For almost 3 hours this morning, I was glued to my television setwatching the United States play for its life in a World Cup matchagainst Ghana.
Even though soccer barely registers as relevant in the world ofAmerican athletics, the energy of this match helped me to furtherunderstand why soccer is the most popular sport in the world.In today’s match, superior speed, acceleration and agility proved to be a deadly combination as Ghana eliminated the United States from World Cup competition.
The inability to match Ghana’s speed to the ball, on the attack or on the defense crippled the United State’s ability to take control of the match.
The overall ineptness of Team USA’s offensive attack in their Group E matches serve as a painful reminder of how far America lags behind its international competition. Without the speed to match up with their opponents, there can be no expectation of consistent success at any level of the sport.
That being said, as a speed coach, something became quiteclear to me very early in the match.When it came to winning balls, attacking the goal or defending a breakaway, the athletes from Ghana were flat outfaster than the Americans on an almost man-to-man basis.
Within the first 10 minutes of the match, everyone in the room kept remarking about how the United States players simplylooked slower and less remarkable than their opponents.
In fact, many analysts have made mention about how Ghana’s success in advancing into the Round of 16 is the ‘surprise of the World Cup.’
I can’t help but believe that a significant part of this success is due to their overwhelming speed, agility and acceleration.In this country, soccer coaches and players place almost exclusivetraining emphasis on conditioning: long, slow intervals on the trackor around the field and long, slow runs on the road.
You just can’t get fast by running slow.
The difference, in what we saw, was that Ghana’s speed in attacking the ball and the goal continuously made the difference in the game. If American soccer players hope to improve their respectability, coaches must shift their focus onto acceleration and speed development.
In a sport where much of the action requires short bursts of acceleration to make a play on the goal or the ball, programs that fail to specifically teach players how to accelerate and make quick changes of direction are doomed to fail.
It is incorrect to believe that speed can not be taught, developed or significantly improved.
Such a mind set is currently holding many soccer programs back, from the youth to the elite levels.
Preparations for the upcoming soccer season are being made right now. Are you doing anything different than you do each and every season?
Or have you given your athletes the same old conditioning program that you always use?
Breathe new life into your soccer (or any other sport) program. Your athletes are the future of the sport in this country.
Are you developing the speed and agility to keep up with thecompetition?
Develop the speed, coordination and agility that wins games andseparates the winners from the losers.
Get your risk-free copy of Complete Speed Training today.
Order now: http://www.completespeedtraining.com
Today’s match was perfect example of what happens when slow athletes match up with faster, more agile athletes.
Don’t think it won’t happen to your team too:
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