Soccer's large field, constant action, and sudden directional changes require players to be athletically fit and ready to run—for 90 minutes. And while a player's size doesn't always matter, speed kills when challenging an opponent for a loose ball.
Like their male counterparts, female athletes must train for speed on the pitch. "Speed is rate of force production," says Brad Price, former strength and conditioning coach for LSU women's soccer. "It is about putting force into the ground, and it's about being explosive and [generating] acceleration."
The Lady Tigers work to improve their speed with the Box Blast. "Even if they are jogging around [on the pitch], they have to go chase the ball; they have to accelerate," Price says. "And that's a very sport-specific [movement] that the Box Blast [simulates]."
By developing their speed, the LSU women's soccer team morphed from quiet little house kittens, whose opponents never took them seriously, to quick, goal-pouncing big-game cats who strike fear into the hearts of their prey.
• Start with left foot on box and right foot on floor
• Explode upward by pushing down with left leg while driving right knee up to chest
• Lower right leg slowly; Repeat in opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 4x8 reps (alternating legs)
Coaching Points: Maintain flat back // Keep abs and core tight // Focus on driving through box // When driving up, make sure driving leg's ankle passes height of opposite knee
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock