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Aaron Lennon: How to be quick off the mark

“I’m quick once I get going, but my first couple of yards could do with some work. What should I do?”
Jake Howe, via email

Aaron Lennon says:

“You need to work on reaction times if you want to improve your acceleration. At Spurs we do a lot of fast feet over small hurdles.

Place some small [dome] cones in a line about 15 cm apart and run sideways through them, making sure that both feet are grounded before moving on to the next cone.

You can do this on your own but it helps if you do it in pairs and race each other – it’s also more fun this way.

This will improve quickness and foot speed. We do them all the time at the training ground, always over five or 10 metres. The more you do, the better you get at it.

The other thing that will help is working on your speed when turning off both shoulders. You’re not always in a straight line race so being quick off the turn is important.

The drill for this is simple: face the wrong way and turn and sprint. Make sure you alternate between turning over your right and left shoulder, making sure you stay low when you push off.

Doing all these little exercises will improve your sharpness, which should make you quicker in a match.”

Aaron Lennon wears the new Nike Mercurial Superfly III, a boot built for explosive speed worn by the fastest, most Superfly players. Visit

For more football tips see:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Make something happen
Gareth Bale: Terrorise the defence
Lucas Moura: Dribble the Brazilian way
Accelerate and beat your man like Messi
Angel di Maria on the art of wing play