As exciting as it is, football is also a very tiresome game. We all know the rigorous exercise and training routines professional and amateur players go through before a match to keep their performance in immaculate condition and minimise the risk of any injury. On top of all this, they all watch their diet, watch their water intake, and do practical, agility and speed training to keep in shape and maintain their playing abilities, alongside other exercise routines.
This is all because of the fact that a football match is over 90 minutes long, which means that the players have to be prepared to run and have their head in the game for two sets of 45 minutes. This is not a short time and so all the heavy prep and caution are much needed. Now, let’s leave all the other things behind and concentrate on agility and speed training. These activities are designed to keep stamina up, but also warm the body up and make sure no injuries will occur during training or a match. Tendons and muscles are exposed while playing, so having quality agility and speed training equipment in place is crucial. Here are a few different types of football speed and agility training equipment and the benefits of each.
Cone hurdles usually come in a set of about 20 and are excellent for many reasons. There are different types of sets, with higher or lower cones and shorter or longer hurdles. Cone hurdles are some of the most basic speed training gear as they require a lot of precise, fast-paced movement to overcome. They can be set up in a number of different ways to ensure the player is getting the proper warmup and the exact type of exercise they need.
Cone hurdle sets can be used with or without a ball. Without it, they help players work on their stamina and reflexes, improve their ability to avoid obstacles on the field. With a ball, they can be used to practice tricks and learn how to prevent the ball from being taken over by a member of the opposite team.
This is quite an important thing in football as dribbling happens all the time. It’s also great for goalkeepers as it will provide them with the warmup and skills necessary to defend the goalpost. What’s more, cone hurdle sets help players work on their glutes and the legs in general, warming them up for all the running to come. Using cone hurdles regularly is highly recommended to achieve optimal results and peak performance.
Ladders & Rings
Ladders and rings are more of a basic item that’s intended to improve the stamina and speed of the player. When I say ladder, I don’t mean an actual one you have to climb, but rather a ladder-like structure you put on the ground and perform fast-paced movements between the steps i.e. obstacles. Rings are just that – rings that are placed on the pitchin either a zig-zag or another pattern so the player can concentrate on stepping inside each one.
These are both great pieces of football agility equipment as they focus on cardio workouts and activate the muscles and tendons in the thighs and calves. They’re also amazing at working the ankles, which are usually a body part that gets a lot of injuries during games, whether by other players or because they’re overstrained.
Ladders and rings, used alongside cone hurdles, are a classic combination no football team goes without, no matter how big or small. Some things are just evergreen, you know?
Finally, we have poles. A sort of combination between cone hurdles and rings and ladders, poles are designed to work on upping and maintaining the speed and agility of players while also improving their movement with a ball and dribbling abilities.
As we’ve already established, dribbling is quite an important part of football, so having this equipment in place to work on that is highly beneficial for everyone. It’s best to use poles with a ball so that the player can really experience and practice leading the ball through the obstacles, and mind their own body, speed, and ability to move.
Pole kits come in a pack, just like cone hurdles, and can also be arranged any way you see fit. This diversity is what makes them really efficient and also very easy to use. They also come in sets, usually of 12, and can be used on a variety of surfaces with different additions. They are a great way of improving the players’ performance and durability and should be used before every training session to warm up and during the training sessions to make sure your players’ game is on point.
To Sum Up
By working on the player’s agility and speed you’re also working on their ability to play the game itself. These three speed and agility equipment types are highly recommended by a lot of players and trainers alike, and as I said, are widely used. They all come conveniently packed so you don’t have to carry them around awkwardly. Easy to set up and gather up once you’re done, they are simple, yet very effective.
Bear in mind that you’ll need quality-made equipment if you’re planning on using it every time you practice. So cheap, thin plastic isn’t an option. Instead, look for sturdy materials and reinforced equipment pieces to make sure they’re going to last a long time and endure the kicking that will undoubtedly come their way. Because of this, it’s smartest to buy such equipment from sports stores only, preferably ones that specialize in football equipment.