Soccer Tennis: Nets
Soccer Tennis: How to Have Fun and Develop Your Players’ Skills at the Same Time
‘Could we borrow your soccer tennis net please?’
That was one of the academy players from the youth set-up at one of the professional clubs I worked for.
Of course, I let him take it.
At the time I was working for the community department. So our aim as small team of 5 was to use soccer to engage with mainly disadvantaged communities.
As we all know soccer has a unique ability to bring people together wherever they are in world.[wpsm_titlebox title=”Soccer Tennis Nets” style=”4″][wpsm_toplisth2][/wpsm_titlebox]
Anyway, back to our academy player.
After a few day’s I hadn’t seen the net make its way back to our storage unit. So, out I went on the hunt for the missing soccer tennis net.
As the academy players were only in at certain times in the week, finding this academy player proved harder than I thought.
A couple of days went by……still no sign of the net.
One morning after I’d been to the club gym, I was making my way across the ground to our office when I see the first team players playing…soccer tennis.
With our soccer tennis net!
Of course, I was glad to know where it had ended up, but what really struck me is that the first team players were using is.
Let that sink in for a second.
I was half jealous I wasn’t taking part if I’m being completely honest. But, I went over to the team captain ‘Stacky’ and politely asked him to return it when the lads were done.
Like clockwork, when training was finished he turned up at the office with the net.
Soccer tennis is extremely beneficial for your players. You’ll be able to;
- Improve Your Players Fundamental Technique
- Increase their spatial awareness
- Improve overall communication
- Promote an All-inclusive Environment
- Improve control of specific body areas such as thighs, chest and feet
- Create a sense of teamwork in your squad of players
- Mimic a ‘real-game’ experience
- And overall, create FUN in your sessions
Top 3 Soccer Tennis Nets: Reviews
Okay, so next time you turn up to training you want to introduce soccer tennis – but there’s one problem. You have no net.
Fear not! Below I have researched and reviewed the best soccer tennis nets.
Kwik Goal Soccer Tennis Net[wpsm_divider top=”20px” bottom=”20px” style=”solid”]
- Velcro Attachments
- Soccer Spcific Tennis Net
- Carry Bag Included
- 11 lbs
Simply attach more nets using the Velcro side panels to make your soccer tennis ‘court’ longer. Perfect for all our Soccer Tennis variations we went through above.
You’ll not only look more professional but your confidence will soar as you send out the right positive messages to your player’s and parents with this stylish looking soccer specific tennis net.
With a carry bag included you’ll have no problem in storing and transporting your Kwik Goal Soccer Tennis Net from your car or storage unit to the field.
Wilson EZ Tennis Net[wpsm_divider top=”20px” bottom=”20px” style=”solid”]
- Adjustable Height
- 10ft OR 18ft
The best feature the Wilson Tennis net has over our other two nets is that the height can be adjusted.
Within seconds you can change your net from a standard tennis net height right up to a badminton standard height. This is fantastic if you want to add more challenging progressions your soccer tennis variations.
You also have the option of having either a 10 ft or an 18ft net. Of course, the 18ft net would be perfect for any team variations of soccer tennis. Especially if you’re big on all-inclusive training sessions.
Be aware though, the 18ft net doesn’t come with the adjustable feature as stated here in the review section on Amazon.
Overall, this versatile and durable tennis net can be used perfectly for any soccer tennis variation you have in mind!
Here’s more details on the Wilson Ez Tennis Net if you’re looking for something a little more versatile.
Bow Net Portable Soccer Tennis Net[wpsm_divider top=”20px” bottom=”20px” style=”solid”]
- 12 x 3 feet
- 18 x 2 feet
- 25 lbs
- UV Protection
- Comes with carry case
- Soccer Specific
Having options of course, will allow you to keep your soccer tennis games fresh– a perfect environment to keep your training session fun and your players engaged.
At 25lbs, the BowNet isn’t the lightest net but it does come with a carry case to make storage and transporting far easier.
If you’re looking to use your soccer tennis net outside the chances of it getting a battering from the sun in the summer months will increase. With the BowNet’s UV Protection you’ll have that added durability factor to keep your net going for longer – and of course saving you a small fortune in the long run.
