It’s no secret that goalkeepers need to move laterally as quickly as possible. If opponents fired shots directly into your lap, any Average Joe could man the net. Since that’s not the case, you have to train your movements left and right—the same way opponents attack your territory.
According to Mark Williams, founder and president of Williams Soccer Performance Systems, incorporating exercises that improve both lateral strength and agility is a must for goalkeepers, because that’s how they consistently have to move during competition. To facilitate these areas, Williams’ clients, like New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway, perform the Crossover Sled Drag. The drill requires Conway to move like he does on the field. Williams says, “He’s getting stronger through a more functional range of motion, and that’s the secret to speed and agility.”
If you’re looking to rack up multiple shutouts this soccer season, master Williams’ Crossover Sled Drag, which Conway performs once a week year-round.
Crossover Sled Drag
Place harness around waist, attach end to a sled and add enough weight to the sled so that you feel challenged.
• Begin in athletic stance facing sideways
• Explosively sprint laterally, crossing one foot over the other in continuous motion
• Cover 10 to15 yards, then stop and turn around
• Facing same direction, perform drill back to start position
• Complete 2 sets
Williams’ Keys: Lead with your hips in the direction you’re moving // Keep hips and center of mass low // Cover distance as quickly as possible // Keep head up and back flat