10 Superior Soccer Agility Drills That Are Too Hot Handle

Agility in soccer is often a skill that is overlooked but it is a skill that underpins everything a soccer player does, whether you are a center back, goalkeeper or striker. It plays a part in your acceleration, deceleration, sprint speed, and change of direction. Agility is a skill that some players will find easier to attain than others but the more you work on it, the more natural the movements become. Here are my favorite soccer agility drills that I use with my players.

Download these soccer agility drills as a free PDF at the bottom of the page.

1. Deceleration agility shuttle run

Purpose:

The purpose of this agility drill is to help you slow down from top speed to quickly stop, change direction and accelerate again.

Equipment:

  • 6 cones
  • 1 soccer ball (optional)

How the drill works:

Set up 2 cones next to each other to create a gate 1 yard wide with the other gate 15 yards away directly opposite.

Place 2 single cones in between the 2 gates at 5-yard intervals.

Start from one of the gates and sprint to the first cone, as you approach the cone rotate around the cone in a clockwise direction while facing the same way.

Sprint to the second cone and repeat the same rotation around the cone, then sprint through the gate.

Rest for 10 seconds then repeat for a total of 6 times.

Make sure you alternate between going around the cones clockwise and anti-clockwise.

You can also choose to do this soccer agility drill with a soccer ball too.

Coaching Points:

  • Focus on small quick steps when moving around the cones.
  • Accelerate away from the cones
  • Use small steps to help you decelerate when approaching cones.

2. Shuttle runs soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help players turn 180 degrees and quickly accelerated to either get away from a defender or get back to stop a counter.

Equipment:

  • 6 cones
  • 1 soccer ball (optional)

How the drill works:

Set up three gates 1 yard in width, 15 yards in total length with 1 gate in the middle.

The player will start at the first set of cones sprint to the first set of cones then back to the start.

They will next go to the furthest set of cones and then back to the start.

On the final sprint, the player will sprint through the gate.

This is also a great agility soccer drill to do with a ball to make it more game realistic.

Coaching Points:

  • Focus on getting a lower center of gravity when turning
  • Take smaller and lighter steps to turn 180 more efficiently
  • Keep a lower center of gravity and a leaning forward body position to accelerate out of the 180 turns.

3. Lateral shuffle sprints for agility in soccer

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve a player’s speed at which they can change direction by encouraging them to get a low center of gravity.

Equipment

  • 6 cones
  • Soccer ball (optional)

How the drill works:

Place one cone down as your first start/finish cone.

From here walk 5 yards forward and place your second cone.

Turn 90 degrees to the right, walk 5 yards, and place your third cone.

Turn 90 degrees to the left, walk 5 yards, and place your fourth cone.

Rotate again 90 degrees to the left, walk 5 yards and place your fifth cone.

Finally, turn 90 degrees to the right and walk 5 yards, this will be your other start/finish cone.

This should have created a shuttle course with a 5x5 yard square in the middle.

Begin the agility drill on either start/finish cone, you must complete the course as quickly as possible while facing the same direction.

Focus on small sharp steps, to shuffle, accelerate and decelerate when approaching/ getting around cones.

This is also another agility drill that can include a soccer ball.

Coaching Points:

  • Make sure your body is leaning forward with a lower center of gravity when accelerating
  • When shuffling sideways make sure you are taking short quick steps
  • Keep a low center of gravity when rotating around the cones.

4. Crosshair soccer agility drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help players improve the speed at which they can turn and accelerate out of 90-degree turns.

Equipment:

  • 5 cones

How the drills work:

Place your first cone down in the middle, then place a cone 5 yards away from the center cone to the north, south, east, and west.

This will create a star-type pattern.

You can start this agility drill from any cone on the outside.

The player will begin by sprinting to the cone in the middle, they will then turn 90 degrees to sprint to the next cone on the outside.

They will then turn 180 degrees around that cone and back towards the middle.

The player will repeat this process until they are back where they started.

Make sure that players alternate the direction in which they travel around the star.

Clockwise (rotating around the cones to the left) and Anti-clockwise (rotating around the cones to their right).

Coaching Points:

  • Combine a low center of gravity with small quick steps while traveling around the cones
  • Accelerate after you have rotated past a cone with your body position leaning forward

5. Alternate leg lateral hops for agility

Purpose:

The purpose of this agility drill is to improve the balance and explosive power of a player.

Equipment:

  • 2 hoops
  • 3 mini hurdles

How the drill works:

Place 2 hoops 3 yards apart with 3 mini spread evenly between them.

Start the exercise in one hoop balancing on the leg that is closest to the mini hurdle in a side-on-body position.

Using the same leg you will laterally hop over the hurdles until you reach the hoop on the other side.

Once you reach that hoop with the same leg you will laterally hop over the hurdles back into the original hoop you start in landing on your opposite foot.

Rotate 180 degrees so now the foot you landed on is now closest to the mini hurdle.

