Soccer Training Technology Kit
What was it LP Hartley said? ‘The Past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.’ Well, if the past is a foreign company, then the future is a different planet altogether; and the lifeforms of these extra-terrestrial worlds are invading fast. Maybe not E.T. or Martians in space globes, but in terms of the equipment we can now use to enhance our soccer training. This blog will look at some of the soccer training equipment options available for coaches to make their sessions even more useful, from the impossible dreams (that will soon be reachable) to equipment which enhances our training drills.
The Hi-Tech Option for Soccer Training Gear
We will look now at two options which, while still not within in the price range of most small, amateur clubs may well soon become affordable.
Soccer Video Analysis Equipment
Those who like to watch their soccer (or other sports) on TV know how video analysis is used by pundits in their post-match analysis to make the game easier to understand, and to examine the performance of a team.
Video analysis systems connect data from cameras to laptops, to enable it to be run through software and then used to look at all kinds of data, from the formation of a defensive line to the angles of passing.
For most amateur clubs, the best way into this market is to hire in equipment for occasional use. Prices are hard to determine because video analysis equipment and services are bespoke but will cost several hundred dollars for a hire up to thousands to buy the equipment which will, inevitably, quickly become out of date.
However, a man or woman with a camera and tripod can provide the simple footage that is still of use. Then, free sports analysis software can be downloaded to apply to that evidence. Like all freebies, the software has its limitations, and can be tricky to become familiar with, but a package such as Kinovea (www.kinovea.org) offers a great starting point.
Soccer Sports Data Tracking Equipment
Again, this equipment tends to be bespoke to the needs of the club and individual. Proper analysis equipment such as Pro-zone or Nacsport is still really restricted to the professional world, because of cost, but basic fitbit technology will help to track fitness levels, distances covered and so forth. A basic fitness tracker, such as one by Letscom, can cost as little as $30. So, a whole team can be equipped for maybe $450.
Soccer Fitness Equipment
We can continue the hi-tech theme with some fitness equipment. Isometric devices develop strength and help with improved agility. Something like the Activ5 Portable strength training device costs from $120. Having a fund-raising event and buying half a dozen will offer a group training option for one set of players while others work on their own specific skills, and the devices can also be loaned out to injured players, and to those needing to build up strength.
Soccer Training Aerobic Devices Kit
Our endurance is built up through aerobic exercise. Running, walking, sprints and so forth all help with this, but technology has enabled coaches to make this kind of training even more effective. And because the technology involved in this equipment is more basic than with analysis equipment, it is cheaper and therefore much more suitable for those in the amateur game.
A running umbrella provides resistance when sprinting and helps to build up strength, stamina and speed. Often, in soccer, running is not a free-flowing activity, but involves battling with defenders holding shirts and using every trick they can to prevent progress. The good news is running umbrellas can cost from as little as $10.
Soccer Agility Training Gear
The equipment we have considered so far has been about general fitness or analysis. But soccer is a highly technical game and requires a specific skill set. A relatively inexpensive, but extremely useful piece of equipment, is a training ladder. These are ladders laid on the ground which encourage short steps at speed, the sort required when dribbling to beat an opponent. They also build speed and endurance. If money is tight at your club, they are a great way of investing a small amount of spare cash. Costing from $10-$20, buying a pair can help to provide part of an excellent fitness session.
Often, fitness ladders can be found as a part of a general fitness set. These include anything from just cones and hurdles, up to full agility circuit training kit. For less than $300, two kits could be purchased which will allow for a full, weekly, whole squad workout on a circuit basis.
The soccer rebounder is among the best ways to rapidly improve your game. It is basically a high-tension net inclined at an angle. The angle can be adjusted between 0 and 90 degrees. The players kicks the ball onto the rebounder and the ball comes back in an unpredictable manner at a faster speed. And one should be prepared to trap the ball and pass it onto a player.
The Basic Soccer Training Gear
The reason that soccer is the world’s most popular sport is that, running apart, it is probably the easiest sport to play. All that is needed is a ball and a bit of space. Since we are looking at aids for training this week, here is a list for the coach setting up for the first time. Prices are mid quality found on Amazon.
Essentials: Bag of balls – $80 for 12, $30 for bag. A couple of match quality balls are also recommended, which cost from around $30 each. These are best purchased from a specialist sports shop.
Cones – $20 for 50 flat cones, ideal for marking cones and dribbling courses, $15 for 12 traffic cones.
With just cones and balls, a good session can be organized. We will assume here that the venue has goals available.
Let’s not forget that, despite all the equipment now available, soccer is a simple sport. A ball, a patch of grass and a couple of jumpers is all we need to have a game.
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