I want to be a center forward, but I don’t have a lot of speed.
I have good dribbling and shooting, but when a teammate plays a ball through, I am not quick enough to get there.
Can I still be a forward, and what can I do to get faster? Would a track coach help me?
First of all, it’s good that you have learned to recognize areas where you might need improvement and that you are dedicated to making that improvement. That attitude will go a long way in helping you be successful.
Now, it’s important to recognize that while more speed is always better and forwards are generally the fastest players on the team, there are plenty of forwards who have been successful despite not fitting the mold of “a speedy player”.
A female player makes use of shielding
One way you can also be successful as a forward without being fast us by being able to play physically and use your body to shield the ball to get the ball closer to the goal, or by being a playmaker that has great field vision and is able to distribute the ball to other forwards so they can score.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it may not always be your fault. It is your teammate’s responsibility to put the ball in a place you can get to it as much as it is your responsibility to catch-up to the ball.
Still, it’s good that you want to improve!
A track coach will definitely be able to help you find things you can do to improve your speed. As a soccer coach, I’ve found that players can often make great improvement in speed by improving their running form. My absolute favorite exercise to improve running form is butt kickers. I like them because they are easy to learn and they help you improve your form AND increase your stride speed at the same time.
Also, perhaps the most overlooked fact about “soccer speed” is that in most cases, it is not flat out sprinting that helps players the most, but agility.