From size one to size five balls, you can use every ball, even a tennis ball to develop your football skills in your training sessions at home or your local park. Learn how to pick your ball with this easy guide.
If your child is interested in the game of football/soccer and you want to buy them a ball, then you have countless types of brands and sizes to choose from.
Can you use any size ball you want?
You can use whichever sized ball you want for sure. It would be better to stick to the guidelines for the specified age groups but with the bigger balls for the younger kids, make sure that they are light enough to kick without getting injured.
Ball sizes that I use in my Skills Development Program.
Ages 3 and under: size 1 or 2
Ages 3 to 5: size 1, 2 or 3
Ages 5 to 8: size 1, 2,3 or 4
Ages 8 to 11: size 1,2,3 or 4 (Tennis ball for advanced skill level)
Ages 12+ : size 1,2,3,4 or 5 (Tennis ball for advanced skill level)
Depending on how quickly the player is developing and what skills are being taught then, sometimes it’s important to change the size of the ball. For example, a 3-year-old can easily trip over a size 5 ball but may not want to use a tennis ball as they haven’t developed their skills enough.
Juggling skills are very important for a player‘s first touch. Once they master the skill with the appropriate size for their age, they can begin to go down to a smaller size to perfect their touch. For example, professional players will juggle a tennis ball to develop faster.
Kicking the ball using various techniques is very important, but so is the right weighted ball. When a kid tries to kick a ball with power but can’t, it could be because the ball is too heavy, and it will also affect their technique. The number one rule in my Soccer For Kids Programs is that the player must be able to control the power of the ball and if not, we must use a lighter ball.
FOOTBALL BALLS’ TOP TIPS
⚽ Try not to kick flat balls because it can put the ball out of its natural shape and not give you the right feeling on contact
⚽Make sure the ball is light enough
⚽Always kick with both feet
⚽Learn how to kick with different types of spin
⚽Once you develop more power, use a harder or bigger ball
⚽If the ball floats when you kick it, you need a better-quality ball
⚽Develop all the different types of technical kicking skills using different sized balls
⚽Get a feel for the different types of balls
⚽Don‘t head the ball until you develop your neck muscles; kids use a very light volleyball, plastic ball or even a balloon until you understand how to head the ball correctly
⚽Kids playing around or inside the house use a light or plastic ball, so you don‘t break anything
⚽Professional players use a tennis ball or size 1 to improve their 1st touch
⚽Professional players should use size 4 balls to shoot with, so that they don‘t overload their muscles but keep their shooting skill finely tuned
As a soccer coach, I believe that it is essential to use different sized balls so that my students can perfect their technical skills and continue to develop their goal-scoring abilities. Using a smaller ball allows the brain to pinpoint the sweet spot more often, which gives you more consistent results with the size five ball.