Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Using Medicine Ball in Developing Football Techniques

Unlike the standard dead weight Medicine Ball, the KWIK MEDECINE BALL has life (bounce) which makes it useful for many exercises and drills. Field players can use it to improve distance and accuracy of trow-ins, while Goalkeepers can use it to develop techniques. For example, the "pull back" movement (as in baseball catching) is facilitated due to the weighted ball. Some medicine ball activity can be done in seasons or out, outdoors, in gym, basement or living room.

Using the medicine ball for throw-ins develops distance, which in turn helps accuracy. A proper program for use of medicine ball essentially the same for all power work. players throw the medicine ball 6-12 repetitions, then throw a regulation ball 6-12 repetitions. Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 times(set). Using this program every other day (3times a week), for four to six weeks will greatly improve distance.

Essential goalkeeper attributes such as agility, mobility and footwork all begin with flexibility; its weight slows down the movement so that each muscle must work more fully through its range. Here are some Flexibility exercises using Medicine Ball.
  1. Two-handed Bounce/Catch : Keeper stands with feet facing one direction, bounces ball and catches it, using hand and body lift to cushion catch. Without moving feet from original position, and behind player as he/she twist for abdominal flexibility.
  2. Overall Flexibility : Lying on back while holding medicine ball between the feet, the keeper slowly lifts leg overhead to achieve maximum safe stretch. the ball helps the neck, back, trunk and legs to stretch.
  3. Flexibility and Ball Handling : These activities can be done alone or with partner. Alone, keeper rolls the ball on the ground in figure eight patters through legs, then bounces the ball through the legs in various ways, such as front to back, back to front and sideways. These activities can be incorporated into warm-up and stretching.
Another area of keeper techniques is QUICKNESS AND FOOTWORK. here are some suggestions for developing these important qualities using the Medicine Ball.
  1. Quickness of Reflexes and Catching : Keeper faces wall a few yards away. A server behind the keeper throws ball over keeper's head at wall; keeper must react quickly to make the catch. Giving with the weighted ball insure proper techniques.
  2. Footwork : two server alternate serves to each post. Keeper saves the ball at one post, return to its server, and immediately used side to side shuffle to save ball at other post. Steps must be small enough to maintain balance and allow for quick change of direction. After initial stage, serves can be at random, so that the keeper must change direction quickly.   
  1. Strength Development : Working in pairs, each player tries to wrestle the ball away from the others. Using hands only builds a better grip of the ball. Many different starting position can be used, such as lying, kneeling, and sitting.
In the area of catching skill, medicine ball emphasizes several important techniques. try the following progression.
  1. Developing "W" Catch Skill : Modern keeping demands a partial closing of "W" so the fingers are behind the ball. sometime its called "O" catching. Fingertip catching and quietness are emphasized. Begin with ground ball catches with proper form, then sideways catches of low balls.
  2. Diving Saves : In the diving progression, the weight of the ball helps to carry the keeper through the proper motion. Emphasis is on lifting the hips so that hands are free to make saves low, away and high. The medicine ball provides cushion.
Another technical areas is MULTIPLE SAVES. the pace and intensity of this exercises can be adjusted, with frequent breaks for technical training and rapid succession for fitness training.
  1. High/Low Multiple Saves : Server alternates high and low ball for keeper. Emphasize quickness and the proper mental disposition of constant effort until ball is safely in keeper's hand. Do at  three rapid repetitions. Variation include emphasizing 1 area, dives and recovering from dive.
For improving Distribution technique, the medicine ball can be thrown or rolled to targets, improving accuracy, then distance. The keeper throws at a target, keeping score of the number of hits. When the target is hit ten times in a row, increase distance.


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