Learning how to master a soccer ball can take a lot of time with a lot of practice thrown in. Repetitive actions can help ball control, passing technique, and how to shoot the ball properly.
However, with a regular ball it can become burdensome to come up with new drills without large areas in which to play.
What if you only have limited outdoor space?
Smart soccer balls are ideal for enhancing skills in tight spaces. Whether that is in front of the television using a smart app or with a microchip that can record your performance.
That sense of accomplishment and progression can really help a player’s confidence. Even becoming two-footed can make a player truly sought-after, even first-pick on the team.
Table of Contents
- Best For Skills – DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball
- Best For Keepie-Uppies/Ball Juggling – Smart Ball
- Best For Curling Shots – Kickerball Curve And Swerve Soccer Ball
- Best For Becoming Two-Footed – SenseBall Soccer Kick Trainer
- Best For Improving Passing And Ball Control – SKLZ Star-Kick Hands-Free Adjustable Solo Soccer Trainer
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best For Skills – DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball
One of the most technologically advanced smart soccer balls out there is the DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball. Its use of iOS and Android compatibility with a tailored app should really enhance a player’s skills.
The Live Training App includes on-demand classes to practice real moves that you could use during a match.
That sense of learning in real-time and gaining confidence can be enhanced by joining a live class with a Pro Trainer too.
The ball itself is high-quality, which you would expect when hoping to replicate the skills on the field.
DribbleUp also includes a mini stand to ensure that your smartphone or tablet remains in place to track your moves which we liked in our testing. For a game-ready ball to learn from with exciting drills included, this is one to consider.
- iOS And Android Compatibility – The soccer ball will work with any tablet or smartphone with iOS 12+ and/or Android 8+
- Mini Stand – Ideal for placing your smartphone or tablet
- Live Training App – Use the app for on-demand classes or join in live
- Durability – This is a high-quality soccer ball that should not fade over time
- Versatility – Ideal for beginners looking to learn or more experienced players to master their skills
- Price Tag – There is a lot included with the DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball yet it does come with a large price tag
- Smart Soccer Ball / Football: Hand-stitched, match quality soccer ball connects to the DribbleUp app. The remarkably durable ball doesn’t require any batteries or charging.
- Interactive Training Library: Virtual trainers take your skills to the next level. Live audio and virtual cones provide instant training feedback.
- Track Your Progress: The app gives graded breakdowns of your performance to hold you accountable like a coach. Use it to track and share your improvement over time.
- Live Classes: DribbleUp’s world-class soccer trainers go live daily to teach your kids the skills they need to improve. Up to 30 classes a week, there’s never a shortage of new practice drills and expert-level instruction. Optional paid subscription for live an on demand library.
- The Ultimate Gift: Already have the jerseys and cleats? The ball has drills suitable for players of all levels and ages, from kids to pros. It’s available in size 4 for youth boys and girls under 12 years old and size 5 for older players.
Also available directly from DribbleUp
Best For Keepie-Uppies/Ball Juggling – Smart Ball
A key skill to practice learning is ball juggling, otherwise known as keepie-uppies. All the greats of the game have practiced it, from Diego Maradona to Pele and Lionel Messi. Now you can too with the Smart Ball.
It can get distracting trying to keep up counting and you may forget how many repetitions you have completed. Not anymore as this Smart Ball will do the counting for you, up to 100.
The counter sensor is essential for progress as you can gradually increase how many you manage in one session. Great for day-on-day improvement.
There is versatility too as you can swap out the sensor and just use the soccer ball for a match with some friends. For added convenience, a pump and carry bag is included so you barely have an excuse not to bring it with you.
There is also the choice of two colors; pink and blue which we liked in our testing.
- Counter Sensor – Concentrate on your skills by letting the ball do the counting for you
- Includes Pump And Carry Bag – Keep the ball inflated and easy transportation
- Two Colors – Choose from blue or pink
- Limited Skill – Though keepie-uppies are an ideal skill to learn, it is not very useful during a match
- AMAZING SOCCER BALL: Introducing the latest innovation in football, Smart Ball Kick Up Counting with lights and sounds. This amazing soccer ball allows you to challenge yourself and your friends to see who can pull off the most tricks. Use your feet, legs, knees, chest and shoulders to prevent the smart ball from hitting the ground and it will count every time it makes contact with you.
- Light & Sound Features: As you reach key milestones, the smart ball will speak words of encouragement to cheer you up as you challenge yourself to keep the ball in the air, and for even more fun, the smartball lights up every time it comes into contact with your body.
