How to run faster in soccer? 8 tips+ right technique

Soccer players need to be fast, agile, and explosive in order to play their positions effectively. But do you know how to run faster in soccer?

Today I will explain how you can increase your speed in soccer. You will learn about the right running technique for running faster in soccer as I will be showing you some exercises to improve your speed.

How to get faster at running in soccer

If you’re a soccer player, you know that running is one of the most important skills to master. Whether you’re playing soccer in a recreational league or in a professional team, it’s imperative to learn how to run fast. 

How to run faster in soccer the right technique

A lot of players don’t realize that running fast is not just about speed it’s about endurance and stamina too. So if you want to run fast and be able to keep up with your teammates, you have to practice a lot. In this article, I’ll show you how to run faster in soccer.

Make Your Legs Stronger

Soccer players have to be very fast. If you want to become the fastest player in the world, then you need to make sure that your body is strong enough to support you. That’s why many soccer players choose to work on their leg muscles. Here are a few tips for doing this.

First of all, you should start by running. This will help you to build up your stamina. Afterward, you’ll want to add some weight training to your routine. You can use free weights or resistance bands. The key here is to focus on making your legs stronger.

Use the ball area of the foot to run

Most professional soccer players and sprinter use their front foot to run faster in soccer. When you are running using your front foot area, your body with lean forward naturally and your weight will be shifted forward which will help you increase your speed. 

toe with hand

Most soccer players try to run faster but they use both the heel and front foot to run which is wrong. A soccer player should use his/her heal as breaks. Even if you are changing directions you should be on your front foot. 

Use Your Arms

Your arms play an important role while you are running faster in soccer. Make sure you are moving your arms faster while you are running this will give you extra speed.

a man running

If you are moving sideways (not straight) this will make your upper body move which can result in decreasing your speed. So move your arms as fast as you can and keep them straight instead of moving them here and there.

Avoid Moving Your Upper Body

Moving your upper body while you are running can decrease your speed. If you want to run fast, then you need to make sure that you don’t move your upper body much.

It’s natural that your upper body moves when you are running but some players excessively move their bodies.

If you are moving your upper body you will need more energy and it will be difficult for you to balance, as a result, your time will be wasted and you won’t be able to run faster at your full potential.

If you have a bad habit of moving your upper body while you are running you can get rid of it by holding a book or a magazine while you are running. Practice with it a few times and you will see the difference. 

How to run faster and longer in soccer?

Running faster and longer in soccer requires a combination of physical fitness, technique, and mental strategies. Let’s break it down step by step:

Physical Fitness

  • Cardiovascular Endurance: Soccer is an aerobic sport, so building cardiovascular endurance is crucial. Engage in activities like jogging, running, cycling, and swimming to improve your heart and lung capacity. Interval training, where you alternate between high-intensity sprints and recovery periods, can be particularly effective.
  • Strength Training: Strong legs and core muscles are essential for sprinting and maintaining stability. Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and core workouts into your routine. Strengthening your upper body can also help with balance and stability when running.
  • Flexibility and Mobility: Maintaining good flexibility and mobility in your joints and muscles is important to reduce the risk of injury and improve your running form. Stretch regularly and consider yoga or dynamic stretching exercises.
  • Speed Training: Work on your sprinting ability with drills such as shuttle runs, hill sprints, and ladder drills. These will help increase your maximum running speed.

Proper Technique

  • Running Form: Pay attention to your running form. Keep your body upright, shoulders relaxed, and arms at a 90-degree angle, swinging them back and forth to generate momentum. Land on the balls of your feet and push off with each step.
  • Change of Direction: Soccer involves frequent changes of direction. Practice agility drills, like cone drills or zig-zags, to improve your ability to quickly change direction while maintaining speed.
  • Pacing: Understand when to sprint and when to conserve energy. In soccer, you often need to vary your running intensity. Learn to read the game and pace yourself accordingly.

Mental Strategies

  • Mental Toughness: Soccer can be physically demanding, so mental strength is crucial. Stay focused, positive, and resilient, even when you’re tired. Visualization techniques can help you mentally prepare for games and stay confident.
  • Game Intelligence: Understand the flow of the game and position yourself strategically. Anticipate where the ball might go, so you can be in the right place at the right time, reducing the need for excessive sprinting.
  • Rest and Recovery: Adequate rest and recovery are essential for maintaining endurance. Make sure to get enough sleep, and use recovery techniques like foam rolling, massage, and ice baths to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.

Nutrition and Hydration

  • Proper Diet: Fuel your body with a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates for energy, lean proteins for muscle repair, and healthy fats for overall health. Stay hydrated before, during, and after matches and training sessions.

