Rev up your early-season engine

Boost your speed, strength and endurance with these fun and simple drills

1) Water bottle: Agility boost
 

The set up
Mark out a square of 10 x 20 metres using four bottles. Position one player in the box with a fully loaded water bottle. 

More after the break

The drill
The players have to get from one end of the box to the other without getting squirted. Have five full bottles ready for when the man in the middle runs out. Whichever player is the wettest has to refill the bottles.

How it helps
“This is a fun agility drill that works reaction speed, fast direction changes and acceleration,” says elite strength and conditioning coach Mathew Monte-Colombo.

2) Hurdles: Explosive leg strength

The set-up                                      
Line up six hurdles, 30-45 centimetres apart. Position one cone 15m away from the final hurdle.

 
The drill
Hop over each hurdle with your right foot, sprint to the end cone, then walk back and repeat the sequence on your left foot. This is one set – perform five, resting for 30 seconds in between.
 
How it helps
“You need single leg strength to execute the actions required for football – striking the ball, running and jumping – and this drill will develop that,” says Monte-Colombo.
 
3) Plyo-ladders: Supersonic footwork

The set-up                            
This one is simple: just set out an agility ladder on the ground, and place a cone 15m in front of it.

 
The drill
Perform an ickey shuffle through the rungs of the ladder, sprint off to the end cone and then walk back to your original starting position. That’s one rep: now repeat this five times.
 
How it helps
“This drill develops fast feet, which footballers need for ball control, moving quickly into position and ultra-speedy changes of direction,” says Monte-Colombo.
 
4) Cones: Lung-busting endurance

The set-up                                                            
Place cones one and two 7.5 metres apart, and cones two and three 12.5 metres apart.

 
The drill
Run from cone one to cone two and back. Then sprint to cone three and back, before repeating the run between cones one and two again. Do this for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Do this six times.
 
How it helps
“Footballers need to be able to perform repeated sprints,” explains Monte-Colombo. “This drill promotes this as well as enhancing strength, speed and power.”
 
Want some equipment to go with these drills? Lucozade Sport's Kit-Out Project can help. Visit www.lucozadesport.com/kitoutproject to find out more…
 

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