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Coordination Training in Modern Football: An Essential Guide

It is not a big secret that modern football has become increasingly faster, not only physically but also mentally. Players today must make decisions within a split second, anticipate game situations before they even happen, and react accordingly.

Therefore, training for speed, agility, and coordination is vital to optimally prepare players for these aspects of the game. A simple statistic demonstrates this: if a player is 0.1 seconds faster than his opponent over a distance of 10 meters, he will be 58 centimeters ahead. In football, this means the difference between a shot on goal, a successful tackle, or being in the right position at the right time.

The Training of Running Coordination

The goal of coordination training is to enable the brain to correctly time muscle activation. It's essential for muscles to operate in harmony. No matter how advanced a strength-training regimen is, it falls short if it doesn't ensure muscles are effectively engaged and working in sync during real movements. Therefore, the initial focus of coordination training is essentially on training the brain. Starting this at younger age, this kind of training can significantly enhance a players career. It does not only boost coordination during running but also enhances reaction times and explosive power. Two important factors in football where players perform up to 60 sprints per game!

In most scenarios it isn’t the man on the ball who decides where the ball goes, but players without the ball. Their running actions determine the next pass. - Johan Cruyff 

Moreover, it serves as a preventative measure against injuries. Players trained in coordination, particularly those with skills specific to soccer, gain an advantage over those who lack such training. They avoid the need to mentally adjust for each new sequence of movements, allowing for immediate and automatic execution of trained actions. This efficiency conserves mental energy and ultimately, time.

Effective Training Starts With The Warm-Up

A complete guide to coordination training would exceed the scope of this article, but effective training begins with the warm-up. The "Tanner Speed - Golden 8" is a warm-up program consisting of 8 drills that activate all of a player's muscles, while simultaneously improving body posture and running technique.

Rolling Feet

This drill is designed to activate the feet and ankles. The player must move with an upright posture, ensuring the heels never touch the ground. This exercise is performed barefoot to enhance muscle development in the feet and improve sensory activation.  

Alternating Knees

Every third step, the player lifts one knee and then the other. This drill mimics the initial movements of acceleration and running, teaching the body to execute these actions effectively.

Crossing Feet

The player crosses their feet by stepping the right foot to the left side and the left foot to the right side, maintaining a straight body without leaning from side to side. In addition, this drill can be performed in reverse, emphasizing the need to slightly lean back to maintain balance and coordination while moving backward.

Speed Hop

This involves bouncing with both feet at the same time, fully stretching the body when airborne. It's crucial for achieving the stretched position needed for effective acceleration.  


‍Sidesteps where the player moves to the side, alternating feet in front and behind, to improve agility and lateral movement. This is done on both sides to ensure balanced training.


The player alternates touching the opposite handwith the foot (left foot to right hand and vice versa) with a small jump inbetween. This drill aims at enhancing hip mobility and leg range of motion.

Flying Bat

The player extends their legs backward in a stretched position without letting the upper body fall forward. This drill activates the hamstring muscles, which are crucial for running speed and efficiency.


This focuses on ensuring the foot lands directly under the body, not in front of it. It teaches proper landing technique to optimize running mechanics and prevent injury.

The recommendation is to perform these drills over a distance of 20 meters, repeating each drill twice with a slow jog back in between, to ensure a thorough warm-up and muscle activation before proceeding to the main training session.

In conclusion, the pace of modern football demands not just physical agility but also mental acuity. The “Golden-8”warm-up lays the groundwork for developing the necessary coordination required to achieve the optimal performance. The warm-up can be performed at all age groups, but its effects are magnified when training commences at a young age. Starting as early as 9 years old this provides the optimal foundational advantage, setting the stage for a player to achieve their full potential.

If you want to know more about speed training visit and for more effective drills check out our 360Player YouTube Channel.

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