What Should Be in a Football Coach’s Inventory This Season?

Another football season lies ahead, and local teams up and down the country are preparing themselves for a tough, energy-sapping year. But teams that hope to lift some silverware will need to leave no stone unturned when it comes to match preparations, fitness and technical development. And all of these facets of the beautiful game require equipment.

Giving players a safe and constructive environment in which to develop as individuals – and as a team – involves giving them access to the right tools for the job. Every team, from the local pub team to Real Madrid, has to ensure that their coaching inventory is up to the job before the season begins. And there are some items of equipment no team can be without.


Depending on the age group, teams and clubs should ensure that they have a supply of regulation-size balls. In order to ensure effective coaching sessions during which all players in a team get the development they need, it’s a good idea to ensure you have one ball for every player – and around 25 percent more in reserve.

Adult teams will need size-5 balls, but there are also specialist mini footballs available that can be used to develop some very specific skills. For instance, a futsal ball is much smaller and heavier than a standard football. A lot of coaches use futsal as a developmental tool, as it encourages players to pass on the ground more, retain possession and work on their first touch.

Portable goals

Effective training sessions require that different scenarios are set up on training pitches quickly and safely. Teams and clubs that have portable goals in their inventory will be able to set up impromptu matches and training drills very quickly. Some of these goals can be erected in a matter of seconds, and come with their own dedicated carry bag. They are available in free-standing or rooted designs, and they are lightweight and highly mobile for convenience and safety.


The development of control and first touch requires hours and hours of repetition. However, most local teams don’t have the time or the resources to provide the one on one tuition required. A rebounder is a small A-frame with elasticated netting that performs the function of a teammate or coach during touch and control training. The player simply kicks the ball onto the rebounder net, and then brings it under control or kicks it back onto the net when it bounces back. The ball rebounds in unpredictable directions, so players have to use both feet and work on their touch to stay in control.

Coloured bibs

Setting up team-based training drills and training matches is part and parcel of match preparations. However, time is usually of the essence for local teams, and the ability to set up these sessions quickly and without fuss is essential. A set of high-vis, durable and breathable training bibs ensures that teams can be organised in seconds. A range of colours and sizes are available, so players of all age groups can be split into smaller training teams with ease.

Training cones and markers

Whether players are taking part in training matches, fitness sessions or development drills, coaches will usually need to set out the boundaries of their training areas with markers and cones. There are some highly durable, plastic markers and cones on the market that stand up well to being kicked and stood on throughout the course of a season. They come in sets of up to 50, and colour coding means different training areas can be clearly identified by players.

Resistance and strength training equipment

More and more local and amateur football teams are coming round to the fact that strength and conditioning are vital factors in a player’s ability to perform. Strength and conditioning are essential to a player’s ability to use explosive acceleration from a standing start. Lower-body strength is also crucial to a player’s ability to remain balanced and in control of the ball when under pressure from the opposition.

Players don’t need to spend hours at the local gym lifting weights to reap the rewards of strength and conditioning. They can get all the same benefits from having access to some specialised items of equipment.

Dumbbells and kettle bells can be used in a number of ways to develop upper body strength. Power speed resisters use the weight of a teammate to develop a player’s lower-body strength. Resistance bands can be used to strengthen and condition key muscle groups in the both the upper and lower body. And speed parachutes give players the opportunity to work on their lower-body strength without the help of a teammate or coach.

There are several low-cost items of strength and resistance equipment that can help players to maintain their core-body strength throughout the course of a season, including balance boards, fitness rope, ab-wheels, doorway gym bars and medicine balls.

Agility and speed equipment

The ability to use speed and agility to create and prevent opportunities during a match is part and parcel of modern football. The game is faster and more physical than ever before, so working on speed and agility is of paramount importance. Fortunately, football coaches have access to a huge range of equipment that makes setting up the necessary training drills very easy indeed.

Agility hurdles get players working on co-ordination and leg speed, while bounce-back hurdles provide obstacles that simply return back to their original standing position when they have been knocked over by trailing feet. Multi-directional speed ladders allow several players to make use of the same item of equipment at the same time – developing leg speed, lower-body strength and awareness of where other players are. Slalom pole sets can be used to develop ball skills and strengthen the muscles required for effective lateral movement.

Building fitness levels, improving technical skills and cultivating tactical awareness are inescapable facets of football training in the 21st century. Teams that have access to the high-quality equipment needed to deliver this training will maximise their chances of success this season.

Author bio

Malcolm Cox is a journalist, copywriter and blogger who has been writing for online and offline publications for more than 20 years. Specialising in sport – and predominantly football – Malcolm writes extensively for sports equipment retailer The Soccer Store.

Read More

A look at Chris Wilder’s tactics at Sheffield United

It is perhaps no coincidence that the two in-form English managers were honing their craft in the Championship a year before, they now sit...

The Forgotten story of the Basque in South America

This article is sourced from a string of Twitter posts by Impedimento, translated by the author. Exactly 80 years ago, a French steamer called SS...

Manchester United’s biggest transfer mistake of last summer

Manchester United's disastrous run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starting after their famous victory in Paris can be explained due to a multitude of factors....

The tactical flexibility of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton:

  Hasenhuttl has certain areas of the first team’s play that he wants to improve before the Premier League kicks-off again in August. Having arrived...

Mason Mount: Chelsea’s Golden Boy

When Frank Lampard was appointed, Derby County fans everywhere collectively held their breath in the hope of whom his widely spoken about “contacts” might...

A look at Gian Piero Gasperini’s tactics at Atalanta

After almost 3 years with Gian Piero Gasperini at the helm of Atalanta, they finished 3rd in the Serie A this season, securing European...

How will Manchester City lineup in the 2019/20 season

Pep Guardiola will be looking to repeat on last year’s success and win the Premier League title for a third straight year. The Manchester...

Football Tactics for Beginners

Football Tactics For Beginners:How To Watch Football-Part 2

You can read the first part here Defensive Phase I always try to analyse the defensive phase of a team before the attack. Most professional managers...

The Perfect Defensive System #4- Total Football + Gegenpressing

In this new series called The Perfect Defensive System,we invite you the reader to contribute posts on what you think is the best defensive...

Football Tactics For Beginners-The Christmas Tree Formation

  Football is a result oriented business. Whatever succeeds, earns fame for itself and for its conceiver. And if it captures the imagination of spectators...

Football Tactics For Beginners- The 4-4-2 Diamond Formation

The 4-4-2 Diamond formation. Introduction. Whilst the traditional 4-4-2 formation has become less common in recent years, the diamond variation is alive and well. The differences...

The Perfect Defensive System #5- Gegenpressing

In this new series called The Perfect Defensive System,we invite you the reader to contribute posts on what you think is the best defensive...

Football Tactics for Beginners-Compactness

If you have the ball you must make the field as big as possible, and if you don’t have the ball you must make...

The Death Of The Box-To-Box Midfielder.

In English football, some of the most celebrated players in recent history have been the dynamic box-to-box midfielders. Typified by Lampard and Gerrard in...

Conventional wingers: A dying breed?

In the good old days, the rules of playing football were simple, and so were the tactics. The big and sturdy lads played in...

Football Tactics For Beginners: The 4-4-2 Formation

The classic 4-4-2 formation might have become obsolete in the modern game,but there remains a certain charm in this basic but effective formation When football...