As your coaching experience expands, so too will the type of equipment you require. Drills become more complex, more realistic and more physical. As a result, simulating game situations whilst training, allows players to make more instinctive decisions in matches.
Further, speed, strength, endurance and agility also become paramount in competing. Drills that work on these attributes will therefore have more dedicated time during training.
Consequently, in addition to the equipment discussed in Part One, the football training equipment required for more experienced players becomes more sophisticated.
Pieces: 6 Piece Set
These agility hurdles focus on generating speed through fast leg movement. There are numerous drills that will deliver strengthening and agility benefits. Underlying most of them are a fast leg speed, allowing you to get from static to full pace quickly.
Approaching the hurdles from a different angle can improve lateral movement whilst changing the hurdles from a straight line to an angle will improve a player’s ability to change direction at speed.
For best results, use between 6 and 10 hurdles.
These hurdles are durable and have bounce back attributes. Like other agility hurdles, these are also not designed to hold weight so best advise your players not to stand on them.
These are the best ranked agility hurdles on Amazon.
Size: 180cm x 180cm
Pieces: 3 piece set
The senior mannequins are 1.8m tall and the 3 person set is also 1.8 metres wide (each is 60cm wide across the chest). Each mannequin has 4 spikes to hold them upright in turf. Weighted bases can be purchased separately.
Using the wall mannequin as a prop during training drills allows players to practice curling & swerving their free kicks whilst working on height and power. Additional mannequins can also be purchased to simulate a larger wall.
The mannequins also allow goal keepers to work on their defensive positioning, coordinating the wall according to visibility and risk.
The mannequins can also be used individually to simulate other set plays such as corners.
Set plays can have a significant impact on the result of a game. Developing both attacking and defensive skills around set plays will easily tip a result in favour of the team who excel in this part of the game.
Size: 180cm x 130cm
Pieces: 1 frame, 1 elasticised rebound net and one goal keeping net
There are two characteristics I love about this football rebounder. The first thing is the size. At 1.8m x 1.3m, you can afford to be a little off target when compared to the smaller styles of rebounders. With the smaller ones, you hit the frame and momentum is lost. This rebounder allows a little more latitude. The second characteristic is that it is dual purpose, serving as a football goal also.
Whilst it may be somewhat bigger than other models, it does provide greater utility.
The rebounder allows players to work on their reaction time and first touch by varying where they stand relative to the elastic mesh and either kicking or throwing the ball and preparing for the rebound.
Size: 30cm x 21cm
Pieces: 26 piece set
Price: $49.99 plus shipping
Every coach needs a tactic board to articulate strategies to players. What I like about this Forza Tactics folder is the ability to make notes on one side about the game and then quickly sketch out strategies on the white board to better articulate a point with players.
The folder comes with a white board with pitch markings, a white board marker, 22 x magnetic markers in 2 colours signifying different teams, eraser, match planning note book and metal clip.
Often you can talk all day about movement on and off the ball and players may miss the point. Make it visual and strategy communication becomes clearer. As a result, this coaching tactics folder is a necessary tool for coaches who want their team to perform at a higher level.
Size: Foldable so collapses to 5cm
Pieces: 1 piece
Price: $19.99 plus shipping
It may seem trivial, though when players come off for the half time talk it is both annoying and time consuming to have them wander off in different directions to grab their drink bottles. As a result, having them all in one spot with this drink bottle carrier allows everyone to quickly settle and rehydrate without distraction.
Made from sturdy PVC, the Net World Sports Bottle carrier allows 10 bottles to be carried easily. Each slot is circa 8cm x 8cm so standard size bottles fit comfortably. Bottles are also available for purchase if required.
The carrier is also foldable ensuring it won’t be taking up space when not in use.
Size: XXS to XL
Pieces: 1 piece
Price: $349.00 plus shipping
As technology evolves and more associations, clubs, teams and people embrace it, the cost inevitably comes down from its initial availability. This statement rings true for player GPS trackers as players and teams are able to draw more information from both an individual’s and team’s performance
In the last decade, there has been an enormous transition in making this technology available to coaches, managers and players.
Wearable GPS trackers allow us to ascertain a player’s work load through identifying how far they have run, where they have run, top speed, how far they sprinted and acceleration on the field. This information can be then compared to other games the player has performed, other players, other teams and other clubs.
Information is power. The more information we have the better decisions we make. Having this information available will improve our coaching decisions. Do we have to work on speed or endurance to compete against the best teams? Are my players undertaking too much or not enough work load during a game? How can we preserve a player’s energy? What areas can we improve on during the game? Are we moving the ball around the field? What areas do we need to work on to improve?
So much information can be gleaned from GPS trackers to improve performance. The only surprise is that it has taken this long to have it available. Over the next 10 years I would expect it to be a staple in all senior teams.
Size: 19cm x 15cm x 8cm
This first aid kit is jam packed with everything you will need in basic medical attention for the team.
Everything is colour coded and conveniently located within the kit to ensure what you need is identified and accessed quickly in times of emergency.
The exterior is water proofed and there are carry straps or clips to attach to another bag for conveying. Due to its convenient size however, the first aid kit would be best stored in a larger kit bag. All pieces can be re-ordered easily from the supplier.
It is rare that something from the medical kit won’t be needed on most game days.
Conclusion to Soccer Coaching Equipment: Part 2
There are numerous other pieces of equipment a coach could utilise at training. However, the old adage on how long is a piece of string could be asked. The same effect from using resistance parachutes can be achieved by running up hills or stairs. In fact running up hills or stairs are more effective as they will stimulate more powerful knee drives building strength and using a light touch so momentum is maintained.
Similarly, there are cones, though if you have agility discs, they can effectively be used the same way.
Following on from the earlier article on coaching equipment, the pieces discussed here are more sophisticated and targeted towards improving strength, speed and endurance. If you are faster to the ball, you can do more with it. If you are stronger, you will be able to hold off your opponent or use your strength to win the ball. If you have greater endurance, you will outlast your opponent.
If you have some suggestions of your own or there is something you do with your team that you feel works, or if you have any questions, feel free to add it in the comments below.by