Not the cheapest soccer tennis net I’ve gone through, but with its impressive Amazon rating it’s easy to see why people are choosing the BowNet Soccer Tennis Net.
Soccer Tennis Variations
A lot of coaches see soccer tennis as way for older children to have fun at the end of their training sessions.
But, younger players can play a variation of the game too.
In-fact, everyone (including you and other coaches in near proximity!) can take part, have fun and improve their technique at the same time.
Here are some variations for you and your players to try.
1-5 year Olds
- Split the group into 2 even(ish) teams.
- Split the area into 2 using flat cones (like these ones)
And that’s it!
You can also;
- Put small pop-up goals in each corner for the players to aim at
Using all the balls you have available, scatter them around the whole area. On your whistle, players will have two or three minutes to make sure they can kick all the balls back into the opposition area.
If you’re using pop-up goals, get the players to aim for them instead of just kicking them over to the other side.
The team who has the least balls in their area OR has the most balls in the opposition’s goals are the winners.
- 6-9 year olds
With 6-9 year olds you can still use cones just like the game above. However, you can use a net too!
- Split the group into two
- Each team stands in space either side of the net
- If you’re using a normal soccer ball I’d recommend allowing 2 or even 3 bounces of the ball
- But if you really want to add some fun and some longer rallies into the mix then I’d highly recommend using a big beach ball like this one here on Amazon.
Using a beach ball makes the game a lot easier for your 6-9 year olds. Also the flight of the ball is easier to read.
You can have your players use just their feet, but if they’re struggling with that, then you can always allow them to use all parts of their body, such as; head, hands, legs etc.
For this age group, soccer tennis will start to introduce patience. Try it out and see what I mean!
Soccer Tennis with 10-13 year olds gets a lot more interesting. Your players will have the basic skills needed to keep a good rally going.
Of course, you can also use a beach ball, and then progress to using a soccer ball.
At this age, you can coach more specific elements of their game such communication, spatial awareness and movement.
Again, you can change the rules each game;
- Limit the number of bounces before a ball becomes ‘dead’.
- Limit the body parts they can use
- Extra points for using your coaching points (eg. communicating better, moving into space etc)
14-16 year olds
In addition to the above variations, you can now introduce;
- 1 V 1
All of the variations above rely on the whole team. Now you can start to introduce 1 v 1’s. Of course, you’ll probably need to make the ‘court’ a little smaller. To progress you can make the area or ‘court’ bigger.
- Head Tennis
As the name suggest, head tennis involves your players just using their head.
This is more of an advanced variation, and I would only recommend playing it with players who are comfortable with heading the ball.
- King of Net
Using the two variations above, you can incorporate them into a monthly / weekly challenge for your players. To make thing’s easier, you’ll probably need 3 or 4 nets side-by-side to form one big, long net.
Line all you players up (1v1’s). Each player has one/two/three minutes to get as many points as they possibly can. The winners move up the net to the last ‘court’ and the losers move down.
The person who is at the top ‘court’ by end of 10 games is the King of Net and will start here next time you play the challenge!
Academy & Professional Players
And of course, as our academy player and captain have already demonstrated, older and more advanced players can play and benefit from soccer tennis too.
Wrapping it all up…
As the game progresses and more and more coaches like yourself develop their philosophies, go deeper into their coaching and improve their players overall ability you’ll start to see more creative and fun ways to develop your players.
Soccer Tennis can be used to develop soccer players ten-fold. You can use it as;
- An engaging tool at the start of your training if you struggling to settle your players down
- An added progression and supplement to your main training session
- A fantastic way to end your training with some competition and fun
The possibilities are endless really.
As a soccer coach dedicated to your own development and the development of your players you owe it to yourself and your players to ‘break the mould’ and look for new innovative ways to reinforce your message and coaching points.
Allowing the freedom for your players to learn and develop their skills using any of the soccer tennis variations above will go a long way to achieving (or scoring…) many goals in the future.
What soccer tennis net will you bring to your next training session?
Do you have any other soccer tennis variation games that aren’t talked about above? Love to see your games featured here on Portable Sports Coach?
Let us know in the comments below!
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