A soccer ladder is a type of agility ladder used in soccer training. Some of the soccer drills commonly performed on the ladder include in and out, the shuffle, and hopscotch. Before doing any drills, players should make sure they are properly warmed up and stretched.
In and out is one of the most popular ladder drills, not just in soccer, but in other sports as well. This drill was designed to be performed as quickly as possible. The player stands on one end of the soccer ladder and steps on the ladder square one foot at a time until he or she reaches the end. Both feet must have touched the same square before moving to another.
Correct upper body movement is important to maintain balance when performing the in and out. The arms should move forward and backward to stabilize the player and increase the foot speed. This drill can also be formed laterally by having the player stand parallel to the soccer ladder and perform the drill.
The shuffle is done by shifting sides as the player moves across the ladder. If the player starts on the left side of the ladder, he or she must enter the second square from the right side. The way the player enters the square largely depends on footwork. Shuffling improves the ability of the soccer player to move side to side, which can assist in escaping a defender.
To improve coordination, players can do hopscotch drills on the soccer ladder. This is performed by hopping between the rungs and planting both feet simultaneously inside the squares. The player then hops out and lands his or her feet on each side of the square. A variation of the hopscotch drill involves moving the hands as one would while doing jumping jacks. Upper body movement rhythm is a key factor in executing this drill.
Soccer conditioning is essential to help build every soccer player's arsenal of skills. This is because a full soccer game typically lasts for 90 minutes and is played in an open field. To improve endurance, drills are usually performed consecutively. The ladder drills can also be combined with other training gears like cones and sticks to keep them from being monotonous.
A soccer player who can turn in any direction quickly can evade defenders more effectively and can create more scoring opportunities. This is why trainers and coaches put a lot of emphasis on agility and speed training. Performing drills using a soccer ladder is one of the most common methods used to improve agility and speed.