When asked what's holding them back, most players will say that they need to play faster. But there are many levels to developing "SPEED OF PLAY"... This is why we have developed the integrated approach to training to blend speed, strength and skill in our GameSPEED Pyramid.
If a player improves his or her first touch, and can place the ball with directionally specific, perfectly weighted accuracy, it will buy them time (and space) to make better decisions. The player tends to trust their touch and this allows them to think about what they are going to do next. This forward thinking ability makes it easier to play faster.
If a player is confident with the ball at their feet, they don’t immediately look for an exit strategy or a quick outlet pass, but instead are more patient, and can quickly find the best tactical option, improving the speed of play.
Our confident players tend to use less tricks, and instead speed up the game with quick, skillful decisions. The Skill Track is shown in the yellow shaded area (left side of the GameSPEED pyramid).
If a player can become stronger and more physically explosive (everything from body control / awareness aspects to power and explosive speed training) as they move on field, then they will most likely move at a faster pace (cover more ground) and get stopped more efficiently (balanced and body control).
Being strong and athletic enough to quickly stop in a balanced, athletic position can give a player a few tenths of a second to process the situation before receiving a pass or defending another player. This is how strength impacts SPEED OF PLAY.
Additionally, as players get stronger their confidence usually improves. Confidence can also have an impact on speed of play. If you trust that your are strong enough to control the situations you get into, you tend to play more aggressively. The strength track modules are represented in RED in the image.
I NEED TO PLAY FASTER...
Most people will tell you that speed of play comes back to game awareness or a knowledge of situations and tactical decision making. And I would agree with this statement. This is best developed through watching professional games and playing high levels of competition.
But to be able to execute at a high level and truly develop speed of play, we first need to develop a confidence with the ball at our feet (SKILL), quick footwork and explosive bursts (SPEED) and a base of body control that allows us to perform more explosively (STRENGTH).
The Speed Track (center GREEN shaded area of the GameSPEED pyramid) is the center piece of our system. Everything is built around speed. If we keep our focus on speed as we progress into strength and skill programs we will remain locked in on what truly matters...SPEED OF PLAY.
USING RISE TO IMPACT SPEED OF PLAY
As players develop, the RISE app will blend multiple aspects together in functionally specific ways. Blending quick footwork with our ball skills, agility with our passing drills, longer working bouts, faster tempos and shorter rest periods. This is an example of how the RISE Functionally Integrated Training Program is designed to enhance speed of play on the field.
Download the RISE app today to take your first step towards improved speed of play!
SETTING THE FOUNDATION...
For players to react quickly and efficiently within the game, they need to have both tactical awareness as well as confidence in their ability to execute. To play confidently, players need great body control and awareness. This is why we created the 2 Week Development Plan to introduce players to the first phase of a more complete training program:
- Strength to control their body
- Explosiveness to change directions
- Confident first touch
- Ball Control in tight spaces
- A high level of fitness to focus and think clearly as fatigue sets in