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Build more powerful throws with medicine balls.
Medicine balls are shaped like regular sports balls but are weighted to help condition your body. They aren't designed for actual soccer play, but light medicine balls can help you gain proficiency during soccer practice with moves such as throw-ins. Also, the balls help build your core muscles to give you more agility on the field.
Why No Kicking
Medicine balls aren't designed for kicking, even ones meant for use by soccer players. Lightweight soccer balls won't hurt your toes, feet or ankles as you kick, but weighted ones are a different story. You shouldn't use the medicine ball to practice traps, where you stop the ball with parts of your body such as your chest or knee. Also, don't try to head the weighted medicine ball at any time. Even though you can't play a game of soccer with a medicine ball, it can serve as a helpful tool during conditioning and practice.
Getting Your Throws In
Throwing in the soccer ball is an essential part of the game. This takes strategy to know where to place it and the ability to throw it exactly where you want. During practice, use a medicine ball the same size as a soccer ball and practice throw-ins from the side. Practice accuracy as you throw using different angles and distances. Placing cones or markers on the field helps you know how accurate your throws are. Also practice distance throws to build your upper-body strength.
Guarding the Goal
Catching medicine balls helps goalies build their strength and coordination. If you're practicing the goalkeeper position, have a teammate throw the ball from different directions and distances to help you practice catching it. Because the ball is weighted, it provides more resistance than a regular soccer ball. This resistance makes it harder to catch and control the ball, helping you gain dexterity when faced with a regular soccer ball. A medicine ball helps you perfect your throws as well. Use the ball for one-arm throws to build strong muscles and accuracy for when it's time to throw the regular soccer ball toward teammates during the game. Start with the throwing arm bent behind your head and propel it forward past your ear, using your feet to help guide the direction of the ball; your feet should point where you want the ball to go. Work on distance as well as accuracy with the medicine ball.
Ready to Dodge Opponents
Running down the soccer field is rarely a straight shot. Instead, you usually must dodge opponents with quick direction changes, starts and stops. The medicine ball helps build your core muscles so you can handle the fast on-field changes. For example, sit back-to-back with a teammate, and practice turning to the side quickly and exchanging the ball with the teammate. Do 10 turns to each side as the giver and the receiver. Or, holding a medicine ball, try squats with an overhead lift by bending at your waist with your feet shoulder-width apart, then dropping your hips into squat position. Raise the ball over your head and push up through your heels to stand up, keeping your abdominals pulled in tightly.
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