If you come from a humble upbringing, you probably didn’t even have a ball as a kid. You would simply pick up whatever object looked like a ball and kick it around. Often barefoot. However, when you start competing, either in amateur or professional leagues, you must have the right accessories. This football equipment list focuses on the essential gear that any team must have.
It sounds obvious, but if you have a limited budget for your team, good training footballs should be your priority.
FIFA ball regulations leave room for small variations in ball size, weight, air pressure and materials. Although the differences between FIFA approved balls are minimal, they do have an impact in the game. You want to train with balls that are the same brand and type that those used in the league your team plays.
Ideally you want to have one ball available per player in your squad. This will enable each player to work on drills designed to improve each individual player skills. However, this is not always possible. If your budget is tight, you should have at the very least two footballs. Having two footballs will enable the team to work on possession drills, game situations and even play an actual game between members of the team. If you lose or burst one of the balls during training, having a second ball will enable your team to continue your training session.
For a 11 aside team, a happy medium is to have 2 balls of the same type used in your league and a minimum of 4 to 6 balls that are slightly cheaper. Even in amateur leagues, your team should have at least the 11 main players turning up for training. Having 6 balls will enable your team to work on drills that require to work in pairs.
When we were kids we would make up a football pitch and the goals with our jumpers, rocks or whatever we had on hand. Cones are a step-up from this and are cheap accessories. They are versatile, they can be used to mark playing areas, set up sprinting courses, training routines or a pitch for a small sided game. Cones are sold in a variety of packs and sizes.
At the very minimum you should have 4 cones. This number of cones will enable you to build a square box in where your team can execute a number of drills. The size and shapes of the cones is irrelevant. However, you get more for your money if you buy bulk disc cones. These type of cones are tough, resistance to stepping and falling, and automatically deform after being pressed to avoid injury to the user.
Disc cones often come in packs of 20 to 50 cones of different colors. These cones are made of eye-catching colors to be easily spot in raining days or when the sun is too bright. Some packs are sold with a mesh carrying bag or a holder.
In pick-up games, when the weather is hot, it is common that one team plays shirts off. Not a pretty sight when you are older and out of shape though. If you are serious about training, you must have sets of football vests of different colors. Vests are a convenient way of distinguishing players while on the training field.
The vests you buy should be designed to last, as well as being extremely lightweight and quick drying. You want vests made of a nylon mesh specially designed for sports. This type of fabric means your players will not get overheated in scorching summer weather or have to remove layers to ensure a perfect fit in the winter. Avoid jerseys with open sides, the straps that join the front with the back of the vest are often ripped off.
Vests come in a variety of colors and sizes. You should buy a pack of a size that is easy to be interchanged among your players. I recommend you favor big sizes over small sizes. Loose fitting is not a problem for training. On the other hand, if all your jerseys are small, your players may not be able to wear them at all.
If your budget is tight, buy at least 6 jerseys. This number will allow you to play a small game or run drills with your starting lineup. 6 players will wear vests, the goalkeeper and the remaining players won’t. You will need to make sure that the players not wearing vests are wearing clothes of colors that don’t clash with the training vests. Saying that, most vest packs available online are sold by the dozen.
It is very common to use cones to mark goals. You can even use a pair of jumpers, rocks or whatever you have nearby. However, not having actual goals is often a source of discussions between teams. You also have to constantly retrieve the ball from behind the goal. This football equipment list wouldn’t be complete without goals in it.
While you can buy mountable 7 aside or even 11 aside size goals, you want small and easy to store goals. The goals need to have a size small enough to be challenging, but possible to consistently hit the target from distance. Many products in the market have folding capabilities to conveniently carry and store away.
Look for goals with a rebounding net that bounces the ball back to you. With a rebounding net, you can perform the drills as fast as possible without the ball getting stuck in the net. Some foldable goals also act as a bouncing wall, ideal for individual training.
With two small portable goals and a set of cones, you don’t need an actual football pitch to practice. You can organise a small game or football drill anywhere: a parking lot, the local park, the street, etc. There is no excuse for not training.
The final item in our football equipment list are water bottles. This may come as a surprise, but water is essential. You must take breaks to hydrate during training, especially in hot weather. You don’t need to buy water bottles for your team, you can simply ask players to bring water themselves. However, when you do this, many players will forget to bring their own drinks. You want to provide drinks for your team.
Hygiene is also extremely important, you don’t want your players to get sick from drinking water. Purchase squeeze bottles with squirt lids that allow players to share bottles without sharing germs. You must wash the bottles after each training, look for water bottles that are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Remember, you must drink water. Make sure you are sipping on water continually throughout your training sessions. You must ensure that there are several opportunities to take on water during training.
This football equipment list covered the very essentials. However, there is a multitude of accessories that will help you to improve your training sessions. For more accessories and equipment visit our shop section or Amazon’s soccer equipment section .