Why Is Agility Important In Football? – Full Guide
Agility is defined as the ability to move quickly and easily, including the ability to move in different directions without losing balance. Agility is one of the most important characteristics in football. Every professional footballer will be more agile than the average person because they are elite athletes, and quick movement is essential. This is how agility in football affects performance on the field;
Quick Turns & Changing Direction
The ability to turn quickly is essential for all players. Because the game is played so quickly, players are constantly twisting and turning in order to have an impact on the game. Attacking players, for example, turn and twist quickly with and without the ball to try to get around defenders or escape from their tight marking.
This is accomplished by either dribbling quickly with sharp turns or twisting and sprinting away from a defender who is making a run or attempting to get on the end of a through ball. Both of these actions necessitate agility.
Stop & Start Movements
Wingers and fast players are frequently seen going one-on-one with full-backs and defenders, and they manage to get past them without much skill. These players are often agile enough to slow down or even come to a complete stop, then accelerate suddenly to get past the defender.
When up against the most agile players, the defender slows down with the attacking player but often lacks the agility and acceleration to stop this move. Sadio Mane, Neymar, and Adama Traore are three players who frequently use this skill.
Football Agility in Defending
As previously demonstrated, attacking players frequently use their agility to get away from defenders by dribbling or moving away from them in order to get on the end of a ball. Defenders are typically slower than attackers.
Defenders, on the other hand, benefit from being able to match attackers in order to defend more effectively against them. Centerbacks are typically built as stronger and taller players on the field, which naturally makes them less agile.
It’s usually an interesting battle between a quick, agile striker and a strong, tall center back, with the defender usually being strong enough to hold off the striker in most situations, but agile strikers can often get in behind and score goals due to their speed and quickness off the mark.
Football Agility In Goalkeeping
Of course, the goalkeeper is the most important position for agility. To prevent the ball from hitting the net, goalkeepers must have cat-like reflexes and be able to dive around and reach every part of the goal. A keeper must be extremely agile to not only react quickly but also reach the corners of the goal, diving low or springing to the top corner.
How do Footballers Work on their Football Agility?
Footballers spend a lot of time in training focusing on short, sharp movements because these are the most useful types of movement in the game. Professional footballers typically have two gym sessions per week during the regular season.
Lower body workouts to increase power and quickness would be included in the gym sessions. Players would, for example, perform single-leg squats, box jumps, weighted lunges, and sprinting with weighted sleds.
These exercises help players improve their speed, jump higher, accelerate faster, and overall football agility. On the training field, players do specific agility work.
Designing football agility drills for football can be difficult due to the wide range of movements required for a full match across the various positions. Coaches can classify football movements by analyzing the sport’s target movement specifications.
the agility programs:
Following that, coaches can structure the movements and create an effective football agility program. When breaking down football movements, it’s useful to figure out what players are trying to accomplish. Coaches can accomplish this by employing target classifications. At any given time, players will most likely be doing one of three things:
- Movement Initiation – Beginning or changing the direction of movement
- Actualization Movements – entail attempting to move as quickly as possible.
- Transition Movements – Reacting to a football-specific stimulus while in transition.
Examples of Football Agility Drills
Cone Shuttle Sprints
5 cones can be arranged in a diamond pattern, with one cone in the center. The activity begins with the player sprinting straight to the middle cone and then shuffling to their right.
When the player reaches the cone on the right, he or she changes direction and sprints across to the far-left cone before shuffling back to the center cone and backpedaling back to the beginning. There are numerous variations to this drill that can be performed, but the goal is to simulate the wide range of movements required in a match.
This can and is frequently adapted to a transition movement exercise in which the coach shouts which cone to go to next, requiring the player to think quickly as well as shuffle quickly between each cone.
To improve football agility, some clubs place ladders along the floor. The goal is to progress up the ladder by stepping one or both feet between each rung. The idea is that players must shuffle along with quick feet, concentrating on keeping their feet within the gaps while moving quickly. This is a common drill at all levels of football and can be done in a variety of ways.
The Footbonaut is a piece of training equipment used by Borussia Dortmund. This is a round or square arena with 72 different gaps or “goals” for the player to put the ball in.
The robotic aspect stems from the automated feature, which fires balls at various speeds, trajectories, and angles into the center, where the player stands. When one of the goals lights up, the player must act quickly to put the ball into it.
This drill works on many things, but it is especially good for reactions, improving vision on the pitch, first touch, awareness, and agility as the players move around to retrieve the ball as quickly as possible.
Football agility is only as good as a player’s thought speed, as the ability to react quickly gives a player an advantage. Great agility is useless if a player’s mind is slow, and the Footbonaut certainly helps with that.
Examples of Goalkeeper Agility Drills
Goalkeepers also spend the majority of their practice time working on football agility drills. Goalkeeper drills are also a lot more enjoyable.
spike ball drill:
Spike ball is a new popular drill in which a bouncy net is placed in the middle of a group of three or four goalkeepers. The goal is for the keepers to punch the ball down into the net so that the other players can continue the rally without the ball touching the ground.
Keepers frequently dive around to keep the ball up while slamming it into the net. This increases the keepers’ ability to react quickly and easily dive around.
shots & obstacles:
Another way for goalkeepers to improve their agility is to face shots with obstacles in the way. Many different things can be used, but the idea is that the ball hits the obstacle and ricochets in an unexpected and different direction, giving the keeper little time to react and save the shot.
The Most & Least Agile Players
attackers; the most agile players?
Attackers and wingers are typically the most agile players in football. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the most agile players in the game, able to dribble and sprint at high speeds while changing direction and maintaining perfect balance. Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe are two other examples.
Strikers, on the other hand, can be quite immobile. Salomon Rondon, Gonzalo Higuain, and even the great Alan Shearer were not the most agile players, but their strengths were great hold-up play, strength, and clinical finishing.
what about the defenders?
Some players’ ability to sprint, dribble, and turn at speed while maintaining balance is simply not part of their game. Center-backs are obvious examples.
For example, consider Harry Maguire, whose lack of football agility can cause issues when up against quick and tricky attackers. His dominant frame, on the other hand, gives him other advantages, such as being great in the air and scoring from set pieces.
Overall, one of the most important skills in the aforementioned sport is football agility. Often, the best players in the world, the players who are also the most lethal on the pitch, are quick and can dribble at speed while changing direction without losing balance.
Due to tactical styles of play, as well as advancements and a focus on sports science, nutrition, and fitness, modern football has unquestionably shifted toward favoring the most athletic players. It is obvious that today’s elite players are far more athletic and agile than previous-era legends.
Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.
Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.