“Don’t Force It!”
Imagine you could put a number on a kick pass or shot, the number on it would be 100%. If you divide that 100% between force (how hard I need to strike the ball) and accuracy (steer the ball) on a top of my range kick, it would be let’s say 50/50 (force & accuracy) extend the distance of the kick and I must increase the force which means force becomes 60% so accuracy falls by the increase in force (10%) and now becomes 40% and so on. This would explain how when players put more effort into force (making the distance) the less accurate they become. Example: If you test a player for accuracy kicking a standard ball over the bar from let’s say 20 meters and we have a high success rate, and we then move out by another 20 metres, do you think the success rate will remain the same?
If by working with the Green Ball we can increase that top range kick, we would decrease the amount of times our players “force that ball”.
I believe there is a direct relationship between force, speed and distance. The more force we deliver to the ball by either hand pass or kick pass, the faster and longer the ball travels in the direction it’s passed. Introduce the Green Ball into most drills and because of the extra weight players now need to deliver extra force for the ball to travel at the same speed as the standard ball. I believe after training with the Green Ball, when the players switch back to the standard ball the pace of the pass will be quicker as they will be used to passing with more force because of the weighted ball. It will also promote better control of the pass.
Passing & Accuracy
If we take a normal kick or hand pass now, and look to increase the distance of this pass, traditionally we would look to increase the muscle capabilities and technique so we can pass a longer distances. It is all very well to work on certain muscle groups with different exercises in and out of the gym, but the only true way to develop every single muscle or component involved in the kick or hand pass is to add resistance to that action, and the Green Ball does that by being slightly heavier.
Let’s flip this over and look at how we can develop better ball accuracy when kicking.
If we shorten the distance of the pass so it was within the players comfort zone but we look to have multi directional targets. We then engage the steering muscles involved in the pass over the power muscle, and they are then challenged and so develop.
Because of the extra momentum generated by the Green Ball in each pass, the receiving player must focus on correct catching technique. Sometimes players adapt incorrect technique and get away with it, until that one time when it really matters and the ball slips from their grasp. The Green Ball will challenge the player every time in every training drill, when catching and in turn will coach successful catching technique. The Solar Green colour used also helps to focus players on the flight of the ball improving concentration.
How often have coaches encouraged players to get to the ball before it bounces? Have you ever heard or said “don’t wait for the bounce”, thats because we know when a player waits for the ball to bounce they give the opposition time to challenge for the ball. Because of the special material used in the Green Ball the bounce is similar to a standard ball, even though the ball is heavier it will bounce slightly higher. So this means the player gets penalized more for letting it bounce. Of course if the Green Ball is kicked correctly at an angle of 45 degrees the ball will bounce as normal and this promotes good kicking technique.
The material also makes it more comfortable to kick the extra weight and therefor results in a lower impact on the players foot, in fact it’s a similar impact as kicking a standard ball.
When winter months come in we don’t all have the benefit of a large well lit area, a lot of the time we need to train in a smaller area. This can mean that the opportunity to kick longer passes with the standard ball are restricted. By using the Green Ball the player has to use 33% extra effort to kick it and so now a kick pass over 21 metres is the same as a 28 metres with a standard ball, or a 30 meter pass becomes same as a 40 meter pass.
Kick Outs & 45s
It’s not all about power and big kicks, it’s in fact having more control over the ball and of the kick. So sometimes it’s best to take the power generating muscle out of the drill and encourage the two stabilising muscles (steering left or right muscles) to develop so that the player can direct the pass with more control. This will aid in the improvement of kick out training for goal keepers & also for 45 meter kicks & for free kick takers. Promote striking the ball over a distance of 30 metres indifferent directions.