Few sports have such a global fan following than soccer. It’s generated interest among young and old alike to become one of the top sports of the modern era.
Soccer training starts by having the right equipment to help build and master skill. It also helps condition the body. Fortunately, the popularity of soccer means it’s become easier to find and purchase good quality equipment for a reasonable cost. Here’s a look at a few essential pieces of equipment to get started.
The most obviously important purchase to make is soccer balls. There are several to choose from. Practice balls are one and match balls another. Professional balls are top-end and designed for professional use. You’re likely to purchase practice and match balls for training. There’s no need to buy professional balls unless you’re organizing a match because tournament organizers will provide the same.
You need these only if playing on grass as they provide better grip on the slippery surface. However, playing on artificial turf necessitates the use of shoes with no studs so have players wear decent quality sports shoes with good grip.
Shirts and shorts
Soccer shirts and shorts, both for practice and professional use, must be lightweight and unlike street wear, can’t be moisture-absorbent because they double in weight once saturated. Polyester is the material of choice and there are green options like 100 percent recycled polyester too.
Shin pads aren’t restricted to goalkeeper equipment and can be worn by all players. They guard against soccer cleats which are must-wears for players but which also have the potential to inflict injury. Look for pads that can be easily slipped on and which stay put.
Gloves: The only protection offered to a goalkeeper’s hands is specially designed gloves. Quality shouldn’t be compromised because the risk of injury is very high. Invest in slightly expensive ones made by known manufacturers as there’s better shock absorption and durability.
Shirts: The next item to get is shirts padded at the elbows. They protect against falls. As with gloves, invest in good quality products which last longer and are more comfortable to wear.
Shorts and pants: Goalkeeper pants are adequately padded at the knees, thighs and groin. You can always buy non-padded items but this is great for practice and if you don’t mind the thicker fabric.
Cones are used during training to enhance agility. While you can use almost any type of marker, those designed for soccer practice are built to last longer even under harsh weather. Using equipment designed for soccer also creates a more professional atmosphere which players will appreciate.
These easy-to-carry goals will make practice all the more worthwhile as they help hone scoring skills. They can be set up almost anywhere and are available in a couple of configurations, a popup model and one with steel frames.
Practice is a necessary part of honing any skill and soccer is no different. While you could practice without the whole set of training equipment mentioned here, it fine-tunes learning and fosters determination. After all, who can resist the sight of soccer gear just waiting to be used?