- Challenge Friends: Compete with your friends to see who can get closer to magic 100 kickups
- PERFECT GIFT FOR FOOTBALL FANS: If you are looking for a birthday gift, Christmas gift or other event, the smart soccer ball is the perfect gift for football fans aged 6 and up
- Practice: Ideal for practicing your kicks and freestyle skills.Note: Please use the Smartball for its intended use. Do not hit against a hard surface, such as a wall. This could damage the Smartball
Also available directly from Smart Ball
Best For Curling Shots – Kickerball Curve And Swerve Soccer Ball
Soccer balls move in the air and there are so many ways to deceive a goalkeeper with your shot. Whether you want the ball to curl, dip, or bend one way then the other, learning how a ball moves is a great skill to learn.
That is where the Kickerball Curve And Swerve Soccer Ball comes in. With aerodynamic materials and their own designed paneling, you can learn how to curve and bend the ball.
Available in four colors, including green, blue, orange, and traditional black and white, the ball also glows in the dark. Ideal for playing in the sunshine but also when the sun goes down, which we liked in our testing.
Visibility is really important for the player and the goalkeeper and this ball will not let you down. The smart soccer ball comes with a set of instructions to show the player how to make the ball move in certain ways.
Soon enough you can practice free-kicks and set-pieces that will confuse any goalkeeper.
- Trick Shots – Practice your curving shots, dipping shots, and swerve shots with ease
- Detailed Instructions – A set of instructions are included so you can practice certain ball movements
- Aerodynamic Materials – The ball should move in the air quite freely
- Available In Four Colors – Find the right color for you from orange, green, blue, and traditional black and white
- Not For Regulation Soccer – This is considered a light football that is not designed for match purposes
- 【Introducing THE KICKERBALL by Swerve Ball】 The only ball that lets you BEND, CURVE & SWERVE with ease. Using aerodynamic materials and special patent-pending paneling, the KickerBall is a fun new way to take your soccer skills to the next level as an indoor soccer ball or outdoors soccer ball. You will love Kickerball if you are a soccer player or just looking for a fun outdoor ball; makes a great toy soccer ball for kids, for adults, for anyone looking for a new cool way to have soccer fun.
- 【ANYONE can PLAY like the Pros】 You don't need to be an experienced athlete to have fun with this ball. Each KickerBall includes a set of directions that will help you curve and swerve in no-time, making this soccer toy an amazing gift for any sports fan! Regardless of your skill level of your soccer/ football skills, the KickerBall is designed to bring a different experience to your game. KickerBall is a size 4 soccer ball; a great soccer ball for kids.
- 【Made with SPECIAL Aerodynamic MATERIALS】 Our new and improved design gives you performance and durability that will enhance your soccer games. Whether you are at the beach, backyard or on the field, KickerBall will give you the ability to bend it like the professionals. Rigorous testing both on the field and in the labs makes this soccer toy /football toy a true one of a kind experience. Whether you are shopping for a soccer fan or looking for a soccer gift – KickerBall is a great soccer toy.
- 【Special Panels make this ball SUPER FUN & EASY to bend】 Our proprietary design wasn't created to be a regulation ball; it was designed to take your trick shots to the next level. You will find that the KickerBall will become an instant classic with friends and family - whether you are competing for the craziest curves or most insane goals. Both indoor soccer and outdoor soccer shoot outs and meet-ups are super fun with this toy soccer ball, Kickerball similar to a boomerang.
- 【You can even USE IT to TRAIN】 KickerBall makes for a great training tool for goalkeepers. The bends you get from the KickerBall will have any defender guessing where the next strike will be. KickerBall is easy on the hands but much harder to stop - ultimately giving the goalkeeper a different approach to defending the goal. Although Kickerball is a toy soccer ball – you will definitely challenge the goalkeeper or any wall that is in your way. Curve and swerve like never before with KickerBall!
Also available directly from Incredible Inventions
Best For Becoming Two-Footed – SenseBall Soccer Kick Trainer
Being a truly two-footed soccer player can be really useful, and make you sought-after on the field. The confidence to use both feet can make a player comfortable on the ball and able to get out of difficult situations.
The SenseBall Soccer Kick Trainer is one that is used by professionals and has been implemented by the Belgian FA and at elite clubs such as AC Milan, Sevilla FC, and Kansas City.
This smart soccer ball is specifically aimed at players aged between six and 20 years. Not only can it improve bilateral activity but reaction times, which we enjoyed in our experience of this product.
Precise leg movements become quicker and online exercise videos can really improve a player’s rhythm with the ball. Improve your concentration, coordination, and ball mastery with the SenseBall Soccer Kick Trainer.
