There’s a simple theory among sports coaches: make something really hard in training, and when it comes to the game, it’ll become easy.
No wonder there are so many stories about Brazilians who honed their skills booting a tangerine/dead guinea pig around the favelas, and thus found juggling a normal sphere a doddle.
More after the break
Now sports entrepreneur Glenn Robertson has cleverly applied this approach to goalkeepers and devised the ‘Responseball’.
Branded as ‘the ball with bumps’, the training aid is just that: a football with strategically-placed lumps which, when propelled towards a keeper, bounces unpredictably, helping to hone the custodian’s reactions.
“I wanted to create something that would help youth coaches who may not have specialist goalkeeping knowledge to sharpen up their keepers,” says Robertson.
“It works very well and is being used at all levels. Andy Fairman, the coach at Blackpool, is a big fan, and the staff at Liverpool, West Ham and many other clubs are also using them.”
Pictured are the original ‘Origin’, which costs £18, and the beastly ‘Max’ (£35), a low-bouncing version that weighs twice as much and helps improve handling strength (we don’t recommend trying to kick it).
The big match will be a piece of cake after a session with one of these.
Find out more at responseball.com