Build Multi-Directional Speed With Clemson Women's Soccer | STACK 4W

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Build Multi-Directional Speed With Clemson Women's Soccer

September 9, 2011

Must See Soccer Videos

Clemson women’s soccer knows about speed. Besides playing a rugged ACC schedule year in and year out, they’ve made an appearance in six consecutive NCAA Tournaments. With the Tiger’s ability in mind, we hit up the team’s strength and conditioning coach, David Abernethy, with a few questions about working multidirectional speed.

STACK: How important is multidirectional speed in soccer?
David Abernethy:
Soccer is all about performing powerful, explosive bouts over and over for 90 minutes. An athlete must be able to change direction while minimizing speed loss. Defense, especially, is multidirectional; so being able to settle down in your hips and mimic the offensive player’s speed while moving backwards, forwards and side-to-side is crucial.

How do you improve this?
We start by teaching basic and proper speed mechanics—focusing on knee lift, arm drive and body control. When we teach the basics of linear speed, we focus on stride length and frequency, knee bend, pressing the outside foot and minimizing excess or negative movements that affect moving efficiently at high speeds. We also do something we call “coming to balance,” which teaches the players to stop without losing body control and the ability to reaccelerate.

When do you train multidirectional speed?
All of our multidirectional training is done in the off-season on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We want the players to use in practice what they work on during those two days, so their skills and performance transfer directly to the game.

Can you explain some drills you use to work this type of speed?
We do a four-corner drill to teach the players to run straight ahead and change direction at full speed. We perform some plyometrics—basic vertical jumps to teach controlled landings with knees bent, chest out and butt back, while keeping their knees, toes and hips aligned. We also use a speed ladder to teach foot fire, knee bend and body control.

Photo: Crammer

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Learn to Sprint Faster Without Actually Running

How Flying Sprints Will Help You Get Faster

Use Science to Increase Running Speed: Heel Up Drill

4 Drills Guaranteed to Increase Your Speed

Cone Drills for Football Speed

Refine Your Sprinting Form With the A-Run Drill

Improve Your Route Running With Speed Training Drills

4 Highly Effective Drills to Increase Speed

Deceleration: The Missing Link in Speed Training

Fix Your Form For a Faster 60-Yard Dash

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Speed Drills for a Faster 40

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Get Faster by Slowing Down?

Essential Soccer Speed Drills

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Increase Your Soccer Speed With 4 Sprint Drills

Specific Drills To Improve Speed

3 Hurdle Drills That Make You Faster

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Slow Down to Get Faster: The A-March

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

Make Your Strength Work for You With Footwork Drills

Soccer Speed Drills to Leave Opponents in the Dust

Drills to Improve Elements of Speed (VIDEO)

Any-Season Cone Drill Workout for Speed and Agility

The Best Drills to Build Complete Speed

Run Faster: Learn To Relax During Sprints

A Surprising Secret About Speed

Get Faster: Speed Support Drill

3 Skipping Drills to Improve Your Hops and Speed

How to Get a More Efficient Sprinting Form

Foot Exercises for Better Speed Training

Coaching Youth Speed Training

Develop Speed With the High Knee Drill