September 7


Developing Speed In Soccer: Part 1

By Renegade Soccer Training

September 7, 2018

speed, Strength

How do I get faster?

I can’t beat players to the ball…

What do I do?

Then, when I logged in today to our FREE FB GROUP, there was a question about speed…

So, I decided to write a mini book in 3 posts…

And it would be silly for me not to share that with you…




b) get in the FREE FB GROUP!


So, what do I say when someone complains about not being fast?

Here is my reply:

Thank goodness speed is maybe the 5th indicator when differentiation good players..

But acceleration is 1st.

SPEED is top end speed…

ACCELERATION is the ability to go from 0-30m fast.

Speed is HIGHLY genetic, but IS trainable if you know how…

Hard work all along the power curve, real plyometrics (not ‘jump drills’), and plenty of force absorption work…

But, most coaches primarily focus on strength in HS and college.


Because measuring it is easy, and it is easy to understand.

Luckily, acceleration is HIGHLY trainable.


What is the #1 contributor to speed over the 1st 40m for all athletes?

Relative strength.

This is why so many coaches train it.

Why was I fast? (4.43 electronic 40m, 10.56 100m)

It was NOT because I converted strength to power well…

I was no Usain Bolt.  Not even close.

For those of you that know the difference, I was a 2 foot jumper, not 1 foot.

I did triple jump also in track, but my preference is to jump 2 footed in basketball…

That means I prefer to ‘load’ instead of ‘spring’ when I jump.

So how did I get fast?

It was because by the time I was in 11th grade I could squat 2.5x my body weight to parallel.

(365lbs @ 142BW, 5’11″… so not structurally advantaged at all… bean pole. Mid 400s at 165 senior year.)

Not Golds Gym squats…

Bigger Faster Stronger Deeper on my thigh every set squats… top of thigh parallel or below. I actually went below always until week before testing then worked on my reversing strength at parallel.

How did I do it?

If I was being honest, it was humiliation in front of everyone in 8th grade… actually not kidding.

Because of one that pain, I NEVER missed a workout on leg day… ever.

Some athletes will convert strength to power at an elite level.

Some won’t.

So some guys will always be able to just accelerate pretty doggone well without much training…

but they are geared for it…

any strength becomes power.

This is why cleans, jump squats etc are so regularly used..

it helps with rate of force production…

and absorption.

It helps lesser athletes Central Nervous System-wise convert their strength to power.

Bounds, Plyos, etc also do further along the power curve.

Gymnasts run so awkwardly it makes me scratch my head and vom a little… but boy do they accelerate!

Acceleration requires strength at the deeper leg angles…

and soccer players rarely get any work there…

Joggy jog, quick little burst while pretty much upright, drills done without intensity…

All lead to being limited by genetics…

So, it is impossible to say you are slow if you are weak.

You aren’t slow.

You are weak.

When does strength stop being the #1 contributor to acceleration?

~2.7x BW.

Now can kids go squat?

Dear goodness no…

I want to throttle most strength coaches who make freshman girls do a squat max…

sorry, seen too many lower back injuries…

recipe for a lawsuit.

But, for young children or even kids into puberty who really never do work anywhere near parallel?

Body weight work can produce wonders.

With all kinds of variations in leverage to increase or decrease the difficulty.

Why is parallel so important?

Well, when you slow down elite athletes accelerating, they are actually lunging and their foot strike is deep…

think of a running in drive phase striking the ground under their chin…

That leg has a deep angle… close to parallel.

Lesser athlete?  Higher up from parallel.

Kids? Almost uptight and very small break in leg?


Because they are weak and cannot generate the power to keep from falling on their face at deep angles.

The ONLY way I could run with the top guys was for 30m or so…

and then they would pull away.  : (

But for 30m I would hit deeper angles than them because I was so strong.

They may have had genetics on me, but I had strength to overcome that advantage from their mom and dad.

So when people say that they are slow, I always ask myself…

and ask them, if they are a client…

Are you slow, or are you weak?

99% of the time, they are weak.

Because if you aren’t strong, then we have no idea if you are fast or not…

Hope this shed some insight…

And yes, I will share more tomorrow… for sure!

Should you go out and buy a fancy squat rack?

No, no, and more no.

But, bodyweight exercises to start will really help.

Tomorrow I will talk about some key principles to keep in mind so your gains will be as fast as possible…

What makes you able to accelerate like the best around?




Fitness (to have energy for 90)

and of course genetics…

But, you control 4 out of the 5….

As always, thank you for being a RENEGADE!!!


Renegade Soccer Training

About the author

Coach JR has over a decade worth of experience coaching athletes who love the game, and are ready to take their game to the next level. He trains them to focus on exactly the skills they need to improve, and then provides the framework and system to maximize their efforts. A certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and math nerd who is a life-long learner and coach.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Improve Your Ball Control & Confidence

Sign Up & Get A FREE 15-Minute 2000 Touch Burst Workout That You Can Do At Home