As a soccer coach or parent you probably have a number of soccer balls at each practice. I think you should have at least one for each kid. By giving each kid a ball they have a lot more chances to touch the ball. A good goal is 1,000 touches a day.
But there are other ways a soccer ball can be used. Soccer balls make a great modality to add to your soccer fitness program.
Here are three exercise that use the ball…
1. Push-ups on the ball. Place one hand on the ball and one on the ground. Do a push-up and then roll the ball to the other hand. These are excellent because they improve the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder.
2. Planks with a ball. Put the feet on the ball and hold a plank position. The ball will create a less stable position. This will increase the use of the core muscles.
3. Sit-ups and leg lifts with a ball. Place a ball between the feet. Lift the ball up to 90 degrees and reach up with the arms to grab the ball. Holding on to the ball, lower the ball to the ground behind your head.
A medicine ball would make this more challenging but the squeezing of the ball between the legs helps develop core muscles. Having an object to grab will make it easier for younger kids and provide some measure of coordination as well.
Obviously, there are many variations that can be done. I think medicine ball type drills with a soccer ball are excellent for younger kids who need more than just foot touches to fully develop as athletes.
Have you used the soccer ball for anything other than soccer? Try these exercises and let me know how they worked out.