The Importance of Agility in Soccer

In order to get the most out of your agility drills, you should definitely take the time to learn why agility is so important in soccer. That way you can set goals for yourself and become the best soccer player that you possibly can be.

So, what is agility? Well, it’s the same in soccer as it is in any other sport. Agility has to do with how quickly you change directions without affecting your balance. When soccer players have good agility, they can stop on a dime, change directions and keep moving in one fluid motion.

Some people think that agility is a skill that can’t be developed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, you have to work on your agility to be able to beat defenders.

Once you know how improving your agility will change your game, you will notice those changes once you start to do agility training. Below are just a few of the ways that agility plays a part in soccer.

Changing Directions

Whether you have the ball or are moving without it, agility is what you need to do so quickly. For example, a winger who can quickly get behind a defender by changing directions on the fly is considered to be an agile player.

Agility is quite important on offense because you do have to change directions a lot in order to keep the defense from getting comfortable. If you have a tough time planting your foot and changing directions, your opponent will have a much easier time keeping an eye on you.

Stop-and-Go Moves

Stop-and-Go MovesIf you want to know how agility differs from speed, just look at what it takes to make a good stop-and-go move. If you have the ball and can slow down then quickly get going again, that has as much to do with agility as it does speed. Your ability to quickly get going again is your agility attribute, while getting away as fast as you can has to do with your speed.

You will want to learn how to increase your speed to do good stop-and-go moves, but that speed won’t mean much if you lose your balance along the way. This is the type of move that every soccer player should be able to do, so keep testing this move as you work on your agility. When you work on your agility skills, you will notice that it is a lot easier to improve your dribbling skills as well.


In order to be a great defender, you have to be agile. If you don’t improve your agility as a defender, you will find it very tough to keep up with opponents. They will be changing directions on your and attempt to get you off balance, so it is up to you to do the drills necessary to keep that from happening.

An easy way to see if a defender is agile is to watch them when they are in a one-on-one situation. An agile defender will be able to quickly turn when the offensive player switches directions, and they will stay close to the player. Defenders who aren’t as agile will give their opponents far too much space, which usually does not end well.


GoalkeepersIt should be pretty obvious to you by now why goalkeepers have to be agile. They often have to quickly switch directions while the ball is moving around the box in order to keep the ball out of the net. You simply cannot make a double save like the one on the left without being an agile keeper.


One advantage that goalkeepers have over other players is that they are naturally working on their agility in training. Still, if you’re a goalie, be sure to put in as much work as you can on your footwork so you are ready for all of the quick movements you’ll have to make in games.