8 Ways a 0g Soccer Trainer Ups Your Freestyle Soccer Game

If you're a freestyle soccer player, you know how difficult it can be to develop new moves and competitive routines. Freestyling takes agility, strength, speed, and seemingly endless amounts of creativity, and the 0g Soccer trainer can be a powerful tool in your freestyle training regimen.

Here's how you can use the 0g Soccer trainer to improve your freestyle soccer game.

1. Get that air

If you're tired of chasing after the ball when you're practicing air moves, then the 0g Soccer trainer will change your life. Because the ball is attached to the 0g Soccer trainer, you'll be able to master even the most complicated footwork without losing control of the ball. You'll spend a lot more time perfecting your moves and a lot less time fetching the ball.

2. Boost your stats

Every freestyler needs strength and agility, and the 0g Soccer trainer helps you boost your skills off the field so you'll perform better on the field. The 0g Soccer trainer is designed to build strength and agility through repetitive movements, and you'll begin to see improvements in just a few weeks of use.

3. Improve your ball sense

Ball sense is critical to a freestyle soccer player's success. The more you use the 0g Soccer trainer, the more you'll learn to play by feel instead of sound. You can boost your ball sense even more by cranking up the tunes while you're using the 0g Soccer trainer so your feet, not your ears, do the work.

4. Take a seat

When you're practicing new seated moves, it's especially difficult to keep control of the ball. That's where the 0g Soccer trainer comes in. Because it keeps the ball contained while you learn, it helps you develop new ground moves faster and with greater control.

5. Nail those tricks

Whether you're a newbie or an experienced pro, freestyle footwork is difficult to master. The 0g Soccer trainer helps newbies tackle moves like the around the world, crossover, or toe bounce, while also helping experienced freestyle players conquer difficult moves like the lemmens around the world or palle around the world.

6. Make it a combo

Once you've mastered a few moves, it's time to move on to combos. Learning how to combine moves without letting the ball juggle is difficult for even experienced soccer players, but the 0g Soccer trainer provides a repetitive approach to training that helps you master combos faster. Use the 0g Soccer trainer to practice your moves while you're watching TV or talking to friends and you'll improve your skills without even feeling like you're practicing.

7. Hit the road

The 0g Soccer trainer is lightweight and portable, and easily fits inside of most car trunks, so you can bring it to practice to get your coach's tips on how to use it best and share it with your teammates so they can improve, too. You can even bring it with you to competitions to make it easier to practice on the road.

8. It's cheaper than a private coach

Let's face it, not everyone can afford a 1:1 private soccer coach to help them improve their freestyle soccer moves. The 0g Soccer trainer is an inexpensive way to build on your skills at home (plus it won't yell at you when you make a mistake!), rain or shine.

How do you use your 0g Soccer trainer to up your freestyle soccer game? Share your tips with us, or tag #0gSoccer in your videos on social media.



 

5 tips Nike taught me about coaching your weakest player

Play shortstop, he said. No longer was I hidden in the outfield. Finally. My moment to shine.

Lost in my head, I visualize myself catching a ball. I swing my left arm up and out.

Thwump.

Wait, what? To my amazement a ball landed in my glove. Uncertain of what to do next. I froze. The world went quiet.

Thud.

The ball fell out of my glove. I look down. The 3rd baseman grabs it. Throws it home. After the runner slides into home plate.

Coach Bushnell yells at me. Unwilling to celebrate my first catch ever.

I,  the weakest player the Angels ever had, am going to share 5 tips I learned, as a member of Nike’s leadership team, to turn your weakest player into a superstar.

Coach Bushnell, I hope you’re paying attention.
 

1. Recognize a soccer star is made. Not born.

It may be cliche, but research shows it’s true. Allow me to explain.

Did you know, world wide, most elite soccer players are born in the first 3 months of the year, and very few born in the last 3?

