How can I improve my ability to redirect myself from a backpedal?

The ability to quickly transition from a backpedal to a forward sprint is essential for a soccer defender.  It is also as equally important to be able to quickly go from a forward sprint to a backpedal.  One drill that will help is the M-drill.  In the M-drill, you are going to cover a good amount of ground with your backpedal and sprints.  First, place five cones in the shape of a capital M.  The cones should be about five yards apart.   Begin the drill at the bottom left corner of the M.  Sprint towards the cone in front of you.  Properly decelerate by stopping under control at the cone before changing directions.  You should stop for about 2 seconds. Then, back pedal towards the cone behind you, decelerate, and stop.  Work your way through the entire series of cones.  Repeat the drill again stating from the right side.  Complete 3 to 4 sets going each way. Continue to work the M-drill like this until you are able to execute the drill at full speed while maintaining stability and balanced stops.  When you are ready, you can eliminate the stop at each transition and change your direction as rapidly as possible.  Dropping your center of balance and quickening your feet and hands when approaching the cones will help you to balance yourself before changing directions.   

Continue Learning about Soccer

Should my warm-up prior to a match be different than my practice warm-up?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Warming up before a match should be slightly modified compared to daily practice and training wa...
More Answers
Which style of shin guard should I use for soccer?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Advanced players prefer the hard, plastic shin guard. They’re lightweight and offer better protectio...
More Answers
How do I avoid shin splints with all the running in soccer?
Paul WinsperPaul Winsper
Shin splints, also know as medial tibial stress syndrome, is an overuse injury thought to be cau...
More Answers
What protective headgear is available for soccer players?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
Headgear available for soccer players is a 1.5- to 2-inch-wide foam headband or a soft helmet. E...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.