Now that the snow is finally melting out here in NJ, it’s time to start getting ready for the spring season. As we move from smaller indoor goals to larger or full size outdoor goals, a great way to help the transition is to work closely on your footwork. Nothing helps you cover more of the goal then solid, balanced footwork and a quicker first step. Luckily for us, we can still do work effectively on these skills in the comfort and warmth of the indoors!
Ideally, you want to have a speed ladder or some cones (these help you work on the precision of your movements), but you can still do these drills without any equipment and still gain the benefits. Perform each exercise through 8-10 ladder squares/cones 4 times through, stretching as needed. Do this every day for a week (it should only take you about 20-25 mins) and you will begin to see improvement in your speed and balance. Plus, this doubles as an excellent warm up for any session or match.
Note: During all exercises you should be striving for balance and precision. As you get better and more comfortable, pick up the speed to challenge yourself.
- Facing forward, run through the ladder touching each foot in each ladder square
- Same as above, only touch one foot in each ladder square
- Side on, move through the ladder touching each foot in each ladder square, driving your knees up
- Same as above, face the opposite way
- Facing forward, shuffle through each ladder square; each foot should touch inside each square, then your outside foot should touch outside the square as you move forward
- Same as above, now perform backwards
- Facing forward, with your feet shoulder width apart, jump forward landing in each square driving your knees up as high as possible; use balancing hops in between for balance if necessary
- Facing forward, jump through the ladder squares using only your right foot
- Same as above, now on your left
- Side on, jump through the ladder squares using the foot closest to the ladder
- Same as above, face the opposite way and use the opposite foot
- Side one, step outside the ladder and shuffle up two squares then back one until you reach the top.
- Same as above, switch sides.
Remember, you can’t have footwork without the WORK.