One of the oldest sporting activities created in the United Kingdom, soccer requires its participants to be athletically fit for 90 minutes. And while a player's size doesn't always matter, when challenging an opponent for a loose ball, speed kills.
"Speed is rate of force production," says Brad Price, strength and conditioning coach for LSU women's soccer. "It is about putting force into the ground, and it's about being explosive and [generating] acceleration."
The Lady Tigers exercise their speed using the Box Blast. "Even if they are jogging around [on the pitch], and they have to go chase the ball, they have to accelerate," Price says. "When you accelerate, your hips are going through, and that's a very sport-specific [movement] the Box Blast [simulates]."
By regaining their cat-like speed, the LSU women's soccer team went from a quiet little house kitty that opponents never took seriously to a quick, goal-pouncing big game cat that strikes fear into the hearts of its prey. No wonder the Lady Tigers made it to the College Cup the past two seasons.
• Start with left foot on box and right foot on floor
• Drive right knee up to chest while left leg pushes force through box
• Lower right leg slowly
Sets/Reps: 4x8 reps (alternating legs)
Coaching Points: Maintain a locked back // Keep abs and core tight // Keep chest filled with air // Focus on driving through the box // Make sure the driving leg's ankle passes the height of the opposite knee when driving up
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock