The 2012/13 season might not quite be over for the top professional clubs, but for many amateur sides this season has just come to an end and you might be wondering how you’re going to fill those long summer days without training sessions or the excitement of match day. Sure, kickabouts in the park with your friends might help you to have some fun with the good old ‘jumpers for goalposts’ games and ‘shirts v skins’, but there’s nothing like the proper football season.

As a coach, you’ll be thinking one of two things ahead of the new campaign starting in August, and they are how to take your team to the next level and improve on this season; and also what your targets will be. Do you push for the title, promotion, finishing above a certain side or just to stay in the division? They’re tough choices to make and you need to make sure that your ambitions are realistic.

In order to reach the next level in terms of your team’s performance, you need to have training equipment that actually gets results and helps to boost the morale and all-round ability of your players. The difficulty comes in choosing the right bits of kit – after all there is tons of football equipment at soccer store and other online retailers, it can be hard work choosing what you need and what would actually be beneficial.

If you find that your team needs to work on its heading and ability in the air, then investing in a set of speed and agility hurdles could be a good move. These will help you to improve your spring and also your quick feet, helping you get in the air above your opponent and win that vital defensive or goal scoring header.

Maybe you find that your team’s build up play needs to be more ruthless, stringing a series of passes together Barcelona-style and leaving your opponents mesmerized. In this case passing arcs can be really useful because it helps your players to pass more accurately along the floor, building up the distance between players and narrowing the target until you’ve got the next Xavi’s and Iniesta’s in your ranks.

Another good idea is to invest in some mannequins to help your set pieces. Getting a free kick in a goal scoring position can be highly beneficial and if you’ve got someone who is a promising Beckham-like striker of a dead ball, you don’t want them hitting the wall or blazing high and wide all the time. Help them hone their skills and get the ball over or around the wall and into the back of the net – it could be the difference between winning the league or missing out on goal difference!

BONUS

Since we’re talking soccer, here is a cool infographic that shows appropriate goal sizes for each age group in competitive and recreational soccer.

Player Wages
Infographic by The Soccer Store

Matt Rawlings is a football fan based in the UK who spends hours on the training pitch and playing games each week.

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