Pendulum Training
"And when a high ball came, you could move out immediately because you
knew Hulshoff would head it because he was so strong in the air." 3

Sjaak Swart

For children dealing with the ball in the air the first time can be an intimidating experience. If the serve is inconsistent tracking is much difficult and the number of repetitions decreases. Pendulum training gives the coach a useful tool for introducing a variety of "ball in the air" situations with a guaranteed service.

Pendulum trainingIn this example two pendulum trainers have been attached to a goal. The one on the left is set low so that the number 8 can practice volleys and the one on the right is set just over the number 3's head which forces him to jump to make contact with the ball. Pendulum trainers make a good active rest at a practice. Players can easily learn how to adjust them themselves and they offer a constructive use of a few moments when a few players might be waiting to get into a game.

Reedswain sells a video, by Peter Schreiner, that goes into great detail on how to use pendulum training. While a professional level trainer, complete with stand, is available and is a good value to clubs, for the average coach they are not practical. Instead a do it yourself version is both inexpensive, easily portable and quick to put up and take down. Start with a tether ball, available at most sporting goods stores. Tether balls allow a small rope to be easily attached. Duct tape a rod to the first eight inches of rope starting from the ball. This steadies the swing. In the diagram each trainer is attached to the goal in three places. The attachments are made by securely wrapping a bungee cord around the goal and passing it through an O ring. The rope is then passed through the two top O rings and secured to the third. Adjusting the height of the trainer is as simple as sliding the third bungee cord up or down the upright.

While this design limits the amount of swing that the ball can have, for young players it is adequate. The cost is minimal, the two trainers can be transported in a small bag and set up take down can be done in minutes. A good example of a soccer strange activity that can add value as an active rest.

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