The competition for youth soccer is getting harder and likewise the age of children playing the game is becoming much younger. Children are learning the sport early and competing for spots on the grade school, high school and college teams as well as for scholarships and a chance to play on an international team.
Gone were the days when children will just play and practice soccer in their backyard with just a ball and a net. Today children are practicing with training aids that give them a distinct advantage during practice, games and tryouts. Those advantages take the form of faster footwork, response time, sharper kicking and trapping, blocking and juggling.
A lot of training aids are available in the market, and one of the first aids that’s been around for quite some time are the free standing goal nets that allow players to practice getting past the goal. These products range between $25.00 and $65.00 depending upon the quality of the product and whether you just need the net this time or the support mechanism also.
Soccer balls which return at the end of the kick is also another training aid that has been in the market for quite some time now. Majority of this training aid ball are anchored to the body of the player but there is another product now, the Kick-Medic, which is anchored to the ground and can accommodate a kick in the backyard or on the practice field. The company states that players of all skill levels and those who play in any position will benefit from using the Kick- Medic.
Aside from those mentioned above, there is also the Soccer Pro which also focuses on the kick of a player. What is interesting with the Soccer Pro is that it has a sensor that is placed on the shoe and detects the proper contact with the ball. It then provides immediate feedback to the player using lights and sounds so the player knows what needs to be changed to improve the kick. The housing is moisture resistant and it can be placed on the top, right or left side of the shoe to accommodate all players.
In addition, there is also a product known as a soccer defender wall which is a one piece, fully-welded frame with spikes to implant it into the ground. These are natural height pieces to help the player play defense and improve their foot skills.
Next is a jump rope, this is a standard piece of a young person’s equipment that actually helps soccer players to improve their quadriceps and lower leg strength. This also helps to improve player’s foot speed and ability to juggle the ball. The correct length of the jump rope should also be considered. Hold the handles in the hands and step on the rope. There should be just enough length to hold the handles waist high. Jump ropes that have slightly weighted rope are easier to turn without getting tangled. There are ropes that have computer chips in the handle that recognize the number of times the rope is turned and the time the player has used it. But a basic rope does the same job.
Lastly is the ladder which is one youth soccer training aid that is indispensible. A ladder is a piece of equipment that bears a striking resemblance to an actual ladder. However, it isn’t stiff but rather made of nylon rope and plastic pieces. The ladder is laid on the ground and the player does foot work drills each day to improve foot speed and control. This generally cost between $50.00 and $75.00 depending upon how long and portable they are. Coaches ask their players to use them at least three times a week to improve their skills.
The utilization of these training aids greatly impacted the performance levels of young players and it also prevented them from incurring injuries because all of these equipment are safe to use and are easily available in the market or even online at a cost effective prices.