Consistent Training

  • Consistency is key: Regularly practice your running, agility, and soccer skills. Participate in team training sessions and engage in personal workouts to maintain and improve your fitness level.

Seek Coaching

  • Seek Coaching: Consider working with a coach or trainer who can provide personalized guidance, create a training plan tailored to your needs, and help you develop your soccer-specific fitness.

Remember that improving your running speed and endurance in soccer is a gradual process that takes time and dedication. Be patient with yourself, and set realistic goals to track your progress.

How to run fast with the ball in soccer?

Running fast with the ball in soccer, also known as dribbling at speed, is a crucial skill that requires both technique and practice. Here’s a detailed explanation in simple terms:

  1. Ball Control: The first step is mastering ball control. You should be comfortable with the ball at your feet. This means knowing how to touch and move the ball using all surfaces of your foot – the inside, outside, and sole.
  2. Dribbling Moves: Learn basic dribbling moves like simple cuts and feints. For example, you can fake going one way and quickly change direction to confuse defenders. Advanced moves like step-overs and scissors can also be effective, but start with the basics.
  3. Change of Pace: To dribble fast, you need to be able to change your speed quickly. When you want to accelerate, take bigger touches on the ball and use the inside of your foot. To slow down while dribbling, use smaller touches and keep the ball close to you.
  4. Leg Strength: Strong leg muscles are important for quick sprints with the ball. Exercises like squats and lunges can help you build strength, allowing you to push off the ground forcefully.
  5. Core Stability: Your core muscles help you maintain balance while dribbling. These muscles help you resist challenges from defenders and keep control of the ball.
  6. Situational Awareness: Be aware of what’s happening on the field. Scan for open spaces and potential challenges from opponents. Keep your head up as much as possible to see the field while dribbling.
  7. Confidence and Creativity: Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new dribbling moves. Confidence in your abilities will make you a more effective dribbler. Remember, creativity can help you outsmart your opponents.
  8. Drills and Exercises: Practice dribbling regularly. Set up cones or markers in your backyard or at a training field and dribble around them. This will improve your precision and control.
  9. Game Practice: Apply your dribbling skills in real game situations. Play small-sided games or full-field matches to practice dribbling under pressure. This will help you make decisions quickly.
  10. Coaching and Feedback: If possible, work with a coach or seek feedback from experienced players. They can provide valuable insights and help you refine your dribbling technique.
  11. Understanding Space: Recognize where the open spaces are on the field and use them to your advantage. Avoid dribbling into crowded areas where you’re likely to lose possession.
  12. Protecting Possession: Learn how to shield the ball from defenders. Position your body between the defender and the ball, using your arm as a shield. This will help you retain possession and draw fouls.

Practice, patience, and a passion for improving your skills are key to becoming a fast dribbler in soccer. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable running at high speeds with the ball, making you a more effective and dynamic player on the field.

How to run fast without the ball in soccer?

Running fast without the ball in soccer is an important skill, often called “off-the-ball movement.” It’s about positioning yourself smartly to receive passes, create space for your teammates, and make scoring opportunities. Here’s an in-depth, detailed explanation:

  1. Positioning: Start by understanding where you need to be on the field. If you’re an attacker, position yourself near the opponent’s goal, but not too close that you’re easily marked. If you’re a midfielder, find open spaces where you can support both the attack and defense.
  2. Anticipation: Try to predict where the ball will go next. This involves reading the game and understanding your teammates’ and opponents’ movements. If your teammate is about to pass or cross the ball, position yourself where you think it will land.
  3. Timing: Being in the right place at the right time is crucial. Time your runs so that you’re moving into a space just as the passer is making their move. This makes it easier for them to find you with a pass.
  4. Changing Directions: Don’t just run in straight lines. Make diagonal or curved runs to lose your marker. This can create confusion for defenders and open up space for yourself or your teammates.
  5. Checking Back: Sometimes, it’s necessary to come back toward your own goal to receive the ball. This helps in retaining possession and starting a new attack. It’s called “checking back” or “checking to the ball.”
  6. Speed and Acceleration: Work on your sprinting and acceleration, even without the ball. Being able to make quick, explosive runs can catch defenders off guard.
  7. Creating Space: Running without the ball isn’t just about getting it. It’s also about creating space for your teammates. Make runs that draw defenders away from your teammates, opening up passing lanes for them.
  8. Communication: Use verbal and non-verbal communication to signal your intentions to your teammates. A quick shout or a gesture can let them know you’re making a run or that they should pass to you.
  9. Fitness: Good off-the-ball movement requires stamina. You’ll be making constant runs throughout the game, so maintaining your fitness level is crucial.
  10. Observation: Pay attention to the game as it unfolds. Be aware of where the ball is, where your teammates are, and where the spaces are opening up. This awareness will help you make the right runs.
  11. Practice: Lastly, practice your off-the-ball movement regularly. Work on your positioning and timing during training sessions and games. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at running without the ball effectively.

