Roger Spry is a UEFA staff coach educator and sports consultant who has extensive experience with the principles and methods of elite international soccer managers and coaches. He has worked worldwide with premier teams for over 30 years.
Roger Spry suggests a series of dynamic exercises to help improve flexibility, balance, power, and agility. As a soccer player, you receive the ball from a variety of angles and directions, which means you need to contort, turn, rotate, and adjust your body in a variety of ways to correctly receive or play the ball. A good player is comfortable playing the ball with his head, thigh, heel, outside of the foot, chest, and so on. The faster you can get the ball to a player the better. Sometimes that requires using your chest to pass the ball, or your thigh.
Take a look at this German team doing some Roger Spry exercises:
For example, say you’re running and a ball is played into your body near your thigh. Instead of controlling the ball, you re-direct the ball with your thigh, which in other words means you make the pass with your thigh. Check out Ronaldinho, making a pass with his back. He keeps the flow going and doesn’t kill the play by trapping the ball. This is pure genius.
A number of players are exceptional at this, such as Ryan Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo. These are players who use different parts of their body, or even unorthodox methods to pass the ball, control it or play it where they want to. For instance, sometimes this is done with the heel or the side of foot or the player can score a goal with his chest or thigh. Or, maybe a player receives the ball from behind but uses the side of his foot to carry the ball into his stride so he doesn’t break his momentum or worse, stop altogether.
Spryness is the ability to continue forward momentum despite interference from a nearby defender or difficult handling from a poor pass. In other words, you have to turn a poor play or unfavorable situation into a good one, i.e. turn lemons into lemonade! For example, instead of stopping to control the ball, you keep moving forward by flicking the ball around or over a defender.
Check out this video to get an idea what Roger Spry drills are like:
IN OTHER WORDS: Roger Spry drills are lessons in compromise and improvisation. You basically have to remain on your toes at all times and expect the unexpected. Although you can’t predict what will happen, you can be ready for it.
If you can take the speed out of the ball but keep moving quickly, you will be more likely to create goal-scoring opportunities and ultimately score more goals. Why? Rather than slowing down the game by controlling the ball, your touch pushes the ball forward. This also applies to not letting the ball bounce – you should reach the ball before it even has the chance to bounce. Consider the following. A defender is rushing at you but you want to continue forward momentum instead of control the ball and spin away. What do you do? You simply flick the ball over the defender.