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Toca Football / Small Ball Training

05 Apr

Saw an ad for this company on a Soccer America email and checked it out. Interesting. Basically a jugs machine with a feeder with some added features (and I don’t say that to undercut its functionality but merely to provide context).

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 8.25.05 AM

Some added features of course are the feeder but also that it can be programmed and controlled via an iOS app (seems not Android; it specifically says iOS), in addition to a wide range of angles and speeds. For the full description, and some good graphics, of its capabilities, see here.

From a coaching standpoint, however, I’m probably (read: definitely) not going to foot the $8500 bill for one. But the site focuses on the advantages of small-ball-training. Eddie Lewis, the former USMNT player, founded the company after training with tennis balls in college to improve his first touch and buying a tennis ball feeder to make more efficient that training method.

Toca then seems to be not only selling a piece of equipment but also a training philosophy, that of small-ball-training to improve first touch. The Toca balls are smaller than a traditional ball.

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 8.29.17 AM

And Toca seems to market not only the trainer itself but also the idea of training centers, ‘staffed’ with a number of the trainers for use by teams or personal coaches.

An interesting both business model and approach to training, technology-independent.

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