Running without the ball may not always get you the glory, but it’s a vital skill that can make a significant impact on the game by creating opportunities for your team and helping you become a more valuable player.

Exercises you must do to run faster in soccer

High Knees Run

The high knees run is a classic running drill that can be done anywhere, anytime. It improves your knee lift as well as your explosiveness. To perform the high knees run, keep your knees lifted high as you run. You can do this drill at any pace. The high knees run is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

A girl doing High Knees Run

In-and-out running drill

The in-and-out running drill is designed to improve your explosiveness and agility. To perform the in-and-out running drill, run in and out of a line or a cone, making sure that your outside leg touches the line. Then, change the line and do it with your inside leg next. The in-and-out running drill can be done at any pace. It is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

In-and-out running drill

Butt-kicker run

The butt-kicker run is a running drill that improves your agility, knee lift, and explosiveness. To perform the butt-kicker run, kick your leg to the back of your knee as you run. You can do this drill at any pace. The butt-kicker run is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

Change of Direction Running Drill

The change of direction running drill is designed to improve your change of direction and agility. To perform the change of direction running drill, run at one end of a soccer field, change your direction, and run to the other end. You can do this drill at any pace. The change of direction running drill is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

Jump Rope Running Drill

The jump rope running drill is a great way to improve your explosiveness and agility. To perform the jump rope running drill, jump over a jump rope as quickly as possible. You can do this drill at any pace. The jump rope running drill is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

A women doing  Jump Rope Running Drill

Fast Feet Running Drill

The fast feet running drill is designed to improve your foot speed, agility, and explosiveness. To perform the fast feet running drill, run with your feet at a high speed and then slow down. You can do this drill at any pace. The fast-feet running drill is great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

Wall Runs and Turn-in Runs for Acceleration

Wall runs and turn-in runs are designed to improve your acceleration and explosiveness out of the cut. To perform wall runs, stand with your back against a wall and then push yourself away from the wall. You can do this drill at any pace.

A person is doing Wall Runs to improve speed

Wall runs are great for beginners and all levels of soccer players. To perform turn-in runs, start with a few yards away from the wall and then push yourself toward the wall. You can do this drill at any pace. The wall runs and turn-in runs are great for beginners and all levels of soccer players.

Soccer drills you can do to run faster in soccer

To improve your speed in soccer, you can incorporate specific drills into your training regimen. These drills focus on enhancing your sprinting ability, agility, and overall athleticism. Here are some soccer drills that can help you run faster:

  1. Sprint Intervals:
    • Set up markers (cones or flags) about 30 meters apart.
    • Sprint from one marker to the next as fast as you can.
    • Walk or jog back to the starting point to recover.
    • Repeat this sprint interval training for several rounds.
  2. Cone Agility Drills:
    • Arrange a series of cones in various patterns (zig-zag, T-shape, or L-shape).
    • Sprint through the cones while maintaining control and quick changes of direction.
    • Focus on sharp cuts and acceleration out of each turn.
  3. Ladder Drills:
    • Lay down an agility ladder on the ground or use chalk to draw one.
    • Perform ladder drills, such as the “in-and-out,” “side-to-side,” or “scissor” drills.
    • These drills improve your foot speed and coordination.
  4. Cone Weave Drill:
    • Set up a row of cones spaced about one meter apart.
    • Weave in and out of the cones as quickly as possible while dribbling a soccer ball.
    • This drill enhances both your ball control and agility.
  5. Resistance Training:
    • Use resistance bands or parachutes during sprinting drills.
    • The added resistance helps build strength and power in your leg muscles, which can improve your sprinting speed when you remove the resistance.
  6. Hill Sprints:
    • Find a hill with a moderate incline.
    • Sprint uphill for about 20-30 meters.
    • Walk or jog back down to recover.
    • Hill sprints increase leg strength and explosiveness.
  7. Reaction Drills:
    • Have a partner call out directions (e.g., left, right, or forward).
    • React to their commands by sprinting in the specified direction.
    • This drill improves your ability to respond quickly on the field.
  8. Shadow Drills:
    • Partner with a teammate.
    • Take turns being the “shadow” and follow each other closely as you dribble or sprint.
    • The goal is to mimic the movements and reactions of your partner, enhancing your agility and awareness.
  9. Circuit Training:
    • Create a circuit with a combination of sprinting, agility, and strength exercises.
    • Include exercises like burpees, squat jumps, and push-ups along with sprinting drills.
    • Circuit training improves overall fitness, which can contribute to faster sprinting.
  10. Plyometric Exercises:
    • Incorporate plyometric exercises like box jumps, bounding, or depth jumps into your training routine.
    • Plyometrics help develop explosive power, which can increase your sprinting speed.

