Contrary to popular belief you do NOT need a whole array of soccer equipment to make your training sessions effective.
In-fact, ‘armed’ with a few essentials and some carefully picked additional pieces, your equipment ‘inventory’ can actually support your development as well as your players.
In this soccer coaching checklist, I’d like to give you as much detail as possible on the equipment available and the unique benefits each one provides.
Before We Continue…
Now, you certainly do NOT need everything on this list. What you need is the bare minimum to achieve two things;
- Efficiency: Your sessions don’t need tonnes of equipment that take hours to setup and dismantle – and you certainly don’t need to be carrying a car load of equipment.
- Effectiveness: But, you do need the right equipment to achieve the goals of your sessions that ultimately help you win games and develop your players both physically and psychologically.
‘If efficiency is doing things right, then effectiveness is doing the right things’ – Peter Druker
Every team will need slightly different training plan based on the team’s needs. It’s your job as a coach to find these needs and plan accordingly.
With that little piece in mind here is checklist of soccer coaching equipment to choose from.
Soccer Coaching Checklist: Essentials
Your essential soccer coaching equipment are things that are needed to play and coach soccer properly, with minimal interruption. If all else failed you would still be able to deliver a high quality coaching session with your knowledge and these 4 things;
Pretty self-explanatory I reckon. You’re not going to be able to play and train without at least 1 soccer ball.
I recommend you have at least one ball per player. Some circumstances however don’t allow for that which is where as coaches, we need to be able to adapt.
As a standard you should always aim for one ball per player but if that can’t be done for whatever reason, then make sure you’ve got at least one ball between two players.
Again another pretty self-explanatory one. Pinnies will make your job of coaching far easier as you’ll be able to coach, develop and run a smooth session without causing major confusion to yourself and your players!
Cones / Markers
Some indoor facilities won’t need the use of cones, but if you’re training outside, the chances are you’ll need some to mark area for skills development or games for example.
These days you can get all sorts of cones from big ones to little ones. You can also get flat disk markers which can double up as cones and be used indoors with more effect as they don’t slide all over the place.
In-fact at our indoor training session on Monday evenings – I opt for flat disk markers over the bigger more bulky ones every time.
As a last resort, you can always use cones to double up as soccer goals too.
Whatever type of marker you decide to go with make sure you think about these three things;
- Your players
- Your surface
The amount of ball pump needles I’ve lost or broken over the years is ridiculous. Make sure you’ve got a reliable ball pump but also a pack of spare needles just in case.
Soccer Coaching Checklist: Must Have’s
The following equipment, while not absolutely essential – are highly recommended. You’ll be able to make your training sessions;
- More Effective
- Fun and Engaging
There are absolutely tonnes of soccer goals on the market at the minute. You’ve got;
- Portable Soccer Goals
- Pop Up Soccer Goals
- Example: PUGG Pop Up Soccer Goal
- Futsal Soccer Goals
- Indoor Soccer Goals
- Examples: Bownet Portable Soccer Goal
- Cheap Soccer Goals
- Large Soccer Goals
- Small Soccer Goals
….the list could go on.
The question is – what goal do you need for your players?
Do you need a goal that’s;
- Durable? Can’t afford to replace your soccer goals every season?
- Saves Space? Because you’re stuck with a small area to store your goals when you’re not using them?
- Highly Portable? Need a soccer goal that’s easy to move round, transport and carry?
- Quick to Setup? To get training started quickly?
Answering these questions will help you immensely in choosing what soccer goal you need next.
If you need help figuring out what goal sizes you need for your players you can check out this resource here from US Youth Soccer
These little beauties are starting to make a big appearance across youth soccer clubs up and down the country.
It’s not surprising.
I mean, these things can not only help develop your players first touch, trapping technique, aerial ball control amongst an array of other things – but what I really like about them is the ability to be able to mimic real-game scenarios.
With some rebounders, you can change the angle of the rebounder; change the speed of the return and most of them very well built pieces of equipment.
Of course there area few big players in the game and I’ve gone into more detail here if you interested.
In short; I defiantly recommend you have at least one soccer rebounder you can pull out for training.
Whether you’re a soccer coach who volunteers for their local youth club or a professional academy employee – you need to be educating yourself and furthering your knowledge.
Try to read and implement the information you learn from at least one book per month.
Soccer Coaching Checklist: Fitness & Conditioning
The fitness levels of your team not only matter so they can physically keep up with the game but also so they can mentally keep in the game until the final whistle. How many games have been lost in the final minutes due to lack focus?
Don’t be that team!
Having a select few pieces of equipment to support your players fitness can;
- Improve their Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS): Agility, Balance & Co-ordination are a must for life – let alone being extra needed to be able to play soccer properly.
- Improve their Focus: By giving them something new to focus on, increasing the challenge or creating a competitive game everyone takes part in.
- Improve their Sports Specific Skills (SSS): Speed, Power, Reactions, Strength and even technique can go a long way to improving your player’s game.
- Add Variety: No one likes a boring training session!
- Help Progress (or regress) Drills: To increase (or decrease) the challenge for your players
- Make Your Training Sessions Look Highly Professional: This one should go without saying.
Here’s a quick list of equipment that can help develop your player’s speed, agility, power, reactions and overall strength.
As the name suggests, Agility Ladders primarily focus on improving a player’s agility. However, agility ladders are also fantastic way to improve; technique and power.
Agility ladders come individually or paired.
Another great addition for your fitness and conditioning drills.
Parachutes seem to have lost their appeal in the last few years. Yes, we have had some great advancement in technology, but, a good old parachute workout will have your players feeling almost invincible!
Parachutes are designed to add resistance to your player’s sprints to help them develop their power which in turn improves their acceleration.
All of which are highly important in soccer.
A reaction ball is a uneven shaped ball that when bounced, thrown, rolled or moved in any way provides an unpredictable trajectory. Fantastic for improving your Goalkeeper’s reflexes.
Agility Poles / Slalom Poles
We used these quite a lot for high intensity work. I’d normally combine them with some fast footwork drills and other speed, agility and quickness drills.
You can pick these up for pretty cheap most sports retailers. Just be sure to get some that are both durable and that have a little ‘give’ in them – especially if you’re using them with older players.
They look great, provide a highly effective alternative to standard cones or markers and don’t take up much space when you’re storing them.
Here’s some to get you started.
Another feature of some of my high intensity drills are Agility Rings. These things a ridiculously durable as there isn’t much to break in terms of surface area.
The drills you can put together with these things are almost limitless. Well worth a look if you want to increase the intensity of your sessions while simultaneously keeping things fun.
Additional Soccer Equipment
Clipboards are a fantastic way of providing your players a visual representation of what you’re trying to tell them. I don’t think I need to explain the benefit of that too much – here’s it in a few words.
‘Telling’ your players, works for some – but not many. ‘Showing’ them will help them retain the information better in the head.
Some coaches prefer the old-school physical clipboard. That’s great – especially if you want to show multiple players the same thing and the same time.
Some coaches however, prefer the digital version.
I’d recommend you use both depending on your objective. If you’re not keen on having two methods, do your players a favor and have at least one.
Again, these are great for adding more realism into your training and there also great fun to use as well.
The would be great additions to your high intensity drills or technique focused drills. Passing arches allow your players to focus more on the accuracy, as well as the speed of their passes.