Major League Soccer has brought the sport to the forefront for many youths making it favored among the small ones to adults, men, and women throughout the country. Most schools are investing not only in athletic programs but their soccer fields, with many choosing artificial turf.
It’s not uncommon for the academic community to transition to a soccer field artificial turf since it requires far less care and upkeep compared to natural grass. That’s a considerable saving in maintenance plus conservation of water, likely one of the primary benefits for choosing the option.
While there can be many benefits to making the switch, it can be a challenge for those transitioning to a new platform for play. The players might need to change the sort of shoes they need to wear, perhaps adjust kicks or maneuvers to satisfy the surface and the shoes.
The material will respond to foot traffic differently than natural grass. Let’s look at how the coach can use practice to help players adjust to their new field.
What Tips Can A Soccer Coach Give A Team On Transitioning To An Artificial Turf Field
Soccer is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country thanks to the Women’s and Men’s National teams of the Major Soccer League. Players, from tiny tots to adults, are enthusiastic about the game, with schools investing in athletic programs and establishing artificial turf fields to encourage competition.
The development of soccer fields comprising artificial grass is a somewhat new transition for some players having to adjust to gameplay, with their only experience being on natural grass surfaces.
The new material could require a bit of adjustment, perhaps some different shoes, maybe navigating the field with some versatility in their maneuvers, learning other moves. The best way to prepare is with practice, and that’s where the coach comes in.
Each week, a couple of times a week, coaches set up practice specifically for reasons like this. They will be responsible for teaching players how to transition to the new surface. Go to https://www.amplifiedsoccerathlete.com/coachguide/should-you-play-on-grass-or-turf/ for differences between playing on natural grass and turf. Some suggestions on ways to work with players include:
● Speak to the players about investing in new soccer shoes
One of the primary changes soccer players need to make when transitioning from a natural grass field to artificial turf is investing in new footwear.
Playing on this surface requires players to use different soccer shoes then they would need for natural grass. The indication is turf material needs the shoe to offer treads of a shallow, dense sort to allow them to cling to the synthetic grass.
It is recommended, with parental permission, that the coach take the team on a field trip in place of usual soccer practice to an athletic store where the footwear designed for these fields can be found. The reason to do it this way is so the group can sort of transition as a team.
● The first several soccer practices should be somewhat “light duty”
The indication is that playing on an artificial grass is an entirely new experience from natural grass, not to mention the individuals will be playing in brand new pairs of shoes besides. Players must readjust to the gameplay and learn to maintain their footing for the first few training sessions.
The indication is it would be beneficial and better for their ego to allow “light duty” until the individuals gain confidence with the way their feet behave on the new material. As they become adjusted and feel more at ease, the intensity can increase gradually with each practice until the sessions are back to a semblance of normalcy again.
● Moisten the field with a hose before using it and again after
Regardless if the players will be engaging in a game or having a practice session, the indication is the field should be hosed down thoroughly before use. The synthetic material absorbs heat and will retain it, often uncomfortable for those playing.
Many fields are adequately equipped with strong drainage systems that allow the team to avoid the potential for puddles when it’s time for gameplay. Click for safety tips with artificial turf fields.
When soccer players play on different fields, for instance traveling to another location for an “away game,” it takes a bit to get their bearings, especially the little players.
But when there’s a significant change, like going from natural grass to artificial turf, and the anticipation that the players will need to change their footwear, the coaches must step in to practice with the players to help them learn to navigate the new surface a little bit at a time. It’s not impossible; just need to take some different steps in some new shoes.