Why is that? Are November born kids poor athletes, because Pluto, our ruling planet, turned out not to be a planet after all? Noooo.

In most instances, the birth date cut-off for soccer registration is December 31. At that time, coaches are comparing players born In January to players up to 11 months younger.

It would make sense for coaches to favor the bigger, more mature players. From the very beginning, those born earlier in the year have the advantage of being favored by their coach. They’re likely to receive more attention and feedback. Resulting in a boost to their self-esteem. All of which produces a better athlete.

Still not convinced stars are made? Hold my beer.

Up until 2016, select club teams in the US had a cut-off date of August 1. When you examine the makeup of those teams, no longer was there more elite players with birth months January thru March. Now, the majority have birth months May thru June.

What the... Did you drink my beer? Next one’s on you.

Like adults, kids are quick to believe they’re born with limitations. That no matter how much they practice, they’re incapable of doing something.

As a coach, your biggest hurdle in developing your weakest player, is convincing the child they could be a strong player. Children who doubt their abilities frequently fall behind. Regardless of how good of a coach they have.
 

2. Communicate high expectations.

To overcome your player’s doubt, let the child know you’re offering constructive feedback, because you have high expectations for them. Tell them you know they’re capable of meeting those expectations. And you’re invested in helping them be their best. Personalize the message for each player.

Doing so builds trust and creates a growth mindset. Stanford University’s center on learning mindsets reports “decades of research show a powerful link between growth mindset and achievement.” When combined with deliberate practice.

 

3. Practice deliberately.

Deliberate practice is targeted, offers timely feedback, and focuses on execution as much as outcome.

Pick a specific skill for your player to improve upon:

1. Break the skill down into isolated movements.

2. Practice drills to master each movement independently of each other.

3. Finally, perform drills combining all of the movements.

It's just like riding a bike.

When learning to ride, kids 1st learn to pedal with a tricycle.
Next, they advance to a balance bike. To master balance without the distraction of pedaling.
Finally, they quickly transition to a two wheeler to pull it all together.

Choose drills with built-in feedback. Without immediate feedback, the player can’t distinguish good from bad. They will do as they've always done. Further solidifying bad habits.

For instance, with the Zero G Soccer Trainer, if a kick results in the ball going straight up and down the child knows they properly struck the ball.


Timely feedback is critical for identifying and learning from mistakes.
 

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4. Encourage your player to make mistakes.

Deliberately failing during practice is proven to be more beneficial, than being taught to avoid mistakes. Researchers discovered those who purposely made mistakes while learning were faster and more accurate than those who didn’t

The sweet spot for learning is a 30-40% failure rate. Any less than that, we’re bored.  Any more than that, we’re tempted to quit.

The problem is, like adults, kids fear failure...
 

5. Only praise hard work and performance. Not one or the other.

To overcome the fear of failure, create a comfortable environment for learning from mistakes.

Instead of praising players for something that comes easy, praise players when they learn from their mistakes. Acknowledge the guts it takes to risk failure. Especially on the soccer field. With their parents and peers watching them.

Praising a child for easily attained accomplishments produces narcissism, and false self-esteem.

Praising a child when they learn from their mistakes encourages the child to continue risking failure, thereby improving their performance. And builds strong self-esteem.

 

Before you go, I feel the need to inform you I was an absolute rock star on my tee ball team. 

 

Learn more: How the 0g G Soccer Trainer benefits all of your players

7 ways a 0g Soccer Trainer makes life easier for children with autism (and you!)

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If your child has autism, you know the challenges it can present. From difficulty with social communication to meltdowns from sensory overload.

Kids with autism may struggle to cope with everyday life.

But that doesn't mean they can't make huge gains with the right help.

Here's now the 0g Soccer trainer can help make life easier for your child with autism (and you!).

 

1. Reduce sensory overload (and the meltdowns!)

Many kids with autism also have sensory processing disorder (SPD). Kids with SPD have trouble processing sensory input about the world around them, so they tend to lack coordination, can be clumsy, and have difficulty planning their motor activities.

