Soccer Speed Part II- The Different Types of Speed

There are different types of speed when it comes to training soccer athletes. In my last article I spoke about the Principles of Soccer Speed.

We know, that in the fast-paced world of soccer, speed is an important factor that may make or break a player’s success on the pitch.

However, soccer speed is multi-dimensional.

Soccer includes several types of speed, each of which contributes significantly to a player’s total performance. This detailed tutorial will go over the many types of speed required for soccer, how to increase them, and how to use this knowledge to improve performance on the field.

The Different Types of Speed in Soccer

Soccer speed may be divided into four categories: physical speed, technical speed, tactical speed, and mental speed[1]. Each of these components makes a unique contribution to a player’s total speed on the field.

Physical Speed

This is probably the most obvious sort of speed in soccer. It describes a player’s raw ability to cover ground swiftly.

Physical speed is further divided into two components: acceleration, which is the ability to achieve high speeds quickly, and maximum velocity, which is the quickest rate at which a player can run[1].

Both of these characteristics are important in soccer since players must frequently use brief bursts of speed to defeat opponents or chase down the ball, as well as maintain high speeds over extended distances during counterattacks or recovery runs.

Technical Speed

Although physical speed is vital, soccer is more than just running quickly.

Technical speed is a player’s ability to perform soccer-specific skills at high speeds[1]. This comprises quick dribbling, ball control, passing, and shooting with little preparation time. Players with great technical speed can effectively manipulate the ball even at fast speeds, providing them with a substantial advantage in game conditions.

Tactical Speed

This form of speed is more cerebral and refers to a player’s ability to swiftly understand the game, make decisions, and respond to changing situations on the field[1].

Tactical speed entails predicting opponents’ motions, locating open areas, and making split-second decisions regarding passing, shooting, or dribbling.

Players with great tactical speed frequently appear to be “one step ahead” of their opponents, even if they aren’t the fastest runners on the field.

Mental Speed

Mental speed is closely tied to tactical speed and refers to a player’s ability to process information and make decisions[2].

It entails quickly assessing complex game circumstances, digesting information from teammates and opponents, and making timely, effective decisions.

Mental speed also refers to a player’s ability to remain concentrated and awake during the game, maintaining swift reaction rates even when weariness sets in.

Since we have identified these four types of soccer speed, in my next blog I will talk about how to Develop Different Types of Soccer Speed.

This article is guided by the principles of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA) and supported by scientific research and practical experience in the field of youth soccer conditioning. It aims to be educational, engaging, and practical, providing coaches and players with the knowledge and tools to develop speed in soccer effectively.

Author: Beni Brannigan

Beni is an IYCA Ambassador, Entrepreneur and CEO. He’s earned UEFA coaching badges and a BA in Physical Fitness & Sports Conditioning. He has professional experience across soccer, golf, and rugby, expanding programs in Texas and Ireland. He has founded GameLikeSoccerCoaching and BBsports Fitness and Nutrition.
His coaching ethos revolves around instilling core values in young athletes, emphasizing the importance of practice, play, and the pursuit of perfection.

Want to learn more about SPEED Development and/or Mechanics?

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[1] https://www.discoversoccer.info/speed/4-types-of-soccer-speed

[2] https://opengoaaalusa.com/blogs/news/how-to-get-faster-at-soccer

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhUfMx0fq8

[4] https://wheecorea.com/total-football-way/speed-for-a-football-player/comment-page-1/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkjHP-gAd2U

[6] https://www.scienceforsport.com/speed-training-in-soccer-how-to-develop-it/

[7] https://www.blazepod.com/blogs/all/soccer-speed-drills-8-tips-on-how-to-get-faster-for-soccer

[8] https://vertimax.com/blog/run-faster-in-soccer-a-comprehensive-guide

[9] https://blog.overtimeathletes.com/soccer-speed-drills/

[10] https://trustmycoach.com/soccer-fitness/power-speed/

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF_9W0IjnUo

[12] https://www.memorialhermann.org/services/specialties/rockets-sports-medicine-institute/sports-science-tips/tips-for-soccer-players/soccer-speed-drills

[13] https://velocityspusa.com/soccer-what-is-fast/

[14] https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Faster-for-Soccer

[15] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspor.2023.1116293/full

[16] https://www.reddit.com/r/bootroom/comments/qyd99b/how_to_become_faster/

[17] https://www.balticsportscience.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1145&context=journal

[18] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5HkkTjJj4Q

[19] https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/soccer-speed-training.html

[20] https://www.reddit.com/r/bootroom/comments/gfzrpp/how_to_sprint_faster_for_soccer/


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