Ahead of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, adidas has released the much anticipated micoach SMART BALL. You can buy it here and download the app from today.
We were lucky enough to test the ball last week and honestly, it was awesome. Being able to improve your dead ball skills so quickly and in a variety of ways did truly feel like engineered brilliance, at our finger tips.
The SMART BALL is a Bluetooth Smart and app-enabled soccer ball with integrated sensor technology for dead-ball kicking training such as penalties, free-kicks, shooting, corners, long passes or goal kicks. The SMART BALL relays data on how hard it has been struck, offers visual flight trajectories, depicts ball spin and shows impact points via the adidas miCoach SMART BALL app available for iPhone and iPod touch. This data can then be used to help train players, providing coaching instructions on how to alter kicking technique to bend free kicks, launch knuckle balls and generate more shot power.
The miCoach SMART BALL has a range of ways to help improve kicking skills, giving the ability and confidence to deliver when it matters most. The intuitive miCoach SMART BALL companion app offers a dedicated training section for users to focus on improving their skills with tutorials to help master progressively more advanced techniques, including the elusive ‘knuckle ball’. A ‘challenge yourself’ section, which challenges you to kick the ball within a certain speed, bend around a wall or try to replicate pro level free kicks. There is also a ‘record book’ section to save and record all kicks to improve and track performance over time.
Challenge kicks are supported with social sharing functions. The adidas micoach SMART BALL also features wireless charging capabilities and comes with a charging dock.
Speaking at the retail launch, Christian DiBenedetto, adidas senior innovation director said, “We’re proud to bring the miCoach SMART BALL to soccer players around the world. There was a huge amount of interest in the concept when we first showcased the ball. The testing feedback from both amateur and professional athletes has been tremendous and we know users will love the engaging and instructional training this ball will bring to their game. It is another great example of the breakthrough innovation we bring to sports to make athletes better.”
DiBenedetto continued, “The adidas miCoach SMART BALL is a personal training tool. Everything we do at adidas is about helping athletes perform at their highest level and the SMART BALL is designed to help players train and refine technique, allowing athletes to improve flair, skill, power and control.”
It doesn’t come cheap at £249.95 but if you are serious about learning how to improve your game without constantly rewinding YouTube clips and you’ve got a little cash to splash, all ages would have heaps of fun with this.