Today’s question is this,
Is soccer a sprint sport or an endurance sport?
Did anyone say both?
Soccer is a complex combination of both and depends on the position, tactics, style, age or level of development.
Soccer speed is the ability to take off from any position with sharpness.
Soccer speed is also the ability to reach your top speed in the shortest time possible.
Soccer speed also includes change of direction and having the ability to stop rapidly and then have the ability to reach top speed again.
When we talk about speed in soccer, we’re talking about leg speed. Leg speed is commonly referred to as the stride and the stride can be further broken down into stride length and stride frequency.
Many believe that speed is gifted through genetics. To some extent this is true. However, your stride can be improved.
How do you ask?
The most important aspect of the stride in relation to soccer is control. Controlling the stride is closely related to stride frequency.
Would a sprinter make a good soccer player?
Who knows, right? But I strongly doubt it.
Sprinters have a long stride, which is great for the 100-metre sprint and for straight lines. But can you adopt this to soccer?
Don’t get me wrong here; speed is never a liability especially in soccer. However speed in soccer must be adaptable.
Soccer requires a compact stride with leg speed that enhances both control and the ability to change direction. The compact stride is also necessary for lightning stops and even quicker accelerations.
So what sprint mechanics are ideal for soccer?
Sprint mechanics can be broken into 3 categories.
Posture, arm action and leg action.
Once you’ve established a controlled stride with quick leg speed, you can improve this through pattern running workouts. These workouts replicate the stopping, starting, planting and cutting from different positions required for soccer.
Sprinting in a match is defined as the highest movement speed attained and also referred to as your top speed. Elite soccer players sprint approximately 15.8% of the total distance covered in a match. The rest comprises of ¾ pace, jogging, walking and even standing.
The challenge we face in soccer is combining the worlds of a sprinter and the endurance runner without ever compromising our sharpness.
So set up the cones and fall in love with your sprint workouts.
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars”.