In today’s game, soccer players must be quick not only with the ball but also off the ball. The ability to dribble through players requires finesse and speed. Speed is something that can be a difficult thing to learn or increase without the correct guidance and training. Agility ladders can and will be a key component of increasing agility and speed. The two theoretically come hand-in-hand, and the reason for this is that without agility, full speed cannot be harnessed. This is true too when speaking of your full, maximum ability within yourself. People are different, and no matter what there are always going to be special individuals that outperform others regardless of the training one dedicates. This does not mean you cannot achieve goals and great things; however, perspective in all of life is necessary.
With that said, agility ladders provide stimulus through the leg and core of the body. Ladder drills are used to increase foot speed, which correlates into movement or agility, and then this will translate into quick speeds. The ability to move your feet quicker or in a more agile manner (freer so to speak) allows you to travel at faster rates. This does not happen with the sole use of ability ladders, but they are essential in development and training. They are a piece to a bigger pie.
The core piece behind agility ladders is forced and directed movement at high rates of speed that can be placed in various positions or direction. This allows the individual to manipulate certain key areas of the leg muscles that may only be used in moments of a match. Flat sprints or strengthening does not apply pressure to the ligaments and muscles used in those various moments a player must dribble, cut, slice and turn through multiple defenders. Performing cone drills will assist in this movement as well and even speed, but to truly hone that ability and movement, ladders become important.
Ladders should be used in a variety of ways and not one singular fashion. Look for different formations and think about the purpose of any given training session. It is important to note that any player should not focus solely on non-ball work when wanting to increase speed. Technical touch will suffer if the player is not practicing as he or she is increasing natural speed. The underlying purpose, remember, of agility ladders is to proved for quicker overall movement, and thus it is a supplemental piece to an overall and complete training plan.