Coaching linear speed and agility speed require different coaching methods 
Premier Sports College

Dedicated to Coach Education

Advice for the Soccer Coach

Agility is required for soccer, yet it is still unclear as to the most effective way to train agility. Agility, in fact, has many elements – changing pace, changing direction, changing footwork patterns, evading a tackle – these are among many different expressions of agility. According to Serpell, Young, and Ford (2011) one component of agility is the perceptual and decision-making capabilities of players in the competitive context.  

It is important to realise that sprinting in a straight line will not ensure agility development. While speed and agility are elements of speed, in general, the training programme for each is distinctive. A very interesting study by Salaj and Markovic (2011) showed that there was a low to moderate shared variance (6–23%) between the various jumping, sprinting, and change-of-direction tasks undertaken by the performers (the players) in their study.
Speed (more precisely linear acceleration) is developed by running at top speed over 10m 15m and 20m sprints, agility is developed by agility training and sprints, and jumping skills are developed by jumping.
However if a soccer team runs 200m repetitions – say 10 x 200m – with 1 minute rest, the chances are that the overall average speed will be 40 seconds for a men’s team. 40 seconds represents covering 25m in 5 seconds with a run-in start. In a game the players will need to cover that distance in under or close to 3 seconds with a run-in start. So all that silly 200m running training is a real waste of time. The pace required will not make the players fast to the ball. In fact, after 3 or 4 sprints of 25m in 3 seconds in a game, the players who have used repeat 200m sprints will be fatigued because their nervous system is not use to such fast activity. The team will tire badly in the second half (due to the fact that they are not prepared for the pace of the game) and the coach may even think that they need even more training!!!! While, in fact, a rest and a few short full-speed sprints could save the day.

Another reason why repeat 100 or 150m runs is not a help to soccer players is the lack of stopping and starting in such a session.Soccer is defined by the amount of stop/starts activities that are important in a game. Simple old style interval training is not game specific for soccer.

Slow training develops the ability to play slowly. So every coach should look at the training they are giving their players and ask the serious question: Do I really understand what are the physical fitness demands of soccer are all about?
Yes, speed, agility and jumping ability - each one is specific in their training demands. Soccer needs speed, so train fast. Soccer players need to stop, start, change direction; so ensure to train agility and if the players need to jump, then train them to jump. Running slowly or running at 15 seconds per 100m pace is a total waste of time – it is not specific to the sport. Even sprinting the length of the field is not soccer specific fitness training. The average distance covered by the soccer player is 13.4m and in normal games players make between 55 and 95 runs in a game. The message is clear, soccer coaches need to think specifically to develop the physical fitness components required to play soccer.
Until our next Newsletter, keep up the good work. Our aim is to help you – the coach.

Become a Winning Soccer Coach

Let Premier Sports College help you enhance your coaching skills to give your team and players the winning edge.

This newsletter brings you 3 important items of note:
  • Coaching advice on the topic of Speed and Agility for Soccer
  • Information on our International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning for Soccer course
  • Some details on our Youth Soccer Specific Courses
Coaches are reminded that
  • entry to our Sample Course is available at NO COST for the months of September and October.
  • each week our home page will carry a coaching hint to engage and stimulate coaches and visitors to our site.
  • all are invited to become regular visitors to our site and benefit from the college's international coaching experience and advice.
If you are a Club President, a Director of Coaching, a Commissioner, a Club Professional Coach we encourage you to:
Ensure you pass on this information to other coaches - at volunteer, recreational and competitive levels - to make them aware of the services offered by Premier Sports College. We can enhance the coaching knowledge and know-how of your club. And all without leaving the comforts of ones' home or office.
Ask them to email to be included on our mailing list. Our October newsletter will contain more coaching advice. We aim to become the coaching site of the future.


Premier Sports College are proud to announce the start-up of our International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning for Soccer - Available from 1st September 2013.
This course consists of 8 exciting Modules.
Click here for General Overview of the Course

Modules of the Course
• Module 1 - Fitness, Conditioning and Training for Soccer
• Module 2 - Warm-up, Cool-down and Flexibility Development
• Module 3 - Endurance Development and Training for Soccer
• Module 4 - Speed and Agility Development and Training for Soccer
• Module 5 - Strength and Power Development for Soccer    
• Module 6 - Sports Nutrition for the Soccer Coach
• Module 7 - Fitness Testing
• Module 8 - Planning and Managing the Soccer Training Programme

Each module costs €100 and the final Module (Module 8) is free to all those who complete the first 7 modules.

Premier Sports College offers a range of short one-module courses for the youth and adult soccer coach.

Available Courses
Certificate in Pre-Academy (3 to 6 years) Child Player Development (Available 10th Sept)
Certificate in Child (7 to 12 years) Player Development (Now available)
Certificate in Teenage ( 13 to 19 years) Player Development (Available 15th Sept)
• Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology for Soccer Coaches (Available October)
• Certificate in Posture Development for Improved Performance (Available 1st October)
• Certificate in Skill Coaching and Learning ( Available 1st November)
• International Diploma In Functional Movement, Analysis and Development

Each course costs €100.

 International Diploma In Functional Movement, Analysis and Development
* International Diploma in Basic Sports Psychology

Cost: €100 per module with the 8th Module free

Those who complete these courses can transfer into a degree course later with credits carrying on to the higher course.

Over the next 2 years, Premier Sports College will hope to deliver Bachelor Degree and Master Degree Courses in various areas of sport and coaching, particularly in the key areas of Strength and Conditioning, Team Management, Sports Science, Young Athlete-Development, Movement and Function in Sport.
All of these courses will be delivered on-line to your home computer. 
Remain on our mailing list and we will keep you up to date on all developments.
Pass on this newsletter to interested coaches you know.
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