If you work in a professional club whether it’s senior football or in the Academy, the best equipment for football coaching that you require to put on a fun, safe, enjoyable and educational session is all provided for you.
The same can be said for tutors of coach education, everything you need to teach the next generation of coaches is given as part of the role.
What about the coach who volunteers at their local club or runs their own soccer school etc? They may need to supply their own or raise funds through the club to buy new equipment.
But, what equipment do you need?
Let’s have a look
Good quality footballs would be number 1 on my list. Why, because the game is football and the only way to get good at it is by playing and practising with a football, the more touches you have the better you will become.
There are generally only 2 types of football, training balls and matchday balls. There are others like indoor and Futsal balls but we are talking football or soccer.
Training footballs are created from hard-wearing materials, they are more durable and slightly heavier than matchday balls, as they are designed to be used all year round and on different surfaces.
My favourite training football has to be the Mitre Impel Max, I feel it’s an excellent choice for those intense and long sessions and even comes in various colours.
This is a very durable ball and is great on a variety of surfaces and is also a reasonably priced football at around £14. There are cheaper versions of the Mitre Impel Max, but I like this as it has a sticky texture on the outside of the ball which gives the ball much greater grip, making it easier for players to control.
There are many different types of markers, whether that be jumbo cones, discs, flat rubber markers (straight or round) and even saucer cones. I guess it just comes down to preference as to which are best for your training sessions and the surface you coach on.
I prefer a mixture of saucer cones, flat rubber markers and jumbo cones. It gives me the variety to mark out lots of different types of areas for training. Using multiple colours and sizes also mean I can run a carousel of practices which is even better if I have or haven’t got a lot of space to work within.
A carousel of practices means the different sessions are already set up, and I can move from one practice to another. If I have limited space I can set up each session inside the other e.g., start with the pitch for a game at the end and set up a practice inside that, then set up another one inside that and then lift them once that session is finished, leaving you ready for the next one.
People may argue, do you need to have bibs for your players? Absolutely not, and here is the reason why. Bibs are used to distinguish who is playing on whose team, not a lot else needs to be said about that. Well, I have played lots of games with my players including 4 goal games with 4 teams all on the same pitch. 2 teams playing one way and the other teams playing the other way, and not one of them was wearing a bib.
The players had to find a way to solve the problem and see the wood through the trees, so to speak. It is a great game for awareness, observation, communication, teamwork and problem-solving.
I think back to when I was young, playing in the park with my friends and people I had never met before, just playing a football match which ended up being about 15 a-side with jumpers for goalposts, yet everybody knew who was on their team.
Bibs are great for easily identifying the teams, of course, they are, and my favourite is the ones with the numbers on the back to put players into actual positions. It makes them easily identifiable, especially if it is a new player, a new team or a coach education session.
As a coach, I cannot live without my tactics board, It’s portable enough for me to carry and use everywhere, whether it’s on the pitch in the changing room or in the classroom, it is a fantastic piece of equipment. My players have a greater understanding of certain tactics when they have seen them being moved around on the pitch diagram. In the classroom, discussing topics with a visual representation of what I am talking about with the coaches is easier.
I’ve used whiteboards in the past which are just as useful, but I prefer the magnets and the pitch diagrams for reference points. Every coach should have one or the other, if not for tactical reasons then use them for visual purposes.
As a football coach, you do require a fair bit of equipment to be able to put on the best sessions possible and to give the players the most enjoyable learning experience they can have. Using good quality equipment is also a good visual to players that you take coaching seriously and want the players to not have any excuses when it comes to equipment.
This article is not to say you have to spend a fortune to coach players, you don’t. I learned to practice my skills with just a football and a wall or some space to move the ball. I learned to play the game of football by playing football and I received some coaching as I got older and the clubs and coaches got better.
If you are considering investing in equipment, my suggestion is these are the main items you require, but also make sure they are quality and durable, otherwise, you will be forever replacing cheap gear, which is not cost-effective.
“If you have any feedback about my best equipment for football coaching or any questions about the ones that I have recommended, please leave your comments below!”