Are you sick and tired of turning up to training with the same boring session plans? You know those session you’ve planned, that are okay at best but could do with some ‘sprucing’ up?
Millions of aspiring soccer coaches just like you turn up to training week-in week-out with half-baked session plans, decreased enthusiasm levels and wonder whether coaching is for them anymore.
But unless you spend your time learning how to develop and grow your skills, you’re never going to offer that sort of session that your players will enjoy and respect you for.
What if I told you there was a better way to not only increase your skill-set but also start injecting your sessions with a dose of fun and effectiveness at the same time?
There are so many pieces of equipment on the market today to choose from.
Some, absolutely vital such as balls, bibs, cones and maybe portable goals depending on your circumstances. And then there are some luxury such as speed clocks.
But then there’s that middle ground. This is where you’ll find some absolute gems. This is the area where the best coaches are. This is where you need to be.
Here are some simple, but highly effective (when used properly!) soccer equipment that will not only engage and support your players, but you may also find yourself and any other coach in near proximity using when the kids aren’t looking!
Youth Soccer Equipment #1: The Reaction Ball
The Reaction Ball is a simple tool that’s built to support your players in improving their hand-eye coordination, speed, agility and reactions. You’ll not only improve these fundamental areas in training but you’ll start to notice it in games too.
It’s especially useful for your goalkeeper. As you know already, every great team has an even better goalkeeper! The reaction ball helps your goalkeeper develop the skills necessary for close range shots and playing on dodgy surfaces. Be sure to have your goalkeeper ready for their next penalty!
This reaction ball here from Kwik Goal gives you the chance to progress your training and make it more challenging for your more talented players. Your players will thank you, and your session will run a more smoothly as you’ll have everyone engaged at different levels.
Youth Soccer Equipment #2: Battle Ropes
Battle ropes are long(ish) ropes that can be used in a variety of ways from slamming and throwing using one or both hands. They’re a fantastic way to increase your player’s fitness levels without boring them to death with regular running. You’ll have your players wanting to do fitness (imagine that!) while positioning yourself as the authority coach amongst players, parents and other coaches.
Battle ropes come in various lengths and widths which give you almost endless amounts of room to progress and regress training. Struggling for ideas to adapt sessions for indoors? Look no further than the battle rope!
Most Battle Ropes are relatively light pieces of equipment which makes them a no brainer to carry for the public transport coach, the car coach and the van coach! Highly portable and virtually no set-up required make the battle rope an essential part of your soccer coaching equipment. Battle Ropes are a great way to make your training fun and effective at the same time.
Youth Soccer Equipment #3: Weighted Sleds
A variation of the parachute, the weighted sled can be pulled along the ground using straps that are fasted over the shoulders. Fantastic for not only improving your players overall strength and power but your players legs will specifically benefit. What coach doesn’t want their players to be fit, fast and ferociously speedy?
Again, the weight can be adjusted to progress your training. This will increase the intensity of your sessions allowing you to be confident in delivering a highly effective drill.
It’s worth noting the weighted sled is usually only suitable for older age groups!
Youth Soccer Equipment #4: Soccer Rebounder
The Soccer Rebounder is an easy to set-up frame that comes complete with a rebounding net. It can be used to increase your player’s accuracy and trapping skills whilst closely mimicking game situations.
This nifty little Soccer Rebounder here comes as one of the most popular among our readers. When used in small sided games you’ll not only tick the productive, effective, and fun boxes of your session plan, but you’ll also develop respect from your players.
Youth Soccer Equipment #5: Dual-Ladders
You will have probably seen the standard soccer agility ladder. Now join two of them together – Introducing the Dual Agility Ladder.
The Dual Agility Ladder allows you to increase your player’s co-ordination, speed, and agility beyond that of a normal ladder while most importantly keeping your training fresh. You’ll be able to save time and money whilst keep your players engaged and improving, concurrently.
The Dual Agility Ladder comes in at the same length of a standard Agility Ladder but with the extra boxes, you now have a few additional movements to use.
With lateral and forward movements making up the majority of the exercises from the standard Agility Ladder, you can now add in diagonal movements. That and the increased opportunity for more complex sequenced movements can improve your players close ball control which can be especially useful for 1-on-1 game situations.
It doesn’t take a fortune in money to create fun, more engaging and better training sessions. In fact it doesn’t even take a lot of time or thought either, and it defiantly doesn’t take a genius!
That said, you could take these very simple ideas, implement them in your next training session and instantly improve your players overall game while increasing your own skill set.
Now go out there and be a better coach, with better session plans that you’re players, parents and other coaches will love you for.
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