The best kids’ football training equipment
Thu 11 July 2019
We Make Footballers News
Long gone are the days when an effective football training session could be put on with an underinflated size five and a set of jumpers. Having the right sort of football equipment can make or break what happens on the practice pitch in the 21st century.
Here, we take a look at four of the basic yet best pieces of kids’ football training equipment.
The most obvious piece of training equipment that you need for football training session is the football itself. But these come in a variety of different sizes, each designed with a different age or stage of a player’s development in mind. You can also use different types of these to challenge players.
As a general rule, a size three should be used for those aged between four and seven. A size four for ages six to eleven. A size five for 12-year-olds and everyone above.
You can be flexible with your choices though. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to use a smaller sized ball with an older age group if you want them to become accustomed to striking it in the right place for example.
Teaching a 12-year-old to strike through the middle of a size three with their laces narrows down the contact area between boot and ball. That should mean that their accuracy improves when it comes to hitting that ‘sweet spot’, making it easier to do so with a bigger ball in the process.
A smaller ball can also be used to improve ball manipulation and technical ability. This has been widely done through the use of futsal balls in modern football (a heavier and smaller ball used for indoor football).
Cones can be key to improving the success and order of your session. They can be put to use in a variety of different ways. With older children, they are obviously merely practical – marking out pitches, providing grids for them to work in and courses to dribble around or sprint through.
For younger children, they can be used to play all manner of imaginative games in which they cease to be merely cones. Instead, they become volcanoes that have to be avoided at all costs in case they start exploding. Turned upside down, they can be sinkholes in which a player and their ball can disappear into if touched. Or they might represent an alien threat from out of space. The best coaches can turn the simple things into an amazing and engaging practice.
A child’s imagination is a brilliant thing and cones can help turn every session that you do with younger players into so much more than a game of football.
Slalom poles are an excellent piece of football equipment when it comes to improving the speed, movement and agility of players.
Spikes in the bottom allow you to stick them anywhere you want in any grass playing surface. You can also find poles which can be inserted into bases for use indoors or on artificial pitches.
They provide more of a challenge than cones as your players cannot simply run over the top of them. Instead, they’ll find their close control improving as they try and weave in and out with a ball. Without a ball, they are great for increased flexibility.
Slalom poles can also double up as goal posts, target areas and even static defenders if you are working on a shooting practice or set pieces in which you want players to bend the ball around opponents without putting over players in harm’s way.
When you watch the best dribbles in the world, they all have one thing in common – quick feet. Watch Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard take on a player and their feet will be a blur of motion around the ball, dazzling and confusing opponents in equal measure.
Hurdles are an excellent choice of training equipment for helping players improve their hand-eye coordination and the speed at which their feet move. By teaching them to move their feet over these small, raised bars you can give them a valuable weapon for when they have a ball at their feet.
That’s why you see so many players going through quick feet drills in a pre-game warm up. Forwards, sideways, even backwards – it doesn’t matter in which direction you go; hurdles will have a positive effect on speed and engaging brain with body no matter what.
This article provides a breakdown of some simple and accessible football equipment to help your player become the best they can be and more importantly to enjoy playing football. If your child is looking for extra training, why not try our weekly sessions provided by professional football coaches? First session is free so come and give it a try!