- Quicker Reactions – Improve your reaction time with a ball that will help you improve your rhythm
- Aids Bilateral Activity – Become two-footed with a ball that encourages you to play with both feet
- Used In Pro Clubs – You can trust a ball that has been used by the Belgian FC as well as AC Milan and Kansas City
- Lack of Instructions – Some users have noted that the smart soccer ball could do with a set of instructions
- TRAIN LIKE PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS: SenseBall is the smart soccer trainer ball for kids age 6-20 used by the youth teams of more than 500 soccer clubs and federations such as the Belgian FA, AC Milan, Leicester City, Rangers FC, Sporting Kansas City, Sevilla FC, Real Sociedad, RSC Anderlecht, KRC Genk, RCSC Charleroi, FC Nantes, FC Metz, FC Lugano, etc. SenseBall is the ONLY soccer kick trainer recommended by professionals soccer clubs.
- INDIVIDUAL SOCCER TRAINING PROGRAM: Check out our technique and control improvement programmes on the app. In each SenseBall, you will find an access code to the app with 50 exercise videos, a didactical program and 2 videoconferences. You can create your own training routine with these programmes that will help you with all the detailed information on the movements to be performed. Use it to learn how to play with your weak leg. It will be like having a personal soccer coach.
- MASTER THE SKILLS OF MODERN SOCCER: This size 3 soccer training equipment is ideal to improve your soccer skills: by repeating hundreds of times the exercises, you will improve in ball control, in driving and kicking the ball perfectly with both feet. Acquire faster and more accurate passing, better rhythm and overall touch. Speed up your decision making. Play quickly and accurately in crowded areas. Improve your concentration, perception, coordination and synchronization.
- BECOME A TWO-FOOTED SOCCER PLAYER: SenseBall soccer kick trainer is designed on the principle of bilateral activity. Thanks to the practice of this training tool, you make an average of 500,000 touches of the ball in one season and use your left foot as many times as your right foot. You constantly alternate between your left and right foot, thus ensuring myelination (the recording of information in the long-term memory).
- AVOID INJURIES: Rebalance your body positioning, prevent the development of posture problems and chronic soccer injuries. It is an ideal soccer gift for boys and girls who do not have the possibility to train in large open spaces, or who want to sharpen their skills with training sessions at home.
Also available directly from SenseBall
Best For Improving Passing And Ball Control – SKLZ Star-Kick Hands-Free Adjustable Solo Soccer Trainer
For learning skills and ball control in limited spaces, you really should consider the SKLZ Star-Kick Hands-Free Adjustable Solo Soccer Trainer.
With a top-quality adjustable cord that stretches up to 18 feet, this can be used in the garden with no danger of the ball going too far and having to chase it.
The smart soccer ball is designed to enhance solo play and certain skills. These should include passing technique, ball control, and shooting for outfield players which we liked in our testing.
Even a goalkeeper can improve their reflexes and learn how to wear the right gear as a neoprene ball glove is included. Maximize your technique, without having to chase the ball.
- Solo Play – There are several skills to learn, from passing technique to ball control, and shooting while the smart soccer ball is suitable for outfield players and goalkeepers
- High-Quality Cord – Stretching up to 18 feet means less time chasing the ball
- Ideal For Training In The Garden – Only a small amount of space is required to use the SKLZ Solo Soccer Trainer and a lot of gardens should accommodate that
- Short Cord – Some users have noted that the cord could be longer
- Solo soccer trainer returns the ball to the Player, for independent drills that build skills in Shooting, passing, receiving, juggling, throw ins and more
- Adjustable neoprene ball glove fits soccer ball sizes 3, 4, and 5 (ball Not Included)
- Neoprene belt with adjustable hook and loop closure fits Players of most sizes
- A high quality adjustable cord attaches the ball to the Player, and stretches up to 18 Feet (5.5 meters)
- Ideal for both field Players and goalies; tether is Portable for solo Play, practice, and training Anywhere
Also available directly from bbbsports
Smart soccer balls are another example of the gamification of fitness and a way for technology to improve your specific skills.
Whether that is through a ball that talks or via specific drills being played on a smartphone or tablet.
Soccer balls are no longer just pumped up spheres of material, with only a microchip or a certain accessory you can get so much more out of them.
While parents may be alarmed by kids wanting to play with a soccer ball in the living room, that may be the best place for a smart soccer ball.
That includes the DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball which uses an app to enhance football skills. You can also expect some progression, as the player’s skills improve and their feet become quicker you can expect increasingly more difficult and complicated drills.
