Different Types of Speed In Soccer

You soccer players looking to get faster, this is for you.  Just below you will see Prince Mumba and Liam Collins go head to head in a 50m race. Prince Mumba is a 3x 800m Olympic runner with a personal best of 1:44. That is FAST. 

Liam Collins  who wins the race, has a Masters (35 years and older) World Record in the 50m hurdles. He also runs the 110m hurdles and has competed in the 400m hurdles with a best of 54.82.  That is faster than most people can run a 400m without the hurdles.   He couldn't emphasize the importance of being strong relative to one's own bodyweight enough.  


Being a short sprint, notice the difference in power output between the two athletes. And notice the difference in build. Liam is more muscular and has a nice high knee lift thanks to strong hip flexors and elastic power, while Prince Mumba has a thinner build that he has to carry farther around the track and rely more on speed endurance, or maintaining a pretty fast speed. 

Below you will see yours truly running a fly 30m which means I built up speed and then hit a fly zone of 30m as fast as I can. Being a midfielder all these years, I do not have a profile of a sprinter (though with strength training ive gotten much faster). By profile I mean, my fiber type expression has shifted to more of an endurance profile. Studies have shown that midfielders cover more ground in an aerobic fashion during a soccer match than forwards and defenders. Science also says that as one improves or trains endurance, it is more difficult to achieve speed and power.  

According to Liam, myself, and video footage, I need to relax the upper body, continue to get stronger, and definitely achieve more mobility in the glutes as they inhibit knee lift and also strengthen the hip flexors. Strengthening the hip flexors is one of the most underrated and under utilized methods of achieving faster sprint speeds. 

Still motion analysis of the difference in strides

Notice again my lack of knee lift and tense shoulders.