Today I will introduce the concept of the seven speeds of soccer. It is a German concept and credit must be given to the inventors – Gero Bisanz, Gunnar Gerrisch, Jurgen Weineck, and those who expanded it with relevant soccer drills and wrote a book on it. The book is called “How to Improve the 7 Speeds of Soccer” and is part of the Performance Soccer Conditioning series. It has been authored by experts from across the soccer and training spectra – V. Gambetta, J. Luxbacher, J. Osorio, R. Quinn, N. Sedwick, and M. Thyron.
Speed is more than the physical speed of a player, such as when sprinting. Yes, physical sprinting speed is an important aspect of a player’s or a team’s performance. But when considering the number of sprints during a game relative to the length of the game it becomes evident that there is more to speed than running fast.
You have likely observed players who are a little older yet they get to the ball before a younger, physically faster opponent. How is that? It’s because the experienced player likely perceived the situation faster, anticipated the game faster, made a quicker decision as to where to move to, reacted to the final ball motion faster, moved into position without the ball quicker, got the ball and then likely played a quick pass increasing the speed of the game. And there you have them – the 7 speeds of soccer:
- Perceptual Speed – the ability to observe, process, and integrate the game as it unfolds around the player, using visual and auditory senses.
- Anticipation Speed – the ability to predict future events based on previous experiences, observations, and intuition.
- Decision Making Speed – The ability to develop options and quickly decide on the best one to execute.
- Reaction Speed – The ability to react to events such as opponent, teammate, or ball movements.
- Movement Speed without Ball – The ability to move at maximum physical speed
- Action Speed with Ball – The ability to handle the ball at maximum physical speed, 1v1 moves, dribbles, passes, shots.
- Game Action Speed – The ability to pull all other speeds together during a game, considering technical, tactical, and physical circumstances to increase the pace of your team’s game. That is what I described in a previous article as catching the opponent out of shape and out of balance – play the game faster than the opponent.
I will expand on one of the speeds in future articles, completing this particular topic around September.