Repeat this drill 3 times on each leg.

Coaching points:

  • Pause after each hop to prevent your momentum from taking over
  • Focus on exploding from your hops
  • Use your arms to help you balance

6. Lateral jumps combined with agility slalom

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill its work on a player’s explosiveness as well their acceleration and deceleration

Equipment:

  • 4 mini hurdles
  • 8 cones

How the drills work:

Set up your mini hurdles 1 yard apart.

Place the 2 cones 1 yard on either side of the mini hurdles, this should create 4 vertical channels.

Start the drill in a side-on position next to the first hurdle, and jump laterally over all the hurdles.

Once you have got to the end, facing the same direction you must slalom back and forth through the channels until you end up in the position you started at.

Once you have completed the first rotation, turn 180 where you will repeat the drill on the opposite side.

As a variation to this drill, you can jump forward through the hurdles and then shuffle back through the channels while still facing the same direction.

Coaching points:

  • Fast and explosive jumps over the hurdles
  • Short, quick steps when sprinting through the slalom
  • Focus on how quickly you can decelerate when approaching the cones whiles sprinting.

7. Diagonal square sprint soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help players efficiently change directions at 90-degree angles.

Equipment:

  • 5 cones

How the drill works:

With 4 of your cones set up a 7x7 yard square, then place your final cone in the middle.

To start the drill you can begin on any cone on the outside.

From the outside cone, you start on you will then sprint to the center cone, going around to the right.

The player will then sprint to the next cone along the outside, travel around the cone on the right, and back towards the middle cone.

Repeat this process until you get back to the cone that you started on.

Make sure to alternate the direction you travel around the square (clockwise and anti-clockwise)

Coaching points:

  • Small, sharp steps as you travel around and accelerate away from the cone.
  • Keep a low center of gravity while moving around the cones.

8. Quick feet ladder agility drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help a player to remain light on their feet and be able to react with quicker movements to what is going on around them.

Equipment:

  • Agility ladder

How the drill works:

This is a great agility drill that will help with a player’s coordination.

Start at the bottom of the ladder and slightly to the right.

The player will put their left foot into the first square (the foot closest to the ladder) of the ladder quickly followed by their right.

They will then bring their left foot out of the ladder to the left, again quickly followed by their right.

The player will now be on the left-hand side of the ladder with their right foot closest to the ladder.

They will then move their right foot into the second square up, followed by their left.

The player will then move their right foot out of the square, filled by their left, now standing on the right-hand side.

Repeat this process until the ladder is complete.

Coaching points:

  • Be on your toes, this will help you move through the ladder faster
  • Have a slight bend in your knees to help keep your balance and change direction
  • Start slow to get the rhythm, then increase your speed as you become more comfortable

9. Lateral Line hops for agility in soccer

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help improve power and stability in players’ legs

Equipment:

  • 4 cones

How the drill works:

Place your cones down in a line without any space between them.

This will create your line for your lateral hops.

You can start on either side of the line.

Start by balancing on your right foot first, you will now use your right foot to jump either side of the line as many times as you can for 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds have 10 seconds rest then do the same but with your left foot.

Repeat 3 times on each foot.

Coaching points:

  • While hopping from side to side remain on your toes
  • Make sure you are keeping a slight bend in your knee while jumping/landing.

10. Hurdle relay soccer agility drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this will drill is to work on balance and foot coordination for sprinting

Equipment:

  • 2 cones
  • 5 hurdles

How the drill works:

Place down your 1st cone to start the point.

From there, place your first hurdle vertically.

Place the next 3 hurdles horizontally 1/2 a yard apart with your final hurdle being placed vertically again.

Place your finishing cone 10 yards in front of the last hurdle.

Start the drill on the first cone and sprint towards the first hurdle where you will move over it laterally, moving over it 4 times with both feet touching on one side before moving to the other.

Move through the next 3 horizontal hurdles, making sure both feet go between each space.

Repeat the same movement over the last vertical hurdle then sprint 10 yards to the final cone.

Coaching points:

  • Stay on your toes to increase the speed of your steps
  • Use your arms to help drive your legs
  • Raise your knees to generate more power in your steps

Soccer agility drills conclusion

These are the 10 best soccer agility drills that I use with my players.

The soccer agility drills include all the essential movement patterns that they would be using in real game scenarios.

These agility soccer drills can also be performed anywhere with minimal equipment and set up which makes them incredibly practical.

As with any coaching method, make sure that you are consistent with the agility drills and have patience with your players are they are learning new skills.

If you have any other soccer agility drills you would like to share then please leave a comment below.

Also if you know a coach that would find these soccer agility drills helpful then please share them with them using our social media buttons.

Here are some more solo soccer drills I would strongly recommend too.

Thank you,

Toby

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Related posts:

My recommended Soccer Coaching eBook to help your team with improving their agility.

Use code AFL-UZPK at the checkout for 5% off this eBook!

Soccer Agility Drills PDF

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