Augmented reality can really help with smart soccer balls and here you can practice your accuracy by directing the ball at certain targets on the screen.
Computer vision technology tracks the movement of the ball to record each repetitive action as it happens. As you become more accurate and increasingly hit the targets, your touch will improve.
Alternatively, a ball on a tether can also help with ball-handling skills which is ideal for a goalkeeper. Having the ball bouncing back at them can really help with a goalkeeper’s reaction speed and reflexes.
Practicing your juggling skills can also be a lot easier when the smart soccer ball does the counting for you. You can also expect some sense of progress with this activity as the player strives to achieve more repetitions and hit certain goals.
Technology is improving so you could also find a smart soccer ball that measures how hard you have kicked it in kilometers per hour.
You can also find a smart soccer ball like the Kickerball Curve and Swerve Soccer Ball that can teach a player how to produce curling shots.
This is an important skill to learn because it can be used during a game to deceive a goalkeeper. By knowing how you can curl, dip and confuse a goalkeeper, you can increase your chances of scoring in a match.
By having a soccer ball in such close proximity, you should see the player develop bilateral talent. That is where they can use both feet which is an increasingly sought-after skill to have in modern players.
If the player is constantly touching the ball and alternating between their left and right foot, they should become strong with either. The practice can even promote myelination, better known as muscle memory.
Just as with any soccer ball, the material is critical for durability and feel. A hand-stitched or machine-stitched ball that is good enough to use in a match is ideal.
Not only will this be a long-lasting ball, but you can also get some good practice with how certain skills should feel during a match.
Nylon is typically a good material to look out for as this means a strong exterior. The material should be smooth so the ball can move aerodynamically and across grass or a carpet.
You may find with a lot of smart soccer balls that they do require inflation.
While the material may be durable, the ball itself still requires pumping to maintain its expected performance. Some manufacturers include a pump or you may have to buy one yourself.
One great way to find out if a smart soccer ball comes recommended is to see if any professional clubs or soccer players have used it.
If the incentive for the smart soccer ball is to improve individual skills then that may have been noticed by the professionals.
This should be a major plus point for the manufacturer so they should boast about it.
The focus should still be on youth development and top-tier soccer clubs and federations may already be using the smart soccer ball for their academies.
Endorsements should include the names of those clubs or federations and you should expect age groups from six years and up to be using the ball.
Some smart soccer balls can still function like a regular, regulation match-ready soccer ball. With that versatility you are essentially buying two footballs in one, you can practice with it and then play a match with it.
If this is an intention then ensure that you check the size. Some smart soccer balls can be smaller simply to improve your skills which will make a marked difference when you try out the same skills.
If you do check the ball size then sizes 3 and 4 are ideal for children younger than 12. A size 5 soccer ball is better for older players.
There are also smart soccer balls that will include lights and sounds for certain functions. If you do intend to use a soccer ball for a match, one that makes noise and lights up probably is not ideal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Smart Soccer Ball?
A smart soccer ball is advanced from a regular soccer ball. That can be through technology or an accessory that means you can use it differently from a ball you would use for a match.
These balls have been designed to enhance certain skills. Whether that be ball juggling, pass control, or various skills.
Some smart soccer balls include a microchip that can connect to a tailored app. With a smartphone or tablet, you can use the ball and let the app judge your performance.
This can provide real-time analysis of your skills so you can improve over time through practice. You can also learn new drills and exercises via a video with a certified soccer trainer.
Other smart balls are not as technologically advanced yet can still improve your skills. This may be via a design that counts your touches and even lights and sounds to make the exercise more enjoyable.
Other balls can use an adjustable cord for intimate, intense exercises that mean you do not have to chase a football.
How Do Smart Soccer Balls Work?
There is a simple theory that goes behind a smart soccer ball. That by repeating the same skills and ball movements you enhance muscle memory.
This can be crucial in a game situation where the ability to move the ball or use both feet can get you out of difficult situations. Even quickening up certain movements can deceive the opponent to enable a player to dribble past and evade a tackle.
Learning how the ball moves in the air can also be used in a match to deceive a goalkeeper when shooting.
Certain smart soccer balls also use positive affirmations such as completing more keepie-uppies or enhanced drills. These can improve a player’s confidence so they have some belief that they are improving, even when playing by themselves.
The best smart soccer balls should be educational. In the comfort of your own home or garden, a player can practice skills that can make a real difference when they are back out on the pitch.
Smart soccer balls also tend to use only a fraction of the space that you would normally use on a full-scale football pitch.
Honing your ball skills should mean keeping the ball close, with the added bonus of not having to fetch it when you kick it too far.