When You watch a soccer game, notice if a player moves in one linear direction for more than a few steps. Their game consists of footwork that requires moving forward, backward, side to side, over and under players and the ball, not to mention the use of their head and chest. Sometimes, when things get fancy, they will throw a bicycle kick in there which technically should be a skill only found in gymnastics. What’s the key to all of these movements? AGILITY.
Agility is defined as how quickly a player can change direction while maintaining their balance. Not only do they have to change direction, but they also have to do it instantaneously and prepare for another split-second move in the other direction. Without this fine-tuned skill, a player will lose the ball or lose the game.
Not only can improving your agility get you to a higher level of play, but it can also prevent injury. Without training an athlete to be agile, their risk of injury is much greater. Training to become more agile consistently teaches the body to move correctly when shifting direction at a fast pace while under pressure.
We asked Sterling Joseph, our owner, about how we train our athletes to improve their agility. “Commitment, agility takes repetition and consistency to progress. If you think you are going to improve your agility by training sporadically, you’re not.” He states that the training sessions are progressive. “In a session, we will master one movement and then the next and the next…all while paying attention to detail.” Drills performed may include cones, speed rings, and the agility ladder.
What about speed? Don’t you have to be fast to change direction quickly? Sterling says, “You wouldn’t take a new driver and first encourage them to go fast, right? You would teach them to unlock the car, how to turn it on etc., and then as they master their driving skills, you will increase the speed.”
Sterling’s Team Speed over the last 20 years has carved out a niche in the market for excellence in speed and agility. With the right amount of commitment and consistency, all athletes improve their speed and agility that separates them apart when getting on the pitch.