UNC Women’s Soccer Twitter feed posted this. Probably a bit above the skill level of my players, but a fun thing to try, perhaps.
Saw GE do this today. Liked the simplicity and the pace.
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).
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.
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.
The number of players on the outside of course can be adjusted; I might add in a weak foot round; and goalies can collect and distribute in the middle with a focus on good form.