There isn't a single recommended treatment for SPD, but experts recommend sensory integration as part of their treatment plan. The goal of sensory integration is to help kids with SPD improve how they process sensory input.

This is accomplished by exposing them to sensory input in a controlled, repetitive way, in order to let their brains adapt to the exposure. Through time, this can lead to an improved tolerance for sensory input.

That's where the 0g Soccer trainer comes in. Using controlled, repetitive movements, the 0g Soccer trainer helps kids improve how they process sensory input in a manner they'll actually enjoy.

To learn more about how the 0g Soccer trainer can help kids with SPD, click here.

 

2. Improve gross motor skills

Coordination can be challenging for most kids with autism. They lack body awareness, or the sense of where their body is in space. This leads to increased clumsiness and even problems playing simple sports.

Over time, their impaired coordination can even make them less likely to join active games or play with their peers.

The last thing a child with autism needs is more barriers to successful interactions with their peers. The 0g Soccer trainer helps kids improve their coordination and motor skills, which leads to improvements on and off the field.

It also strengthens their leg muscles, addressing common issues like low muscle tone, and offers kids improved body awareness.

 

3. A much-needed confidence boost

Kids with autism often find sports challenging because of the need for social interaction with their peers, onslaught of sensory input, and lack of coordination. And, let's face it, there's nothing fun about playing sports that don't come naturally to you.

The 0g Soccer trainer helps kids with autism improve their sensory tolerance and coordination, helping them to feel good about their game play and their role on a team (or even just playing tag with the neighborhood kids!).

As kids' confidence grows, their willingness to interact with their peers is more likely to grow, too. At the very least, even if they never love sports, they'll gain confidence in themselves and their abilities.

 

4. Play together

Children with autism generally relate better to adults than their peers. This can make it challenging for their parents to find ways for them to get in enough social interaction, especially when their days are filled with therapies and appointments.

A 0g Soccer trainer is a quick and easy way to play with your child that offers the added benefit of acting as a therapeutic intervention.

Make therapy fun by taking turns with your child, or even challenging each other to see who can do the most footwork without losing control of the ball or who can kick the ball the fastest.

 

5. Therapy is expensive, and can be hard to find

In an ideal world, every child with autism would have access to all of the latest breakthroughs in treatments and therapies. Unfortunately, that's not the case and it can be difficult to find qualified therapy providers or to afford them once you do.

The 0g Soccer trainer is an inexpensive, home-based tool you can use to help your child when you're not able to access more conventional treatments.

Use it as part of their daily sensory diet, in lieu of physical therapy to strengthen muscles and improve coordination, or even invite your child's classmates over to play on it as an informal social skills group. Get creative!

 

6. Supplement existing therapies

If your child is already using traditional therapies, don't be afraid to bring the 0g Soccer trainer along. It's easy to move and transport, and it can make a great tool for your child's therapists.

Ask your child's therapists how it can be incorporated into their appointments, or even how you can use it at home to supplement the work your child with autism does in their therapy appointments.

 

7. Let them be repetitive!

One of the primary characteristics of autism is engaging in repetitive behaviors. While it's important to teach your child how to be flexible, instead of needing extreme routines, the 0g Soccer trainer is one thing where it's not just okay, but actually great, to be repetitive!

Giving your child an "approved" place to be as repetitive as they want can be an important tool for helping them overcome their need for routine and repetition in other areas.

Think of it like giving a sensory-seeking child a chew necklace to discourage chewing other objects. The 0g Soccer trainer is their special equipment for repetition, and it will even reward them with improved strength and coordination through time.

Learn more

Soccer trainer for kids with sensory processing disorder

soccer-team-kids-win

If your child has sensory processing disorder (SPD), you know how difficult it can be. Kids with SPD have trouble processing sensory input about the world around them, so they tend to lack coordination, can be clumsy, and have difficulty planning their motor activities. This means they aren't always aware of where their bodies are in relation to people or objects around them, which can make it difficult for them to play with their peers or participate in sports.

