The Ultimate Football Equipment Checklist for Grassroots Training Sessions
Having a few key items of football equipment on hand is a great way to ensure your grassroots training sessions are successful.
Knowledge and enthusiasm are great, but they’ll only get you so far. That’s why we’ve compiled an essential football equipment checklist for grassroots training sessions. Having just the basics in your inventory should improve your team’s performances and develop your players.
Invest in some quality footballs and keep them in good condition. Store them correctly in a waterproof bag, and don’t allow your players to mistreat them… sitting on them is a bad habit you should stamp out immediately.
It’s always best to keep a set of training balls and a separate set for matches. It’s just as important to ensure you have the right sizes for the right age groups.
Size 2 footballs — for four and five-year-olds
Size 3 footballs — for under-7s, under-8s, and under-9s
Size 4 footballs — for under 10s, under-11s, under-12s, under-13s, and under-14s
Size 5 footballs — Under-15s and above (professional footballs)
As well as a carry bag for your footballs, it’s a good idea to keep a football pump in your bag at all times.
No coach can organise training matches and various football drills if they don’t have a quality set of bibs in their coach’s bag.
To give yourself more options, look for reversible bibs that include two distinctive colours. You’ll save yourself some money if you choose a set of 10 training bibs. Just make sure you select an appropriate size and something that can be machine-washed.
Setting up drills involves partitioning the training field into various zones and sections. And the simplest way to do this is with coloured training markers. You can also use training cones, but they’re more difficult to carry around. A set of markers can fit easily into most coaches’ bags.
Tip: Look for a set of 50 multi-coloured training cones that includes its own carry stand.
A grassroots football training session is most likely to take place on municipal land — without permanent goal posts. If this is the case for your club, it’s well worth your while investing in a quality set of mobile football goals.
Samba goals, for example, are available in a range of sizes, so you can choose the option that’s age-appropriate. They can be assembled and dismantled in seconds, and come with all the anchoring equipment you’ll need to keep them safe and secure. Some goal sets also come with their own carry bag.
Fitness and Conditioning Equipment
Simply running and playing won’t give your players an all-round workout. And that could leave them deficient in terms of low, core and upper body strength.
Having a few select items of fitness and conditioning equipment means you can organise solo and group sessions on the go. Many of these items can be carried around in bags, so they go where you go.
Develop your players’ agility, lower body strength, speed and balance with a set of agility ladders. They take seconds to lay out and can prove very useful if your team is in need of a fitness boost.
Hurdles are great for developing a player’s speed, movement, coordination and lower-body strength. Choose bounce-back hurdles so you’re don’t have to continually pick up hurdles that have been knocked over by players.
You don’t need expensive items of gym equipment to give your players a rigorous workout. All you need is a fitness parachute that uses air as a form of resistance.
Real matches involves lots of twisting and turning — which many players don’t practice during training sessions. To coach dribbling, control and balance while moving at speed, set up a course with a set of slalom poles.
While mannequins can be a little awkward to carry around, they’re great for working on set-pieces. You can use real players for walls, but that means they’re wasting their time standing around when they should be honing their own skills.
Preparing for training sessions in advance is crucial. You have to use the limited time you have with your players wisely, otherwise they won’t get the development and conditioning they need for success. A few items of football coaching equipment are therefore essential.
A coach’s whiteboard or clipboard can help you plan your sessions in detail. They can also be used to give team-talks and explain match tactics to your group.
Grassroots Football Training Tips
Time and resources are precious when you’re trying to run or manage a grassroots football club. These tips should help you to ensure your training sessions are as effective as they can be.
- Create a plan for each session
- Set objectives for each training session, ie shooting, conditioning, defending as a team, etc.
- Arrive early to prepare yourself and the training pitch
- Ensure you pack your equipment bags the night before — use the list above if you need to
- Assign roles to your fellow coaches in advance
- Always start with rigorous warm-ups
- Work out a system that delivers results and tweak it according to your objectives