Fine-tune your feet to stay one step ahead of your opponents, says Jamie Reynolds, Performance coach:
“Whether you’re an outfield player or a goalkeeper, having good, strong footwork is imperative. This game is played with your feet – obviously – and whether you have the ball or not, all your movements are propelled forward by the hairy lumps on the end of your limbs; it pays to harness and maximise their movements.
More after the break
If you’re a goalkeeper, being able to move your feet quickly and efficiently helps you make those miraculous saves. You can’t claw the ball out of the top corner if your feet don’t get you into the perfect position in time.
An outfield player needs his feet to move at speed to perform skills, beat opponents to loose balls, shift his weight around to stop tricky wingers and drive off the ground to leap for headers.
Almost every action you perform on a football pitch happens on one leg so you must replicate this when you train. Agility rings are a great piece of equipment for focusing on single leg strength, power and balance. Use this drill (below) and you’ll be nimble in no time.”
RAPID FIRE FEET
Set out six agility rings in a straight line. Stand slightly to the left of the base of the rings on your right leg.
Hop inside the first agility ring and out to the right. Then hop into the second agility ring and out to the left. Repeat this process until you have hopped through all six agility rings. This exercise teaches your leg muscles to slow down and stop on the spot, and then power back up again almost instantly. Add this drill to your weekly routine to safeguard against injury.
Perform the drill with a weighted vest on. The added load will help develop extra strength and power in your legs.
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.