Mankind has always yearned to get results of his desire. With the advancement of civilization, one thing that it has focused on is ‘Speed.’ Movements are getting faster and faster, be it communication, travel, correspondence, treatment, etc.
Sport is not an exception. And when we talk of it, the world’s most loved game comes to the top of our mind. The game is getting more and more competitive. Speed management is now a focused area of the ‘New Football World.’
When we talk of speed, the first thing that pops up in our mind is the pace of a player. It’s correct in a lot of dimensions. Many footballers are good sprinters like Jemie Vardy of Leicester City.
Speed can be studied in different aspects. Straight-line speed is most important. It can be subdivided in first step quickness (0-5 meters) and acceleration (0-10 meters) for maximum velocity. Speed in the change of direction of movement is also essential. Dribbling speed is getting more and more importance. Players search for explosive speed (25 kmph for less than 0.5 seconds) to put themselves ahead for ball collection. All the teams pay attention to all the above aspects with the help of science guidelines, the number of repetitions, video assistance, etc. Sprint training without a ball – with a catch – at turns – with a ball at turns – with resistance – with the jump, etc. are tools on which coaches and players focus.
Speed is an asset by which an attacker can easily shatter the entire defensive set up. The run of Gareth Bale is still fresh in mind. In the final of Copa Del Rey in 2014, he shut the mouth of every critic and proved why he is an essential asset for Real Madrid.
The score was tied at 1-1 against Barcelona. His 85th-minute goal decided the outcome in favor of the white team. Legend says that Bartha is still chasing Bale.
Another sensational (out of the world) burst was by Kylian Mbappe. It was a round of 16 (first leg) encounters between Manchester United and PSG. In away game, he displayed why he is so threatening. He was a meter behind two defenders. For the second goal of the evening, he covered 40 yards in just 3 seconds. When he touched the ball inside the box, he was half a meter ahead. That shows the importance of speed.
Quickness means decision making. This quality puts you ahead against your opponent. Paolo Maldini is a classic example of it. He was very bright in tackles. He showed that ‘an event that does not happen is more important’ by his simple tackles on the ball. Italian legend was so quick in reading the mind of an attacker that he always restricted his move. It was impossible to get past the legendary defender. He was an epitome of quickness.
Speed for any team is of paramount importance in counter-attacks. This tactic has scored a lot of essential goals in football. With a few touches and violent rates, a unit in defense suddenly turns out to be a ferocious battalion, all because of speed.
Speed is as important in the game of football as tactics. With the changing scenario, its importance is only and only growing.
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