 

1. Sensory integration has to be fun

There isn't a single recommended treatment for SPD, but experts recommend sensory integration as part of their treatment plan. The goal of sensory integration is to help kids with SPD improve how they process sensory input. This is accomplished by exposing them to sensory input in a controlled, repetitive way, in order to let their brains adapt to the exposure. Through time, this can lead to an improved tolerance for sensory input.

The problem is that sensory integration is most effective when a child is engaged and having fun. It can be tough to make repetitive tasks fun for kids, but that's where the 0g Soccer trainer can help. Kids love to practice their skills with the 0g Soccer trainer, and it's designed for repetitive play.

 

2. Sports can be overwhelming

Sports are often recommended as a method of sensory integration therapy for children with SPD. However, playing a sport on a team can be challenging for a child with SPD due to the number of players, constant exposure to noise, and impaired motor skills that can make sports difficult. The 0g Soccer trainer offers an alternative to a team sport, allowing kids to get the benefits of sports without playing on a team.

Even if a child wants to work up to playing on a soccer team in the future, the 0g Soccer trainer can be a great way to help them build the tolerance and skills they need to be ready for game play.

 

3. Sensory diets are a must-have

As part of sensory integration treatment, most experts recommend that children with SPD be put on a "sensory diet." What this means is that kids with SPD need structured, controlled exposure to sensory input in a predictable and repetitive way. The 0g Soccer trainer can be used as an integral part of a child's sensory diet. It's easy to use and store, and it offers the type of repetitive movement that kids with SPD need at a price parents can afford.

 

4. Repetitive movements improve coordination

One of the biggest challenges kids with SPD face is lack of coordination. This impacts everything from their ability to play with their peers to access to sports and other activities.

An important aspect of sensory integration treatment for children with SPD is repetitive movements designed to improve their motor function and planning skills. The repetitive nature of the 0g Soccer trainer increases strength and coordination, which is critical for kids with SPD.

 

5. Parents can get involved

One of the major treatment approaches for SPD is DIR Floortime. This treatment model relies on involving the parent or therapist in play with the child. The first phase of DIR Floortime has the parent imitate the child's play, allowing the child to set the tone of the session. Because the 0g Soccer trainer is adjustable, parents can use it, too. This allows the 0g Soccer trainer to be used as part of a DIR Floortime session.

 

6. Mastery builds confidence

When a child struggles with coordination, it can impact their confidence. It's hard to feel clumsy or bad at sports. As kids use the 0g Soccer trainer to improve their soccer skills, their confidence will grow. They'll have fun showing their family and friends how to use it, and they'll enjoy being the "expert."


Over time, the 0g Soccer trainer can help even a reluctant child feel ready to join a soccer team or feel more confident about playing active games with their friends or participating in physical education classes at school.

 

Next: 7 ways a 0g Soccer Trainer helps your child with autism (and you!) 

Why should i invest in 0g soccer trainer?

Top 5 reasons to train with the Zero G Soccer Trainer:

  1. Encourages practice by eliminating boredom. Eliminates boredom by allowing the player to increase/decrease level of difficulty to match skill level. As your soccer player's skill increases, so does difficulty level. The beauty of this is it provides instant positive feedback to the soccer player, which increases willingness to practice. By tailoring the difficulty level to the skill level, the player feels challenged, but not so challenged they feel like a failure.
  2. More ball touches = stronger playerThis soccer trainer allows you to practice rain or shine, indoors or out. All year long. 
  3. *Bilateral Development.  Being too dependent on one's stronger foot is a major weakness for many players. It compromises plays requiring your soccer player to make use of their weaker foot, such as a last gasp clearance or shooting chance. Elite soccer players do it all with either foot.  
  4. *Proprioception training reduces ACL injuries. Furthermore, The ability to control feet without looking at them is key to success on the field. It's difficult to begin dribbling a soccer ball with your eyes closed or juggle on a single leg freestyle, but with the trainer it's both possible and beneficial. 
  5. Increases core strength. Every powerful movement initiates from the core. Sit-ups or crunches insufficiently develop the 29 muscles making up your player's core, and what kid wants to do crunches anyway? Make it fun with Zero G.

