Grassroots Coaching


What are Plyometrics and how can they help football players?



Plyometrics are very good for enhancing power, speed, and agility for players.

Plyometrics are jumps or combinations of jumps that produce quick, powerful movement using a stretch reflex. A stretch reflex occurs when a muscle lengthens (stretches) and then immediately shortens – the reflex action occurs when the muscle changes from the lengthening to the shortening action. These drills are a specific training mode for football because the movements replicate the game’s mixture of vertical and horizontal acceleration against the ground and the triple extension of the ankle, knee, and hip joints. In plain English, the muscle is stretched (i.e. loaded) before it is contracted. A good example is push-ups with a clap in-between each push-up. The muscles (pectorals in this case) are elongated and loaded by the downward force of the body, then immediately the player must contract the muscle to push themselves back up. *Please use common sense with the exercises in the PDF, particularly in relation to young players. If in any doubt, don’t use these type of exercises with young players  



The basis for lower body plyometric drills are an attempt to replicate playing movements, such as jumping, bounding, pushing off and changing direction. The movements are meant to be exaggerated and powered, such as:

  • Over sized strides are used in the running action with extra time spent in the air.
  • Multiple jumps over a series of obstacles like hurdles of footballs to improve power for sprinting or jumping events.
  • Standing based jumps performed on the spot (low intensity) – Tuck Jumps, Split Jumps
  • Jumps from standing (low-medium intensity) – Standing long jump, Standing hop, standing jump for height
  • Multiple jumps from standing (medium intensity) – bounds, bunny hops, double footed jumps over discs or cones


Simple Plyometric Exercises. Printable PDF

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