Soccer Specific Plyometrics Drills

The first exercise shows a double leg forward hop, a lateral hop taking off from both legs but landing on the outside leg, and then a SL forward hop to receive the ball. In soccer, being able to control the body during a lateral movement over a single leg is important in reducing the risk of injury. Cue the athlete to bend his or her knees and avoid excessive knee valgus when landing. Telling them to “land soft” or “land quietly” can help coach them into the correct mechanics. The second exercise is a squat jump with a reactive task of chasing down the ball for a one-touch shot on goal. This requires players to transfer their weight upon landing so that they can immediately accelerate in the direction of the ball. Again, you want to make sure the athlete is performing the jumping and landing portion with correct lower extremity alignment. A progression of this exercise is seen in the next clip in which the athlete chases down the ball, performs a 1v1 move at the cone, and then takes a shot on goal. This creates the additional task of decelerating to perform the 1v1 move and then accelerating to beat the defender to create space for a shot on goal. The next exercise is a squat jump with external perturbations. This mimics a game situation in which two players are challenging each other for a ball in the air. The athlete needs to be able to control his or her landing even after making contact with another player. While we often practice perfect technique in the clinic, there are very rarely perfect situations in the game. The athlete needs to be prepared to handle this type of demand in order to reduce his or her risk of injury. The final exercise in this video is a fun skill drill that addresses single leg lateral hopping. Lateral movements are paramount in soccer and need to be trained in a meaningful way. Athletes should be able to perform the SL lateral hop, land, and weight shift to the other side without excessive knee extension or valgus.
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