If your child is all about travel soccer, like mine, you know the drill – practices, games, and tournaments can get pretty intense. But I’ve realized that as much as he loves the team camaraderie at games and especially tournaments, he also enjoys blowing off some steam by kicking a ball in the backyard. Sometimes he goes out there to work on throw ins or volleys but sometimes he loves just messing around with shots or playing pick up soccer with the neighbors. When you’re used to traveling around for tournaments, it’s nice to have a home base where you can just enjoy the sport for fun. That’s why it’s such a good idea to invest in a backyard soccer net.
Here, I’ll share my thoughts on why getting a backyard soccer net is a smart move. It’s not just about perfecting your athlete’s skills; it’s about remembering what makes soccer fun! So, let’s dive in and discover why a backyard soccer net is a game-changer for your young athlete.
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Why a Backyard Soccer Net Is a Game-Changer for Your Young Athlete
When people think of buying top notch gear for their rising soccer star, they typically think of specialized cleats or gadgets that help with their footwork. While those pieces of equipment have merit in the soccer world, something as basic as a backyard soccer net is just as valuable.Below are my top reasons why a simple backyard goal is a worthwhile investment.
1) Convenient Practice Sessions
Travel sports often mean long drives to and from practice fields, making it feel like you’re always on the road. But with a backyard soccer net, you don’t have to drive anywhere!
While your child will likely still have scheduled team practices, he can practice on his own right in the backyard, anytime he wants.
2) Consistent Skill Development
I’ll spare you the mantra on how practice makes perfect. But we’ve all seen an example of a child who started off the season at the bottom of the pack and 3/6/9 months later, this kid was scoring goals, making assists and turning heads.
Consistent touches on the ball, particularly during the off season, can help your athlete steadily improve his skills. Whether it’s shooting drills, passing accuracy, or ball control, it doesn’t get any easier than walking outside to use your own ball and soccer net.
3) Quality Family Time
You may be laughing at this point, but it’s true! Our backyard soccer net may look a little worse for the wear, but there have been many 1v1, 2v2, and parents vs kids games played on it. What better quality time can you have than running around outside with your kids and having them show off their skills!
What to Look for in a Backyard Soccer Net: A Goal Worth Pursuing
When considering a backyard soccer net, look out for the following features:
- Size Matters: Choose a net that fits your backyard space. There are various sizes available, so pick one that suits your practice area without overwhelming it.
- Durable Material: Look for a net made of sturdy materials like weather-resistant nylon. It should be able to withstand nature’s worst elements. In my opinion, Franklin and Prime make sturdy soccer nets.
- Easy Setup: Ensure that assembling and disassembling the net is a straightforward process. You want to spend more time practicing and less time fiddling with equipment.
- Stability: The net should come with secure anchoring mechanisms, such as stakes or sandbags, to prevent it from toppling over during intense practice sessions.
Here are a few of my favorite goals that I’ve had throughout my son’s soccer journey.
Mastering the Game: Fun Drills with Your Backyard Soccer Net
Sometimes you’re in the mood for a pick up game and sometimes you want something more organized. In the case of the latter, here are a few drills that you can do with a backyard soccer net:
1) Shooting Practice: Target Accuracy Drill
Set up cones or markers at various positions in front of the net, creating target zones. Then, have your child practice shooting the ball to hit specific targets.
This drill helps improve shooting accuracy and precision, especially when using both feet and varying the shooting angles.
2) Passing Accuracy Drill: Target Passing
Accuracy isn’t just important for getting goals – it’s essential for passing too. For this drill, place cones inside the goal to practice passing the ball to hit these targets.
Focus on different types of passes, including short passes, long passes, and chips to improve both passing accuracy and control.
3) Dribbling and Finishing Drill: Cone Dribbling
Now, onto the dribbling! Simply set up a line of cones in front of the net, and have your child dribble the ball through the cones and take a shot on goal. The nice thing about this drill is that it combines dribbling skills with finishing, simulating a game scenario.
4) Volleys and Half-Volleys Drill: Bouncing Ball Challenge
A slightly more advanced drill is to stand a short distance away from your child and throw a bouncing ball. He’ll either have to handle the ball as a volley (shooting the ball before it hits the ground) or half-volleys (shooting the ball just after it bounces once).
This drill also simulates a game scenario and will improve your child’s ability to handle unpredictable ball trajectories.
Practice Makes Perfect
In the world of sports, and in particular travel soccer, it’s smart to make an investment in something that not only improves your child’s game, but also reminds him of the joy of the game. While it sounds clique, a backyard soccer net is an investment that the whole family will enjoy, not just the soccer player. In a world full of go go go, it’s nice to have something that brings family and friends together in a positive way.
So, go ahead, set up that backyard soccer net, and let the practice sessions begin. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your child’s skills will improve and how much fun you’ll have out there with him!