Could you accomplish all of this without the Zero G Soccer trainer? Yes, but it requires a level of time, commitment and dedication most youth players lack (not to mention most adults lack). The cost of a Zero G Trainer is a small investment in your youth soccer player, offering huge returns both on and off the field.

Inspiration to keep doing soccer drills

Keep doing your soccer drills and you too could make our Top 5 list. Here's our Top 5 collection of freestyle soccer videos on YouTube.   What's your favorite? 

1. Insane football / soccer skills - Andrew Henderson

2. Cristiano Ronaldo AMAZING Freestyle football / soccer skills

 

3. Freestyle soccer / football tricks: Strange choice in music, but very cool

 

4. World Cup 2014 Remi Gaillard: Not exactly juggling, but too awesome not to share

5. Sean Garnier insane street soccer / football skills


Top 5 - Things to bring to the soccer field

Clocks have sprung forward in preparation of Winter's demise. One glance at your facebook feed tells you everyone is on board with putting winter to bed for 2015.  Despite the cold temps, and snow covered grounds,  Ice Cream shops have opened, motorcycles are on the road, and spring soccer is upon us!  To help bring your soccer mojo out of hibernation, here is our Top 5 Product list for the 2015 soccer season.

 

1.  Zero G Soccer trainer. Forgive me for tooting our horn, but, well, how could i not..

  • Problem: Drills to develop the weaker foot are necessary to improve your game.  Kids give up out of frustration.
  • Solution:  This soccer trainer eliminates the frustration by allowing your player to increase/decrease speed of descent to match their abilities.  Use it in home, or on the field, to master foot control and improve your player's game. #buynow 
  • Fine Print: My kids tell me I use hash tags incorrectly. When they learn how to clean up after themselves, I'll learn how to use hash tags #NeverGoingToHappen.

2. PUGG 6ft Soccer Goal

  • Problem: Sometimes you need a soccer net up and sometimes you need it down. Quickly. Who wants to waste time putting stakes in the ground, tying this and tying that? Not me. 
  • Solution: The Popup PUGG Soccer goal.  Easy to put up. Easy to take down. Easy to travel with. Did I mention it was easy? 
  • Fine print: Ideal for youth players.  Big kids may need a bigger net. 

3. Bonza Sport Gear Bag and Seat

  • Problem: Forgetful kids resulting in lost or forgotten equipment necessary for game day.  
  • Solution: Bonzo Sport provides cleverly designed storage AND seating in one. Eliminate your trips to the car for the forgotten equipment, and take a seat!   
  • Fine Print:  Children may forget to bring the bag. You've been warned.

4. SKLZ Star-Kick Soccer trainer

  • Problem: Kids give up on juggling because they're tired of chasing the ball.
  • Solution: Tie the ball around your waist using the SKLZ Star-kick soccer trainer. Simple and smart.
  • Fine print: Build a strong foundation with Zero G, then introduce this trainer when they've mastered the basics of juggling, but not quite ready to ride without training wheels. 

5. Kwik Goal 6-Seat Kwik Bench

  • Problem: April Showers bring may flowers, and damp soccer fields. Who wants to sit in the mud?
  • Solution: Keep your bottoms clean with the kwik goal 6 seat kwik bench. Portable, sturdy, comfy. What more could you ask for?
  • Fine Print: Could also be used as a nice little napping spot for an overworked soccer Mom, but don't let the Coach catch you. #frownedupon