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Improve young athletes' soccer speed

This is an excerpt from Athletic Fitness for Kids eBook by Scott Lancaster & Radu Teodorescu.

Soccer Speed Drill

Age Range

8 to 14


To improve an athlete’s soccer speed with and without a soccer ball


This drill simulates gamelike situations in soccer in which speed is essential.


Eight cones, one soccer ball, two benches, six 12-inch minihurdles, a stopwatch




On a soccer field, place two cones about 10 feet apart at the midfield sideline (point A). Place two more cones 10 feet apart 20 yards downfield on the same sideline (point B). Place two benches on the ground with the ends of the seats facing the athlete as he or she runs down the field, one placed 10 yards off the sideline (point C) about 20 yards downfield from point B, and the second placed on the sideline another 5 yards downfield (point D). Place two cones 10 feet apart 50 yards from the starting area (point E). Set up six 12-inch minihurdles in a row in the opposite direction of the course about 3 yards apart (between points F and G). Place two cones at point H to designate the finish line of the course. One soccer ball is placed on the field at point B (see diagram).



An athlete sprints from point A to a soccer ball placed at point B. The athlete then dribbles the ball to point C, where he or she passes the ball against the bench, retrieves the ball (simulating a give-and-go), and dribbles toward point D, where once again the ball is passed against a bench, simulating another give-and-go. The athlete then continues to dribble downfield 5 yards to point E. This is followed by dribbling the ball to the next station on the same end line (point F) and then dribbling back in the opposite direction back upfield, jumping over six consecutive hurdles placed 3 yards apart and dribbling the ball under each hurdle. After clearing the sixth hurdle and successfully dribbling the ball straight through all hurdles, the athlete continues dribbling 10 yards to the finish at point H.


Record how long it takes each athlete to finish the 80-yard course. If a pass misses a bench, or the ball doesn’t travel through all hurdles, apply a three-second penalty that is added to the athlete’s time. Athletes measure their progress and attempt to beat their best time.

This is an excerpt from Athletic Fitness for Kids.