|When you are looking for a new soccer ball, you are bound
to notice that there is a huge variation in prices. Many people look at
the price difference, and then promptly choose the cheapest ball. However,
this is not always the best choice. There are several factors you need
to consider when choosing a ball and price is at the bottom of the list.
1. Choose a ball that is the correct size - Generally, younger players
need a size three, pre-teens need a size four, and teens and adults need
a size five. However, this varies in different leagues. Itís important
for you to practice with the same size as you will be using in game play
so that you can get used to the way the ball plays off your foot and the
way it moves through the air.
2. Choose an indoor or an outdoor ball - Indoor balls are made specifically
for the conditions of indoor soccer and are very different from other types
of soccer ball. Choose the ball that suits your normal practice and play
3. Choose a ball made of the right material for your needs - If you
are looking for a bargain, rubber balls seem like a good deal. They are
not only cheap, but durable. However, they are nothing like the balls used
in league play. Any practice using a rubber soccer ball will be wasted
because the feeling, texture, and movement are so much different from other
types of ball. PVC is a little more expensive and gives a better feel,
although it has a plastic feel that is not as good as other materials.
Leather is a more expensive option, but it tends to absorb water and become
too heavy for play. For this reason, most leagues use a moderately priced
polyurethane ball, a synthetic material that is similar to rubber but more
durable and water resistant.
4. Choose a ball with the right type of bladder - The bladder is the
inside part of the ball and gives the ball its shape and movement. Butyl
bladders are the type used in cheaper balls. While they hold air well,
they are not as responsive as latex bladders. Latex bladders are used in
the higher quality balls and give the best play. They lose air more quickly
than other bladder types and thus must be inflated more often, but they
are overall the best choice for the price.
5. Choose a ball with the right panel number and design - The number
of panels determines how the ball moves through the air as well as how
much control the players have. This can range from 32 panels for an original
type soccer ball to a 6 paneled ball meant for indoor soccer. Generally,
a ball with fewer panels will be more aerodynamic and faster, while a ball
with more panels will be more controllable and playable. The United States
Major League Soccer currently uses an 18 panel ball, and this seems to
be the case in most other professional level leagues.
6. Choose a ball that is the right weight - Generally, the lighter ball
is the preferred one. If the ball is too heavy, it may hurt to kick it
very hard and lose momentum quickly.
7. Choose a ball that is neither too soft nor too firm - A hard ball
will hurt feet and heads, while a soft ball will be too bouncy. Choose
a happy medium for best success.
8. Choose a ball that is sewn together - There are a wide variety of
ways to put together a soccer ball, but none are as durable or easy to
use as a ball with sewn together panels. The other balls are so flimsy
they are almost disposable, so always choose a ball that has been sewn
rather than glued or otherwise bonded.
9. Choose a ball that is the right price - A good soccer ball can usually
be bought for around fifty dollars, which seems like a high price unless
you are considering the craftsmanship, quality materials, and research
that go into a ball of this caliber. However, for childrenís play, a cheaper
ball is more practical. But as you move into more and more competitive
teams, you will generally need a higher quality and more expensive ball.
10. Choose a brand that suits your tastes and your needs - The difference
between the different brands is not always quality so much as the research
and the way they are made. You can try different brands to see which ones
work for you and then look at the different prices within that brand. The
major brands such as Nike, Puma, and Adidas offer balls in a wide variety
of price ranges, most of which are high enough quality for an amateur.
11. Choose a ball that is as similar as possible to the one your league
will be using in games - Thereís no use practicing on a ball that will
be different than the one used in your games. All of your passes, shots,
and ball skills will need to be different as well, giving you a disadvantage
when it comes to being successful. Keep in mind that choosing a high quality
soccer ball that meets your unique needs is the first step to finding success
on the soccer field.