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While soccer remains one of the world's most popular sports, there is, no doubt, an overall lack of talent in the US. This can be attributed to the simple fact that it just doesn't maintain the same levels of popularity in America that it does throughout the rest of the planet. Sports like American football, basketball, and even baseball have all trumped soccer in terms of demand and staying power.
The fact of the matter is—none of this has deterred me from being the best soccer player I can be. Sure, I might not make it pro, and it DEFINITELY doesn't make me super popular with the ladies, but I still have a drive that others don't possess. During my quest, I've utilized some of the best workout gear for soccer players. In an effort to urge fellow athletes to help bring some more relevancy to the sport, I've drawn up a list of some of my own personal favorites. Hopefully, I can inspire others to take the sport a little more seriously.
Suggesting some top-notch training gear is certainly a start.
Disc Cones by Kwik
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a great workout. One of the greatest examples of that comes courtesy of these pro disc cones. I was able to nab a set of 25 for just under $20, so in the event I broke a few because of my clumsiness (spoiler alert—I have), this was more than enough. This set of cones helped me improve my speed and agility, as well as my otherwise lacking ball control skills, so I saw a marked improvement in those department almost instantly. Definitely worth the small price tag.
Resistance Parachute by StillCool
Doing resistance drills is another great training tool to increase speed and agility. Luckily, I was able to find a super cheap resistance parachute offline in order to do these drills at my own leisure. Despite it's pedestrian price tag (around $10), it was made of high quality material, and it doesn't look like it's going to break any time soon. Definitely a must-buy.
Scrimmage Vests by A&R
I sometimes find it difficult to train in regular workout attire. Sometimes, I prefer to wear all of my in-game gear—soccer shin guards and all. I think it's a better in-game simulation to wear everything you wear in a game. It might be a mental thing, but it helps me regardless. I even picked up a few nylon mesh scrimmage practice vests in order to wear something along the lines of my actual jersey, and to make sure my team has the best soccer training equipment, too. Obviously, it's not spot on, but I definitely prefer to wear these during my training, nonetheless.
Agility Ladder by Kwik
Now this particular piece of soccer training equipment can be helpful for a plethora of different sports, so if you're a multi-sport athlete, this is perfect.
A speed ladder has long been a staple of agility training, but why only utilize it during practice? I bought one for my own backyard, and I instantly started noticing results. I'd personally suggest wearing your soccer cleats while doing the drill because, again, it more closely mirrors in-game action. Either way, you're guaranteed to become far more explosive than you were prior to owning one, so what's the harm in giving it a shot? That's a trick question—there is none.
Pitch Training Soccer Ball by Nike
How can you possibly train for soccer without an actual soccer ball? Sorry for all of the rhetorical questions, but you get my point here. You really can't become a great soccer player without kicking a ball up and down a soccer field like your the next coming of Pele. My personal choice is the Nike Pitch training soccer ball. It's durable, lightweight, and best of all, I rarely have to fill it with air. It's not only one of the best soccer balls under $50, it's one of the best soccer balls for training period.
Adjustable Training Hurdles by Veloce
I didn't become the fastest person on my soccer team without clearing a few hurdles first—both literally and figuratively. I decided to buy a pair of speed hurdles from Veloce. They were only adjustable, so I certainly got a heck of a workout. I could have probably opted for something a bit cheaper, but I thought for soccer, this feature is perfect. My inklings were definitely correct.
A Training Jacket by adidas
Alright, I know I said I prefer to do most of my drills in a practice jersey, but it's not always nice out. During the winter and parts of the fall, I need to wear some type of jacket to train outside. I found the adidas Tiro 19 training jacket to be both warm and comfortable; the perfect blend for the harsh outdoors. It's also super lightweight, flexible, and non-intrusive to my workouts. It was only around $60, so it's not too expensive for even youth soccer players to pick up.
Workout Oxygen Mask by TEC
Soccer drills can be physically taxing as it is, so adding a high-altitude mask can be a dangerous proposition to those that are out of shape. I learned that the hard way, but it was definitely well worth it in the end. I opted for the workout mask from TEC, and after a few short training sessions, I found myself much less winded in actual game situations. If you're like me and needed that little extra boost for your own cardiovascular training, this is definitely a useful little gadget. Trust me, this soccer training product will take your game to the next level.
Activity Tracker Watch by Saikee
Another great training tool on the cheap is this all-in-one fitness tracker by Saikee. It literally gives you insight into all of the data any athlete could ever dream of. It serves as a heart rate monitor, step counter, calories counter, stopwatch, and even a sleep tracker. Whether your scoring soccer goals or simply trying to rest ahead of the big game, this fitness tracker will quickly become your best friend.
Adjustable Lateral Strength and Position Trainer by SKLZ
My final suggestion is another tool to help with your speed and agility—the SKLZ adjustable lateral strength and position trainer. Whether you're simply doing karaoke drills in your yard, or just trying to get a good stretch ahead of practice, this is the perfect tool for agility and flexibility. It is, without a doubt, among the best workout gear for soccer players that I have come across.