Before soccer players take to the pitch for the season, they dream of game-winning goals, big saves and victories against their rivals. As a coach, one of the first steps in helping your team reach success is to have the proper equipment and gear for the season. Here now is a checklist of what you’ll need to be ready before that very first practice.
First things first, make sure you have enough soccer balls to get through drills in a timely and orderly manner during practice. Encourage your players bring their own, but it’s always a good idea to bring a few extra, just in case. You also want a ball pump on hand in case of any deflation issues.
If you’re practicing at a field without permanent goals, or splitting a field with another team, you’ll need to bring your own portable or pop-up goals. Even if you have permanent goals available, having some portable or pop-up goals can be helpful with running drills or holding a small intrasquad scrimmage.
If you are planning on running an intrasquad scrimmage during practice, you can use pinnies as scrimmage vests to divide your team into two units. A stopwatch can be used to motivate player’s times during drills, while a whistle can be used to give your team direction or capture the attention of players more easily.
Don’t forget to have some cones and rebounders too. Cones come in a variety of sizes and can be vital part of practice used to set up drills to help improve dribbling, agility and ball control. Rebounders can be great tools to help improve a player’s ability to pass, volley, score and protect the net.
If you want to take your team’s practice to the next level or if you coach a more advanced team, there is also a variety of advanced training equipment that can help develop your players’ various skillsets. This equipment can help develop their offense, defense and on-the field techniques. Some of these items include agility ladders, hurdles and passing arches. Remember that some equipment might not be suitable for all teams. For example, a U6 team will need basic training equipment compared to a U12 team.
Urge your team to bring their own water bottles to practice and games, but be sure to always have extra. You can also consider bringing a light snack as well.
Make sure to keep a charged cellphone, first-aid kit and your players’ emergency contact information and medical forms on hand. If there is any other league-required documentation, make sure to have it with you as well.
One way to keep your team organized is by using DICK’S Team Sports HQ. This resource for coaches offers benefits like an online management software to help with registration, scheduling and communication with parents and players. With TSHQ, you are able to design custom uniforms and fan gear for your team as well.
The first step to a successful soccer season is preparation. By coming to practice ready with the proper gear, you can help set your team up for a championship season.
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