Youth soccer is becoming more and more competitive at an earlier and earlier age. 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.
The days when children could practice in the backyard with just a ball and a net are long gone. 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.
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 goalie. These products range between $25.00 and $65.00 depending upon the quality of the product and whether you just the net this time or the support mechanism also.
Another training aid that has been available for some time are the soccer balls which return at the end of the kick. Most are anchored to the body of the player but there is another product, 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 use.
The Soccer Pro is a product that also addresses the kick of a player. This is a sensor that is placed on the shoe and detects the proper contact with the ball. It then provides immediate feedback to the play 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.
A soccer defender wall is a 1 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.
A jump rope 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 a players foot speed and ability to juggle the ball. The jump rope should be an appropriate length. 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.
A ladder is a youth soccer training aid that is indispensable. 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. These 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.
Using these training aids has brought young players to a higher level of play at earlier ages without using equipment that may eventually cause injury or harm to the joints of the young players. And these training aids are also easily purchased, most available over the Internet and cost effective prices.