Remember to warm up properly before engaging in these drills, and always maintain good form to reduce the risk of injury. Incorporate these drills into your regular training program, and over time, you should see improvements in your sprinting speed on the soccer field.

Diet to run faster in soccer

A well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in helping you run faster in soccer by providing the necessary energy, nutrients, and recovery support. Here’s a dietary guide to enhance your speed and performance on the field:

1. Carbohydrates:

  • Carbohydrates are your primary source of energy for running. Prioritize complex carbohydrates like whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa), fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  • Consume carbohydrates before matches or training sessions to fuel your muscles.

2. Protein:

  • Protein aids in muscle repair and growth, which is essential for improving your sprinting speed.
  • Opt for lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, eggs, dairy, tofu, and legumes.
  • Include protein in every meal to support your overall athletic development.

3. Fats:

  • Healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, help reduce inflammation and support joint health.
  • Sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines).

4. Hydration:

  • Staying properly hydrated is critical for maintaining your speed and endurance.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day and during training sessions or matches.
  • Consider sports drinks or electrolyte solutions for prolonged or intense activities to replenish lost electrolytes.

5. Pre-Exercise Nutrition:

  • Consume a balanced meal 2-3 hours before training or a game. Include carbohydrates, proteins, and a small amount of healthy fats.
  • Examples: Whole grain pasta with lean meat and vegetables, or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.

6. During Exercise Nutrition:

  • For longer matches or intense training sessions, consider quick carbohydrate sources to maintain energy levels. Options include energy gels, sports drinks, or even a banana.

7. Post-Exercise Nutrition:

  • After exercising, your body needs nutrients for recovery. Consume a meal or snack with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 2 hours.
  • Examples: Grilled chicken with quinoa and vegetables, or a protein smoothie with fruits and yogurt.

8. Snacking:

  • Healthy snacks can provide sustained energy between meals. Opt for options like Greek yogurt, mixed nuts, or fruit with nut butter.
  • Avoid sugary and processed snacks, as they can lead to energy spikes and crashes.

9. Supplements:

  • Consult with a sports nutritionist or healthcare provider to determine if any supplements are necessary. Common supplements for athletes include multivitamins, iron (for endurance), and branched-chain amino acids (for recovery).

10. Consistency:

  • Consistency in your dietary choices is key. Stick to a balanced diet that suits your needs as an athlete, and make gradual adjustments as necessary.

Remember that individual dietary needs can vary based on factors like age, gender, training intensity, and body composition. It’s advisable to consult with a sports nutritionist or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific requirements and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proper soccer running technique?

The proper soccer running technique includes keeping your head up, maintaining a tall posture, and using quick and short strides. You should also land on the balls of your feet and push off with your toes to generate more power.

Additionally, it is important to relax your body while you run and avoid clenching your fists or gritting your teeth.

Is it important for a soccer player to run faster?

Yes, it is important for soccer players to run faster because it helps them on the field. When you can run fast, you can make quick decisions and get to the ball before your opponents. Running fast can help you create space on the field and avoid being tackled.

Do the type of soccer cleats help you run faster?

The type of soccer cleats you wear can help you run faster. Wearing cleats that are too big or too small can make you run slower. Additionally, wearing cleats with the wrong studs can also impact your speed. It is important to talk to a coach or expert to find the right type of cleat for you.

How should I breathe when running?

When you are running, you should breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Additionally, it is important to keep a steady rhythm and breathing pattern. If you start to feel out of breath, slow down your pace or take a break. Once you have caught your breath, you can resume running.

Should I take long or short strides to run faster?

You should take quick and short strides to run faster. Longer strides can actually make you run slower because they cause you to waste energy.

Additionally, shorter strides help you maintain a good rhythm and keep your balance. When you are running, focus on taking quick steps and keeping your head up.


Running is a key part of soccer training, so make sure to include it in your training program! Running drills are designed to improve speed and agility while also improving overall conditioning. Running drills can be performed anywhere, anytime, and can be done as part of a warm-up or cool-down. To find the best running drills for you, take into consideration your skill level, your fitness level, and the type of running drills that you enjoy.

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3 thoughts on “How to run faster in soccer? 8 tips+ right technique”

  1. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.


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