As a parent (or coach), when you buy a soccer rebounder, you want to make sure that it’s being used. However, if it doesn’t work properly or have decent functionality – or if it quickly falls apart – you’ve just lost your opportunity to teach your players how to use a rebounder to improve their soccer skills. In addition, you’ve wasted your money. Making sure that you purchase the right rebounder makes all the difference in the world in helping them develop their skills over time.
The following are a few mistakes to avoid when you purchase a soccer rebounder.
Avoid a rebounder with stakes
If you purchase a rebounder with stakes, you are making practice dangerous for the players who are using it. Also, if it needs to be secured, it’s not made to handle the hard shots. This means that it’s basically useless because it’s just going to fall over after a few shots.
Avoid rebounders with bungees
If you will be using (and leaving) the rebounder outside in the elements, you should keep in mind that while a bungee setup can be quite effective, it will also quickly deteriorate when exposed to the elements. The bungees will lose elasticity and eventually break.
A rebounder made with springs is the best option because it will withstand the weather conditions, last longer, and will rocket the ball back to you. The disadvantage is that if they are stretched too far, you’ll need to replace them frequently. The good news though is that both bungees and springs are fairly inexpensive and easy to replace.
Avoid cheaply made netting
You should make sure that your rebounder has all-weather netting. This type of netting is thick, with a smaller, tighter weave. If you leave your rebounder outside all of the time, a rebounder made with poor netting will quickly deteriorate. If the netting is too thin, it will rip if you have any power at all behind your shots. Elastic netting will quickly lose elasticity, which means you have to replace the whole thing.
However, if your rebounder has a small weave, you can practice with smaller balls – like a tennis ball – to enhance your reflexes, coordination, and touch. Decent netting on a rebounder is critical.
Avoid rebounders with cheaply made frames
You want to avoid getting a soccer rebounder with a plastic frame, as this can end up breaking or cracking. This can damage your ball – or possibly cause injury to the player. If you have a rebounder with a lightweight, thin metal frame, it will be likely to bend and maybe even break with any type of powerful shots.
Additionally, you want to avoid frames that have sharp edges, as this could also cause damage to your ball or injury to the player. Be sure to choose a rebounder with a frame made of 1 ½ inch steel, rounded corners, and an all-weather coating.
Avoid rebounders with just one plane
A soccer rebounder with a T-shaped frame is 90 degrees from the ground. While it’s true that it does feed the ball back to you, it does not allow you to work on your aerial control or any other aspects of your game. Obviously, you want to make sure that you can practice as many skills as possible with your rebounder. Since a T-shaped frame limits the skills you can practice, you’ll want to avoid using them.
Avoid a rebounder that does not double as a goal
You want to make sure that you have a soccer rebounder that will double as a goal because the combo of short-side games and working solo can improve the skills of the players because it allows them to get a maximum amount of touches on the ball in a short span of time. Plus, if it doubles as a goal, players are much more likely to play pick-up games, which is the perfect opportunity for them to quickly develop their skills.
Avoid a rebounder that is not portable
While this one is not necessarily a deal-breaker, if you have a rebounder that is not portable, you have to leave it where you set it up. On the other hand, if you have a portable rebounder, you can take it with you to the soccer field or even the park to get a change of scenery for practice. What it all boils down to is this: If it can’t be moved, your player is not likely to use it as much.
As you can see, there are several things to avoid when purchasing a soccer rebounder. If your players can’t use it, or it doesn’t have much functionality, you’re wasting your money – and you don’t want to do that.