone. Regardless of the direction of motion, the player should face forward, which means backpedaling to the rear cones, sprinting to the front cones, and running laterally across the square from side to side.
Each time the soccer player runs to a cone at the front of the square, he’ll pause and accept a pass from the coach. The pass can be either a foot pass or a chest pass, but in either case, the toss should be controlled and the pass should be executed with precision and accuracy.
As the soccer player moves from cone to cone, the resistance of the Kbands will work against the player’s natural stride, bringing the knees down and the legs closer together. The player should consciously push back against this by keeping the knees up and working to maintain tension in the hips and length in the stride. This 4 cone soccer drill should be difficult, and players should be struggling after about 30 seconds. If the move feels too easy, it means the soccer player is allowing the bands to control the motion. Coaches should observe soccer players carefully, and in addition to giving clear directions and controlled passes, they should encourage players to keep their knees up and arms engaged at all times.
The 4 cone soccer drill should be completed in four to six 30-second sets, separated by rest periods of about one minute to a minute and 30 seconds. After four to six repetitions, the bands should be removed and clipped to the Kband straps, and soccer players should complete two more sets without resistance. A neurological sensation of extreme lightness will last for a few minutes after the bands are removed, and as long as this sensation lasts, soccer players should use it to increase speed and explosivity during direction changes. After two final unresisted sets, the soccer player and soccer coach can switch roles if necessary and repeat the drill in reversed positions.
Soccer Speed and Agility: Final Notes on the 4 Cone Soccer Drill
To be effective, soccer drills like the 4 cone drill should be attacked with full investment. Soccer players should hold nothing back in terms of energy, commitment, and explosivity. But because these soccer drills are demanding, especially with the additional resistance of the Kbands, players should take rest periods seriously. The drills become less valuable as fatigue sets in and both motion and reflexes slow down. These soccer drills should also not be completed more than once in a single day. They should be added to a complete training regimen and should be attacked no more than two or three times per week.
Soccer players and coaches can find a wide variety of additional soccer drills and training equipment on Kbands Training.com. Visit the site for conditioning and strength building guidance that can increase speed and coordination on the soccer field. And in the meantime, learn more about the training principles behind the Kbands, the KB Powerbands, and the KB Duo suspension training system. These simple tools are lightweight, inexpensive, and portable, but they offer the weight training and conditioning benefits of an entire gym. Find out more, and feel free to reach out to the Kbands trainers for tips that can help you improve your game.